▼ eResources

Grenfell Campus
Menu Button
Default Interior

Student Perspective

Thinking of applying

​Surviving Corner Brook Without a CarMargaret Aligbe.jpg

Margaret Ojochide Aligbe

As an international student, what you notice when you arrive at Corner Brook is that everyone else has a car and your instinct is to get one but also, what happens when you cannot afford one or you don't know how to drive? How do you survive? It is easy to think that getting a car would be the next best thing and you start thinking about how to afford one, be it new or second hand, aside cost, managing a car is expensive. You must not forget that you have to pay for parking unless it is private property and the cost of gas is high, you may need close to CAD 80 (like 8 hours of work on minimum wage), if not more to fill your tank. Yes, a driving license is expensive in Canada, I kid you not (cost vary between the learners' permit and the experienced drivers).  Even if you come from your country with a license, you will eventually need a provincial license and it will cost you. Being able to quietly and correctly do your cost-benefit analysis could help you save costs and weigh if the idea of getting a car for you as an international student is a want or a need. Well, some people can afford a car without breaking any sweat but what about those cannot? Because really how many international students can straight up buy a car when they first come to Canada? As international students, most of us want to save on costs and maybe, getting a car (with associated costs) would not be a choice many of us can make at the start of our programs.

But wait, what about public transport? That is exactly the first thing I was interested in before and after I came to Corner Brook. There are no trains here and the city is one of the cities that when you come here, you are fully here. Corner Brook is the second-largest city in the province after St John's (692 km and 6hours plus drive from here). Yes, you will read that public buses are available in the city but when you arrive you will learn things like "buses run till 6 pm or that they don't run on weekends".  If you come from a city where public transportation run 24 hours or at least past 6 pm, you could feel initial frustration and it can be hard to work around that schedule (what happens to my nightlife flex?). What is even odder is that since many people drive (I always assume everyone else has a car), you won't find so many people walking despite how safe the city is. It may feel awkward sometimes being the only person on a road stretch or you could see just 1 or 2 persons except in downtown where you can find more people walking. I think more people should be walking because the city has amazing views that you can easily see taking a walk beside when you go hiking.


How much you need a bus or car depends on where you live and how your daily runs look like. Students who live and work on campus may not have needed so much for a car or bus trip except when they want to go grocery shopping (the closest to campus is Colemans but close is relative). You may be in luck if your roommate has a car, then you can tag along or contribute to the gas bill and then plan your trips together (but don't fully count on that). What now happens if getting a car is not an option for you?

Here are some survival tips:

  1. Plan your daily schedule and shifts around the bus pick up times, so can still use the bus when it runs and maybe, initially avoid, weekend shifts and trips where you have to rely on the bus. Yes, the bus is very affordable, a ticket is CAD5 each for the return trip and CAD2.50 for a single trip. Note, however, that only cash can be used, do not forget to enter the bus with either a previously bought paper ticket or cash.  
  2. Sometimes, take the liberty to walk if the place is not far. For example, Colemans, or downtown Corner Brook even Margaret Bowater Park is within walkable distance to campus when you are not carrying something really heavy. Again, distance is relative and this may be a bad idea during bitterly cold winter but in summer and early fall, walking is an option.
  3. The students sometimes organize bus pick up from campus on weekends. Maximize these free bus rides offered to students during non-bus periods to places like Murphy Square, Corner Brook Plaza, so you can save a lot and enjoy free trips for grocery shopping weekends.
  4. Some taxi fares are cheaper for CAD15 on return trips, while others cost CAD30. Ask around to compare fares before using a taxi if you have any need.

Office of Student Recruitment

Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland
20 University Drive, Corner Brook, NL
A2H 5G4, Canada

Phone: (709) 637-6269
Email: study@grenfell.mun.ca

Grenfell Logo

© Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Corner Brook, NL Canada Toll Free 1-888-637-6269

Privacy Policy    Login    Library    Sitemap    Site Feedback    Contact

Grenfell Logo

© Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Corner Brook, NL Canada. Toll Free 1-888-637-6269

Privacy Policy




Site Feedback