Ontario, CanadaRanked among top 20 universities in CA
The University of Ottawa (popularly known as uOttawa) is the largest of the three universities in Ottawa. It is a public research university among Canada’s top 10 universities. uOttawa was established in 1848 by a Catholic bishop. It was the largest English-French bilingual university in the world. The university has a good reputation especially for law, medicine, diplomatic and civil services.
The University of Ottawa has its main campus in the neighbourhood of Sandy Hill. It is within 10 minutes walk of two major shopping areas and surrounded by brick walled homes, majority of them owned by the university now. There are two major grocery stores (Loblaws and the Metro) having discount days, especially for students. There are many museums and galleries at walking distance. Also, the Parliament of Canada is nearby, of which free tours are recommended. Rideau Canal which is a World Heritage site is also at a walking distance.
The main campus of uOttawa is 105 acres and said to have a common Canadian architecture. In 2011, average age of the buildings on campus was 63. 30 main buildings, 806 research laboratories, 301 teaching laboratories and 257 classrooms. The University of Ottawa Library has a collection of more than 4.5 million titles. However, the library can be overcrowded during exam times. The University of Ottawa Museum has artifact from the period of 7th BC to 7th century AD. Parking can be a little tough.
Housing options are available for undergraduate students. It has 10 student residencies. Most students live off campus. There are dozens of bus routes but students recommend to live close by from your classes, especially for the cold weather. If you decide to stay away, be sure that you live at a place with a direct bus route to avoid frostbite waiting for multiple buses. Students wish there was a subway or a train to commute to and fro.
Winters in Ottawa are terrible and freezing. Luckily it is a little better near uOttawa as it is around the Sandy Hill. The upside of a difficult winter is that you can skate your way to campus which is something students look forward to! Summers are pleasant.
Professors here are good with a student to faculty ratio being 18:1. They may encourage you to do research work if they see the potential in you. Everything sounds a little more French than English at first. Students should carefully choose English speaking professors if they are not comfortable with French. The professors may challenge you to think critically and discuss alternate perspectives. If lucky, they may even join you for a beer. Law school faculty are said to be the most supportive while Social Sciences faculty might take longer to respond to emails and answer your calls.
Students said that the administration could be a little rude to you if you can’t speak French.
In 2011-12, University of Ottawa gave away $71 million of scholarships as financial aid. The tuition fees for Engineering programs for International graduate students would be over $16000 a year excluding the incidental fees. This goes to be the average tuition fee for most courses. However, most official university scholarships are for undergraduate students; whether local or international. For graduate students, there are more than 1700 jobs on campus that they can apply to for which they may have to provide financial details and maintain a good academic record. These jobs are only for full-time students.
uOttawa has a good co-op program (67 undergraduate programs and 8 graduate with over 90% admission rate) which is optional but gives a brilliant opportunity for students to experience work while studying and earn about 500-700$ a month and make good contacts.
Law jobs are the best because of its closeness to the parliament, supreme court and other federal courts, NGO and other government jobs. Student services are very encouraging and guide you in your resume and CV making.Some students say that the engineering program is cheap and great value for money. And it may be a good entry point for immigration in Canada.
Uottawa can give you pain in the time of exams with extensive stress. Doing well may require extra work of attending classes, creating summaries and practice exams. The campus may seem a little over crowded. For some reason, it resonates that the administration is a little rude. Overall, if you know French, you are slightly better off. There are French Immersion courses on campus to help you get in sync with the language. Co-ops are great and increase your chances to get jobs after graduation. Students call it an above average school from academic perspective in a value for money deal.
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