Undergraduate Programs

Ranya El-Sharkawi

Ranya is a third year BA honors Political Science student. She is an active campus and community member, currently serving as the undergraduate representative on the University of Alberta’s Sesquicentennial Committee, a volunteer with Health Campus Unit and a board member at the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. Ranya has just completed a legal research internship with the Koons Family Institute on International Law and Policy (ICMEC) in Washington, DC. 

What advice would you have for new and fellow students?

Don’t just leave campus as soon as your classes end and retreat to your dorm or commute home! Find your study spot, walk around the river valley and, most importantly, get involved. The people you meet and activities you do through campus clubs will shape your university experience as much as your classes will. 

Did you take advantage of any unique opportunities on campus or abroad that you would recommend?

During my first year, my best friend and I joined the University of Alberta Rowing Club and it was, in my opinion, the best way to start off one’s university experience. Through this opportunity I made new friends and stayed physically active while spending every fall evening on the beautiful North Saskatchewan River. 
What is your favorite event on campus?

My absolute favourite event on campus is International Week (I-Week). Every year I attend a plethora of films, panels and workshops on topics ranging from sustainable development to social justice. I have even gotten a chance to be a part of I-Week as a presenter with the University of Alberta Canadian Red Cross Club. I am also a sucker for the SUB Farmer’s Market - being able to purchase Moonshine Donuts and Bloom Cookies at 10 a.m. is a treat.

What was the most unique course that you took during your degree?

Music 144: Western African Music Ensemble, was by far the most unique course I have taken during my degree. In this course, I danced, I sang, I drummed, and I learned about the culture and history of Ghana and Togo.

Music 144 has no pre-requisites and is open to all students! Learn more on the Department of Music website.

How did you stay organized or de-stress during midterms and finals?

During peak midterms and finals stress (or in my case, term papers stress!) I create, and religiously follow, a study schedule in my day planner. What allows me to follow this schedule is an immense amount of sleep – yes, you heard me – healthy snacks and free fitness classes provided by UAlberta’s Healthy Campus Unit. Lastly, I make sure that I go outside for some fresh air and human interaction at least once a day. It also helps to keep in mind that the classes that challenge you the most are often the ones that teach you the most!

Edited for length and clarity, Fall 2018.