Choosing Between uOttawa and Carleton University
So, you have decided that Ottawa is where you want to go to university, and rightfully so, as these are two excellent institutions to choose from. The difficulty lies in making the choice between Carleton University and the University of Ottawa (uOttawa). Not taking into account academics or course offerings, here are some tips to help you choose, plus the location benefits of each school.
Two Quick Tips For Making Your Decision
Visit Each Campus Beforehand
Always take some time to consider which school jives best with your vibe and lifestyle. A good way to determine this is by paying a few visits to each campus before you decide so you can explore the grounds and gain a better understanding of which might suit you. It usually doesn’t take long to get a gut feeling about a school and whether it aligns with the type of experience you’re looking for.
Think About Location and Your Priorities
The university experience is unique to every student, so the best way to get the most out of it is to consider what you value most. For example, do you want to feel part of a community? If so, you might want to compare each university’s options for extracurricular activities. If you care about having a variety of course offerings, it would also be helpful to compare the types of classes with what you want to get out of your education.
Let’s draw a quick comparison for location, convenience, and priorities:
- Carleton is located a little more off the beaten path, so it may not offer the same level of convenience and accessibility compared to uOttawa. However, it’s a beautiful campus and is known for providing more of a community with plenty of clubs and extracurricular activities that you can get involved in. It also has a better reputation for providing more in-depth, hands-on teaching.
- uOttawa, on the other hand, is very central and convenient. It’s easy to get to, and you can enjoy the bustling city’s many nearby amenities, parks, and events. It also offers good co-op opportunities and has a reputation for being a prominent research-intensive school with many prestigious programs.
University of Ottawa
ByWard Market Location
There is no denying that being located directly in downtown Ottawa is a huge draw for many university students. Between the ByWard Market, the Rideau Centre, and the many shops and bars located in and around the downtown area, the University of Ottawa has the edge when it comes to location. There is also the bonus of being close to the Quebec border for fun trips to Gatineau, known for its local vintages and brews and beautiful views from Gatineau Park.
ByWard Market is also a choice neighbourhood for many students looking to live off-campus. It’s convenient and a quick 10-minute walk to your classes.
The Rideau Canal
Renowned as the world’s longest outdoor skating rink, the Rideau Canal is located at the steps of the University of Ottawa’s doors. An attraction in both winter and summer, the Canal is a beautiful neighbour for the university campus. You can jog or sit by the water over the summer months and ice skate to school in the wintertime — now that’s what we call a Canadian university experience to remember!
Easy Access to OC Transpo Bus Routes
Being located in downtown Ottawa also allows for easy access to Ottawa’s public transport system, known as OC Transpo. Downtown is the central hub for the city’s elaborate bus and LRT rail system; from Kanata to Orleans, it’s all easily accessible from this area in Ottawa. OC Transpo access can also be convenient for student placements if they are part of your course curriculum.
The Glebe is one of Ottawa’s trendiest areas and steps away from the Carleton University campus. The Glebe hosts a variety of excellent restaurants and unique shops to discover for all the trend seekers out there. There are also many pubs for all the nightlife fun post-secondary students may desire. The university’s proximity makes this neighbourhood the perfect option for off-campus living.
Carleton University is nestled between two bodies of water: The Rideau Canal and the Rideau River. This unique location provides Carleton University students with many water-based activities in their backyard — not to mention a beautiful backdrop for an afternoon run or studying by the river. These views are hard to beat for all the nature lovers out there and will surely give you the clear mind and breath of fresh air you might be looking for between your classes.
Close Proximity to Airport
The Ottawa International Airport is just a short drive from Carleton University, making it easily accessible for out-of-towners. If you are a frequent traveller or expect lots of visitors (is your Mom already counting down the days until she can come to see you?), this close proximity helps you avoid late nights and heavy downtown rush hour traffic.
Making the Best Choice for You
Although both universities have amazing benefits, nothing will truly tip the scales one way or the other until you come and visit each campus yourself. Ottawa is a safe, fun and beautiful city, and both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University demonstrate the Capital’s beauty in their own way. Remember, the university experience is for you, so take your time when deciding — there is no right or wrong choice!
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