Calgary for an Out of Province Student

Calgary for an Out of Province Student

Downtown Calgary

I moved to Calgary to go to Ambrose from Ontario and with such a move, there were many things that I did not know/did not understand before moving here. I figured that it was my duty as a veteran new Calgarian to ensure that I pass on my newly acquired knowledge.

One: Calgary has two seasons, Winter and Construction 

If you are used to having a beautiful sequence of semi predictable seasons, throw those expectations out the window because Calgary, although a wonderful place to live, is highly unpredictable. Let me introduce you to “the Chinook”. Calgary is one of two cities in the world that experiences a Chinook which is essentially a gust of cold/warm air coming from over the mountains to the west of the city. This gust of cold/warm air can cause a drastic change in weather. Living here, I have experienced a 25-degree Celsius morning plummet to a -20-degree Celsius evening, I have experienced a -35-degree week go to 15 degrees overnight. This is fine and doesn’t really affect my life but it is for sure something that I wish that I was prepared for.

Two: Buy Lotion and a Mini Humidifier

Coming from Ontario, I was raised in the middle of the great lakes and moving to Calgary was quite the shock to my system. The air is quite dry and I found that I was running through lotion like no one’s business. For the record, I had never been through a whole lip chap before losing it or accidentally putting it through the washing machine before coming to Calgary. Since moving here in 2017, I have been through several full chap sticks. My friend from British Columbia bought a mini humidifier and that seemed to help her out a fair bit. The humidifier might be an extreme for you but be sure to keep it in mind should you find you are drying out.

Three: Sectors, Compasses and Directions

Calgary as a city is split into four sectors, the North, the South, the South East and the South West (at least that is my comprehension of what everybody says about Calgary). I never learned the use of a compass of the directions of Never Eat Shredded Wheat but all native Calgarians seem to know exactly which way they are facing regardless of where they are. Do not let this intimidate you, just remember, they are accustomed to the archaic ways of the compass (just kidding, this is a learning opportunity for you). You will also find, as I did, that there are major roads that run through the city like Deerfoot, Stoney, Sarcee, Crowchild, Glenmore etc. The ones that I listed are the ones that I know because they are ones that I have been on a lot as a student. Deerfoot North takes you to the Airport, Deerfoot South takes you to Costco and Ikea, Stoney takes you out of the city, Glenmore takes you to the mall and to both Deerfoot North and South.

These are just a few of things about Calgary that are good for you, as an out of province student, to know a little bit about before coming in to the Calgary area. I love Calgary and the community that I have found and fostered here. My best wishes to those of you moving here from a fair distance!

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