News and Events

On Campus: Say Cheese

September 22, 2014

Written by Mark Keller, director of college advancement
Featured in"On Campus" in the Medicine Hat News

The creative people in our student services department added a new feature to this year’s New Student Orientation program.


Perhaps not “you” exactly and personally. The bus tours offered to out-of-town students covered community services and amenities but didn’t include knocking on people’s doors and saying hello.

Nonetheless, the friendly people of Medicine Hat, and the many things that make this a great place to live, are high on the list of factors that influence the decisions of prospective students. The tours offered this year help link news students to their new home, and that’s a smart thing to do.

Think for a moment about our city from the point of view from someone who grew up in a small town, or perhaps on a ranch or farm. Medicine Hat College is potentially huge compared to the high school they attended. And a city of 60,000 people is a vibrating, bustling metropolis when you set it next to a town with a population of a few hundred.

For these students the college and the community is a convenient and manageable step into a new life-style. Sure, the place is bigger, but the people are friendly, there are helpful services, and lifestyle choices are abundant. The tours are a nice way to see what’s available and discover a new environment.

On the flip side, students coming from a city like Calgary or Edmonton might be cautious of a small environment. Is there a social scene? What about the arts? What about dinners out and recreation?

When I made the move from Calgary I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But if you can find it in Calgary, there’s something similar here. The scale might be smaller, but some things are oh so much better because of that.

In the first year, for example, I found myself arriving early at work or to the movies or whatever; I had a built-in filter that allowed for congested traffic and long distances (in Calgary, we had a 30 km drive to my mom’s house for Sunday dinner!) These days I can’t imagine returning to the drudge of long commutes and bumper-to-bumper traffic.

You, our city, and region have a lot to offer and that helps makes the college a good deal for students.

Visit to learn more about your college, contact Mark Keller with your questions at or follow him on Twitter @mark_mhc.

The Medicine Hat News is a great community partner. Thanks!