Gain More Experience in Non-Academic Ways!

By Concordia University Modified on March 14, 2019

Here are some cool alternative classrooms to maximize your undergrad experience!


Most of us think of our undergraduate studies as a stepping stone to a desirable career path. Be it the profession that the degree leads to or the skills that you build, your undergraduate experience is a rich opportunity for you to grow, from a student to a professional.

Classes aren’t the only learning settings that are at your disposal. University campuses often abound with resources and opportunities put in place to help you grow in non-academic ways.

Here are some cool alternative classrooms to maximize your undergrad experience:

1) Participate in a challenge or competition
Find out if your program or department offers students the chance to participate in team competitions or challenges. Examples of these include business case competitions or project competitions. You’ll get to collaborate in a team of other students on finding effective solutions to big problems.

Students who have participated in these attest to the richness of the experience. It allows you to meet new people, apply your best skills, work under pressure in a tight-knit team, as well as travel to cool destinations!

2) Join a student group
Student groups reflect the quality of campus life at a university – the more options there are, the richer your campus experience will be. Concordia University has close to 400!

You can complement what you learn in class with student-led campus opportunities. Helping run a student group means you’re contributing to enhancing the university experience for students just like you.

Not sure where to join? Most universities have groups that cater to diverse facets of a student’s needs, including their program, their ethnic or religious identity, or their interests. Finding a group that you would feel a personal commitment to is essential in maximizing your student life experience! Examples include Women in Engineering and the Latin American Student Organization.

The rewards are numerous. By being active in a student group that you’re passionate about, you’ll get to: 1) make new friends, 2) network with other students who share your interests, 3) participate in community-based initiatives and 4) build on your professional experience.
CJLO, Concordia’s campus and community radio station, is just one of over 400 student clubs and associations at Concordia

3) Develop your business idea Have a great business idea but not sure where or how to pitch it? Find out if the universities on your radar provide resources to help students develop their entrepreneurial skills outside of class. For instance, Concordia’s District 3 Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship invites anyone – including students and the public – to pitch their startup idea or to join a startup internship through coaching and collaboration.

4) Internships: Get hands-on work experience and get paid while you’re at it
Co-op programs are prime opportunities to put your classroom lessons into real-life practice. When you opt for the co-op option of your program, you’ll be given the chance to gain first-hand experience of a work setting directly related to your line of studies.

5) Study abroad
Gain a global perspective while earning credit towards your degree. Many students attest to the potentially life-changing benefits of immersing themselves in a new culture, learning a new language or adjusting to a new location. Concordia lets you choose from 180+ partner universities in more than 35 countries.