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Student Life in Vancouver

Written by Alexander College in Student Life on January 11, 2021

In this blog, we cover Student Life in Vancouver! In light of COVID-19 restrictions, Student Life has worked effortlessly to make sure that new and returning students feel welcomed, supported, and encouraged in the AC community during these unknown times.

Even though we are currently virtual, our goal has continually been and will continue to be, delivering a positive and amazing College experience for all AC Students. We have done so by creatively adapting to our current virtual climate both on Zoom and through Social Media.

We offer a wide variety of fun and engaging virtual events, activities, and contests. Furthermore, Student Life is proud to be working closely with the Alexander College Student Association (ACSA) to provide a safe and positive atmosphere for students to get involved in and meet new friends.

new student at alexander college
Vancouver Scenery

Is this your first week on campus at Alexander College, and you’re not sure where to start?

Do you find yourself not really knowing anyone at school?

If that’s the case, student clubs and other recreational activities on campus may be just what you need!

The student clubs at Alexander College usually range from a variety of different interests ranging from sports, arts, academics and more. This variety provides you the options to try out multiple areas of interest, and connect with a larger student population.

Student clubs at AC are often student led, with direction from a staff member or faculty. Our staff and faculty play a role in overseeing the clubs activities, but most of the decision making is left to the student body themselves (that’s you!).

As you begin your academic journey, you’ll learn that there are many great benefits for joining, starting and participating in the various student clubs at Alexander College.


Jump to a Section of the Blog!

alexander college student clubs
There are many great reasons to join student clubs!
alexander college student clubs
During your first week as an Alexander College student, you’ll find several clubs to join during our Welcome Week!
alexander college starting a club
Once you’ve found an interest that you’re passionate about, why not start a club of your own?
Alexander College Student Association (ACSA)
Alexander College Student Association (ACSA) is a group of students united by a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of other students at Alexander College.
Alexander College International Student

We like to be tech-savvy at Alexander College and there are a variety of ways for you to stay connected with all the AC clubs and events that are happening.
Happy student at alexander college
Once you’ve decided what club to join and what role you want to play, the next step is to get in contact to see how you can get involved!

Why you should join clubs

Starting the year off in a new campus, and perhaps, a new country, with so many students can be intimidating. This is especially true in your first year of college.

There are many great reasons to join student clubs. One of them is the fact that they’re a great way to meet friends, build your work experience while in college, and improve your self esteem and confidence.

It’s a Great Way To Make Friends

An emphasis on ‘great way’!

You’re a new student, and you want to connect and make friends—this is a normal feeling to have when starting out.

When looking to make friends, take advantage of Welcome Week at AC. Welcome Week is a week-long set of activities where you can mix, mingle and get to know more about AC and the people here.

international students at alexander college talking about student orientation
international students walking together at alexander college

What you can expect is to see several club tables led by fellow students. Through these, you can get to know other students, learn more about AC Clubs, and share experiences.

Here are some speaking pointers if you need a head start:

  • Water cooler conversation: Try speaking to others at a club table about what kind of books they like, what classes they’re taking or how their first week was, or
  • Get to know their names and why they’re a part of the club. Most often, the students volunteering at the clubs tables are fairly outgoing and love speaking about their hobbies and interests.

To add to this, be sure to make the most of the clubs at AC by signing up!

This adds into the experience of getting to know someone new, as opposed to just walking away after.

A Great Way To Gain Work Experience

You may find that you would like to work part-time while studying at AC! Hiring managers tend to view your extra-curricular activities in addition to prior work experience.

By participating in clubs at AC, it gives you leverage and the exposure to work experience that you can highlight in your resumes.

international students checking clubs at alexander college
shaking hands during interview

Any relevant leadership skills on how you were involved with a student club, events that you helped plan, and even communication skills you’ve developed can get you far when coupled with a job application.

Many of our students have also shared how they’ve benefited from club involvement when applying for university transfers, or jobs in our Student Spotlight videos.

Building Confidence Through Club Activities

Building confidence comes with experience.

As you join clubs and make connections, you’re slowly building your experience working and communicating with people of different backgrounds, values and opinions.

You’ll often be placed in groups during your classes to develop teamwork and you can practice these soft skills further at student clubs. This provides a great step to learning how to mediate differing opinions when people disagree or understand when you need to voice feedback and when to listen.

If you’re an International student with English as a second language, attending club meetings is the perfect place to practice your English-speaking skills, in addition to the classroom.

student singing during alexander college talent show
alexander college students talking about school clubs

You can ask your fellow students for pronunciation tips or events outside of school where you can get to know more local Canadian friends.

Even after your first semester of joining student clubs, you’ll find yourself a much more experienced and confident student to tackle your future career in academia!

Student Clubs at Alexander College

During your first week as an Alexander College student, you’ll find several clubs to join during our Welcome Week.

Over the years we’ve had clubs such as:

  • Beauty Club
  • Guitar Club
  • High Tea Club
  • Film Club
  • Spanish Club
  • Outdoors Club
  • Study Club
  • The Green Committee

Check out some of our notable clubs at AC below!

Sip Coffee With The AC Coffee Club

The coffee club at Alexander College is one of the more leisurely and laid back clubs.

Attending meetings usually include some coffee sampling from various cafes in Vancouver, and food pairing with cakes or light pastries.

coffee club at alexander college
alexander college student lifestyle

It’s not just about enjoying that warm sip of coffee—we learn at the same time.

Some of our favourite moments from Coffee Club include learning about the various historical relevance and different regions of where certain coffee comes from.

For instance, did you know that the medium roast or Pike Place roast at Starbucks is a coffee bean from Latin America?

In addition to this, one of our AC students, Augustpreet, filmed a video with us where he explored various cafes in Vancouver. This video aims to educate us on different coffee preparation techniques and café recommendations around campus, and in the city.

If you’ve ever wondered about what the difference between a Latte and an Americano is, this is definitely the club to check out.

Shoot Some Hoops With The AC Explorers!

If you’re a sports fan, then look no further than the AC Explorers Basketball team.

The “Explorers” name is in reference to Alexander Mackenzie and his exploits as a British explorer while also being the namesake for our college.

Even if you’re not confident in your basketball skills, fellow students and staff will help you in learning the basics of passing, dribbling and shooting. Fellow members will help correct your body form when shooting the ball from how your elbows are placed to the motion of your wrist.

alexander college Explorers Basketball team
international students at alexander college playing basketball

Fun fact: The above is primarily to ensure the ball is thrown in an arc-like shape which has a higher chance of scoring a basket!

The AC Explorers often meet and practice twice a week with drop-ins welcomed.

Whether you’re highly competitive or just want the extra exercise, the AC Explorers Basketball team has you covered.

Board Game Club Is Calling Your Name

Looking to test your strategic skills against friends?

We may have the right club just for you!

In addition to board games, the board game club also includes trading cards and roleplay games.

Trading card games or TCGs for short, are games where 2-4 players each have a specialized deck with unique abilities, characters and defenses.

For example, the game Magic the Gathering is a popular fantasy based TCG where each player takes turns summoning monsters and casting magic in a battle to reduce your opponents hit points and eventually win the game.

Board Game Club at Alenxader College
international students playing Dungeons and Dragons

Trading card games also double as collectibles that you can exchange with other players to really craft and customize a deck to your needs.

If you’ve ever heard of Dungeons and Dragons, then you’ve probably heard of role playing games.

Role Playing games involve each player creating a character with their own abilities and traits as a dungeon master or DM leads players through a story focused experience.

For instance, the DM might create a fantasy world with dragons and knights or a sci-fi world of aliens and spaceships. Players also have the freedom to describe exactly how they would interact with the world so the only limitations are your own imagination!

That said, if you’re a big fan of lore-based games or love using your imagination then roleplaying games are right up your alley.

You’ll also find the board game club includes some unique games outside of the usual Monopoly or Scrabble choices.

A popular board game during club meetings is the game Settlers of Cattan which involves players building settlements by obtaining and trading resources such as wood, brick or wheat with each dice roll.

Make a Difference in the Student Refugee Program (SRP)

The Student Refugee Program at AC is part of the World University Services of Canada (WUSC).

We recognize that education is a privilege and not everyone is able to afford a post secondary education.

The SRP club consists of AC students, staff and faculty who are key resources in working towards ensuring that through this program, we are able to sponsor a refugee student for a year, and equip them with the resources and skills they need in order to thrive in Canada.

If this is a cause that you are passionate about, definitely find more info on the Student Refugee Program and contact Student Services for next steps.

Monitor Your Environmental Impact With The AC Green Committee

We are conscious about how our decisions impact the environment and the effect of our carbon footprint on the world. The AC Green Committee is a club that you can participate in as we continue to bring about changes in how students interact with the environment on and off campus.

The Alexander College Sustainability Mission Statement is that we strive for sustainability through education, community engagement and modelling waste reduction best practices.
We aim to produce environmentally responsible global citizens and contribute to the overall health of the communities in which we live.

Green Committee doing an indoor gardening
Green Committee Waste Sorting at alenxader college

Through this committee, our students and staff have started to make an impact on campus through various initiatives such as implementing multi-waste sorting bins, educating students on proper waste management and hosting events such as beach clean-ups in Vancouver.

If you align or are interested to learn more about the Green Committee’s core objectives like education, sustainability, waste and community management, join us and make an impact!

You Can Start A Club Too

Once you’ve found an interest that you’re passionate about, why not start a club of your own?

The steps to starting a new club include:

  • Coming up with a name
  • Filling in the club registration sheet
  • Finding initial members to sign up
  • Choosing a date and time to run the club

Visiting student services and speaking to their staff will also help you in the documentation and process towards starting a club of your own, and in learning the steps on how to engage your fellow students during club meetings.

Tips On Running A Club

Remember that students usually have an assignment, project or exam in the back of their mind. As a club leader, it’s your job to make sure you’re making the best use of time with everyone attending.

Having an agenda or itinerary is a great place to start so that you can run your club meeting or events on schedule with a set date, time and duration. Feel free to use Google docs or sheets to keep track of meeting minutes and important dates to keep your members organized.

Presenting during a meeting is also a developed skill and it’ll take some practice.

new international student at alexander college
new international student at alexander college

Using visuals really helps when bringing a new idea to the table. We recommend using examples of YouTube videos, photos or illustrations to really help communicate your pitch.

Also remember to ask your members questions throughout the meeting.

You want to make your members feel that their input and feedback matters. This helps in establishing good relationships with both your fellow students and club members.

Allocate some time for any questions and if you find yourself running low on time, be sure to follow up by letting your members know that they can contact you later if they have any additional questions or concerns.

Join The Alexander College Student Association (ACSA)

Alexander College Student Association (ACSA) is a group of students united by a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of other students at Alexander College. If you decide to join ACSA, you’ll find no shortage of new experiences, friendships and activities!

group of international students in vancouver smiling at the camera
downtown vancouver scenery

What We Do – ACSA

As part of ACSA, you can involve yourself in regular and dynamic opportunities such as:

  • Event planning
  • Budgeting
  • Acquisition of resources for the student body
  • Creating activities that help students positively engage with life in Canada
  • Helping fellow students make new friends and creating new connections with students to enhance their experience at AC

Events & Activities – ACSA

Our AC Student Association works hard to provide new events for students every semester, as well as coordinating our annual student events.

A notable example is the annual AC Talent Show which is organized and hosted by ACSA. Every year, ACSA members join forces and help contribute in many ways from—booking the venue for the talent show, finding the judges, spreading the word, and registering the participants.

international students smiling at the camera
student clubs and events at alenxader college

All of their hard work has made the AC Talent Show one of the most popular events among students, staff and faculty to this day.

In addition to this, we’ve also hosted our annual AC Amazing Race, which is based off the hit TV series The Amazing Race for our staff and students. As part of this exciting event, staff and ACSA students were tasked with tracking down locations in Vancouver, mapping the route, preparing the clues and generating marketing content for the college through the race.

What Students Can Gain – ACSA

As a member of ACSA, you can gain invaluable experience in leadership, developing initiatives, and helping shape the Association’s policies and processes. All of this is towards culturing a strong population of students who are pumped in changing how things are done, and continually improving student life at AC.

You can count your membership in ACSA as volunteer experience as it is eligible for your Co-Curricular Record. For instance, our ACSA students are often known to gain interpersonal skills while volunteering at booths during our New Student Orientation.

Several ACSA students have also gained production and on-camera speaking skills by working with the college’s web team to appear in YouTube videos. As an example, we’ve had students try out the Spicy Noodle Challenge and even act as our own AC vloggers.

As a student, the doors are open for you if being on camera is something that excites, or terrifies you.

behind the scenes filming my ac spotlight in downtown vancouver
international students smiling at the camera behind the scenes

myAC Student Spotlight

Many of our students share their experiences being in a new city, experiencing new cultures and what being in student clubs has done for them. You can find these stories encapsulated in our popular, ‘myAC Spotlight’ Video series.

Among the uplifting and inspirational stories include:

  • How our student Jessie utilizes social media to meet friends, and how being a part of ACSA was her way to connect with other students and learn valuable skills in leadership.
  • Our student, Carlos, who is the founder of the Latin club and Coffee club at AC, as well as the President of ACSA during his time at the college.
  • Sung, our AC Alumni who shares how her involvement in student clubs and videos has helped her in pursuit of her career in Business and Marketing.

Student Club Meetings – ACSA

If you’re interested in joining the AC Student Association, ACSA conducts weekly meetings at our Burnaby or Vancouver campus (typically on Fridays at 1 pm) with lunch provided.

student meeting about school project
college student hanging out with friends after school

You’ll be introduced to existing ACSA members, and explore current opportunities to be involved at every meeting. You can expect ACSA to run icebreaker games to help you get the chance to meet other students in a fun, and comfortable environment.

To keep updated with all the meetings and event, be sure to check in regularly with the news feed on our AC homepage, as well as our AC Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for regular updates about upcoming events, club activities, and other opportunities.

Come out to these meetings, meet new people and shape your experience at AC for the better.

Stay Up-To-Date With AC News

We like to be tech-savvy at Alexander College and there are a variety of ways for you to stay connected with all the AC clubs and events that are happening.

Read The AC Blog

You will find that our AC Blog is a great resource if you are looking to learn more about the services available on campus, a recap of the events that is happening, the latest videos and casting calls, and various guides on how you can navigate college, Vancouver, and your mental health.

student checking latest blog
students discussing about latest school events

If you’re looking to read some of our most popular posts, check these out:

Find a Collection of Our Videos

You may find yourself more drawn to watching videos in order to get information—we have that too!

As mentioned through this article, our students love watching and being in our videos. This is something you can get involved in as well!

japanese student at alexander college
student vlogger at alexander college

We have a whole section on our latest YouTube videos on the AC website.

You’ll be able to watch many of our AC students share about their culture, and experiences from everywhere around the globe.

We also share step-by-step video guides on how students can best utilize services at AC—such as the AC Library services.

In addition to this, you’ll love watching recaps of the variety of student club events held over the years as well!

Connect with Us on Social Media

Are you social media savvy?

We are all over social media and want to connect with you!

Social media is a great way to connect with us virtually, and with other students that share your interests. We also utilize social media as a way to share important information about the college, as well as clubs and events happening on campus and virtually.

Did you know that you can use social media as a way to enhance your college experience?

Friends holding up thought bubbles with social media concept icon
Young adults using smartphones in a circle social media

Some ways to do that is by:

  • Follow and commenting on Alexander College social posts
  • Use the ‘search’ tool on Instagram to see who else is sharing content on the #AlexanderCollege hashtag
  • Find out about college events and happenings
  • Learn more about your fellow students, AC staff and faculty through our Social Media Story Takeovers
  • Stay up to date on video casting calls (we have them pretty frequently and are always looking for new faces)

Are you an AC Alumni?

Are you an AC Alumni?

We have taken the feedback from our current students and alumni and created a vibrant AC Alumni Association.

This club is created with the goal of fostering the relationship with our students, even after graduation. We also aim to continue to support and provide advice to our alumni as they continue to reach for their goals.

As an Alumni, you can expect services such as regular updates on AC through the Alumni newsletter, continued support from Academic Advising on building your resume, access to ongoing services from the Writing and Learning Centre, and much more.

Get Involved Today

Once you’ve decided what club to join and what role you want to play, the next step is to get in contact to see how you can get involved!

international student posing for the camera at alexander college
students having fun in downtown vancouver

It’s as easy as sending an email to studentlife@alexandercollege.ca with your idea and what your goals are. If you’re shy or still working on your language skills, don’t be nervous about taking the initiative.

The more you allow yourself to be open to new experiences, the more you’ll grow as both a person and a student here at Alexander College.

Get out there and join a club, meet new people and we look forward to getting to know you!


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