Returning to Residence in Fall 2021

International student Noor is looking forward to finding community on campus.


Students moving into Graduate Residence.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters were hard for each and every student, but especially for first-years who hadn't yet had a chance to experience the U of A campuses and community in-person. I just completed my first year of university in April 2021, yet I still somehow feel like a first-year student; I suspect this is a common feeling shared by many first-year students. Had things been different, we all would have seen each other in person by now and made tons of memories. 

As an international student from India, doing first-year classes from an entirely different country was extremely challenging. Living in residence and being part of a community provides one with emotional support and long-lasting friendships, but I couldn’t do that. I was enrolled in an online residence program and, while it wasn't the same as being in-person, it definitely made things easier. It was a way to connect with people and I made some friends, and I am actually now living on campus with one of them. I am glad that I wasn't completely cut off from other students because Zoom classes don’t really give much of an atmosphere to make friends. Through residence programs, I had the opportunity for regular check-ins where I would talk to my Resident Assistant about my week and my university experience. Just knowing that I had someone to reach out to, should I need to, is a very comforting feeling. Talking to my RA made me feel lighter and I actually got a few tips on how to make it through the first semester. 

Schäffer Hall

Things have been even better ever since I moved into residence in East Campus Village in May. Most people are extremely friendly, and everyone wants to connect and bond with like-minded people. Hanging out in SUB helps to get a change from your desk every once in a while and meet new people. I am working as an RA for the entire year and I couldn’t be more excited. The staff are so amazing and friendly, it is so comfortable working with them, and it is another way to find new people.

[Editor's note: Please check the Building Access and Amenity Status section of the COVID-19 Updates website for current restrictions.]

I am very happy living in residence. You get to do all sorts of cool stuff and I feel at home when I walk around the residence buildings. I often take walks around the buildings in the evening and, even though it can be cold and windy, it is still nice to look at. The other day, my roommate and I left a note saying ‘hi’ to our neighbour, they wrote 'hi' back, and just like that, we made a new friend! It is so much easier to connect with people in residence than it is off-campus because most everyone is looking around to talk to people and make new friends. With COVID-19 restrictions, there is not much one can do and it's extremely hard to visit people right now. Turns out that just saying 'hi' to other people using written notes helps you make friends. 

Schäffer Hall

I am currently living in Pinecrest House but I’ll be moving into Schäffer Hall in Lister Residence in Fall 2021. I am so glad that second-year students will have the opportunity to live in Lister and get a second chance at having their first-year residence experience. I think I am going to make a lot of memories living and working here in residence, and when things get better and safe we will all get to hang out and see each other in person.

Residence applications are open for Spring/Summer and Fall 2021. Lister Residence is open to select second-year residents (in addition to first-year students and student leaders) so you can enjoy your second year of university with a supported, first-year residence experience in residence halls.


About Noor

Noor is a second-year Faculty of Engineering student from India. She likes reading novels, watching shows (current favourite is Outlander) and absolutely loves being in huge, open spaces like parks and gardens. She likes taking walks around North Campus because there are some places around the East Campus Village where the city looks absolutely beautiful, especially at night. She loves meeting new people so if you see her walking around, feel free to say hi :)