International Mini-Series: Food Experiences in Residence with Emma


We recently interviewed Emma, she’s an International student. We were interested in her experiences with the food in residence! Here’s what she said:

What have your experiences been like so far in relation to food in residence? (you can talk about your previous experience when you lived in residence)

Being an International student, one of the things that I was really bothered about with moving to a different country was food. Having had my mum do all the cooking back home and being bred eating mostly homemade traditional food I feared what moving would be like in terms of food. When I came to Canada, I tried my best to have an open mind and to be willing to try new things in term of food. I always found something to eat at every meal time in one of the residence cafeterias.

What do you like most about your Residence Eatery and meal plan?

The thing that I love the most about the residence eateries is that there is a wide variety of food to choose from depending on what I feel like eating.

Food ranging from freshly cooked buffet style meals, burgers, burritos and even a salad and smoothie bar. The first day that I walked into the cafeteria during my first year at the university I was really impressed and I called my parents telling them all the wide variety of foods that I saw when I went and that not only made me feel good but also made my parents feel happy at peace that I would always find something to eat.

Another highlight of living in residence was that I could use my meal plan outside the residence eateries at the coffee shops on campus and the meals for each week were posted online which made making food choices easier as I could look through what was being offered each week and decide what I would like to eat or try.

Being a person of ‘many colours’, I had days where I wanted to eat a healthier selection of food and on days like that I am always able to put together a salad bowl. And even a bowl of fresh fruits in the mornings.

Also, when I felt like indulging myself I had pizza or a burger. Did I also mention that I take my sweets seriously? Having a sweet tooth, I had days where I gave in to cravings for something sweet and as always, the cafeteria had me covered. I am always able to put together a nice bowl of ice cream with different toppings when I’m craving something sweet. Being my second year living on campus the experience is still the same. I live in a suite style residence, but I still have a meal plan because I certainly do not want to miss out on all the cafeteria has to offer.

What is your favourite go-to meal in your Residence Eatery?

I have generally been able to adjust to the cuisine in Canada as I enjoyed the wide variety of food that the residence eateries provided. My go-to-meal in my first year was a sandwich burrito freshly made at the sandwich bar with my choice of veggies meat and sauce. My go-to-breakfast meal has been and will continue to be the freshly made omelettes (they are crazy good) and my regular go-to-meal is a warrior burger.

I currently live in one of the suite style residences and I still have a meal plan because I do not want to miss out on all that the cafeteria has to offer especially on special food event days like Lunar New Year diner.

What advice do you have for prospective international students who might be concerned about food options/cuisine when living in residence?

To prospective international students, remember that life is an adventure and trying new things is part of this adventure. I would advice that you keep and open mind and be willing to try new things. You just might like them.

Emmanuella Okwu