When you start a post-secondary education program, you enter a community filled with exciting possibilities for learning, career building and having fun. In addition to attending classes and studying, there are many experiences to explore:
- Make new friends and develop a network of people who can help you do well in your studies, connect to career-related opportunities and find work after you graduate.
- Expand and develop your interests and skills, e.g. rock climbing, singing in a choir or playing bridge.
- Develop employability and personal management skills that aren’t taught in the classroom but are essential for building and maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle and successful career.
In these videos, consider how Brittany, Dan, Joel, and Jordan are shaping their post-secondary experiences to include so much more than classroom learning:
Enjoying a Balanced Student Lifestyle (2:32)
Jordan attends a private college that offers approved degrees. Learn about his experience being involved in athletics and studying in a community-oriented environment.
Most colleges, technical institutes and universities offer programs and services that will help you make the most of your education and apply what you learn in the workplace.
Check out these programs and services for ones that interest you and see if your post-secondary schools offers all or some of them:
- Orientation sessions help you make the transition to student life.
Orientation sessions are a great opportunity to meet other students, become familiar with the campus and gather information about other helpful programs and services, e.g. study skills help sessions, effective writing courses and library tours.
- Programs and activities introduce you to people who work in related fields and give you program-related work experience.
Social relationships you build while you’re a student can extend well beyond graduation and may lead, directly or indirectly, to future work opportunities.
Many post-secondary programs include work experience components that give you opportunities to meet people and apply your knowledge in a real work environment. Programs without a formal work experience component may also offer opportunities to connect with the work world. For example, student associations may facilitate job-shadowing programs by matching interested students with volunteers from the work world. Professional and trade associations may offer special rates for student memberships and encourage students to attend association functions.
- Recreation, sport, cultural, wellness and faith programs and services help you develop and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Most campuses have recreational facilities where you can swim, skate, lift weights, run, do yoga or play team sports. Exercise relieves stress and energizes you so you can focus effectively on your studies.
Music ensembles, drama clubs and cultural groups offer opportunities to take part in or attend a wide variety of cultural activities.
On-campus chaplain services, representing various faiths and denominations, support the spiritual aspects of student life. These services may include counselling, support groups and clubs as well as worship services.
Campus health centres often have extended hours to meet students' needs for medical care.
- Study abroad programs offer the opportunity to experience other cultures while continuing your studies.
Several post-secondary schools maintain exchange and semester abroad programs that let you study in another country and apply the credit to your Alberta degree or diploma.
- Career planning and placement services help you find suitable part-time, summer or full-time work.
Student employment and career services can help you with work search skills, such as writing resumés and preparing for job interviews, and career planning. They may also host career fairs and other employer events.
On-campus recruiting activities often start in September, so it's a good idea to check in with your school’s student employment or career services office early in the academic year.
- Services and programs assist specific student populations.
Many Alberta post-secondary schools provide programs, services and gathering places for students with disabilities, Indigenous students, international students and others.
Use the List of Institutions on Apply Alberta to find your institution's website and learn more about the student services available to you.
Make the most of the programs and services offered by your post-secondary school
You’ll learn a lot through the courses you take in your post-secondary education. There’s a lot you can learn beyond the classroom, too—informally with friends and fellow students and in clubs, groups and programs. Make the most of it.