Tag: Winnipeg

Financial Aid: A Source of Hope and Confidence

University is a fantastic experience…but your bank account might try to convince you otherwise after you’ve spent a semester or two in school.

Lacey Siemens - Financial Aid: A Source of Hope and Confidence

For a student moving away from home, expenses go beyond paying for school and textbooks. The cost of living, groceries, gas tanks, and more, dig deep into the bank account and can be extremely intimidating. How are you ever going to make that much in one summer? Well I can assure you there are resources to help you cover the costs of university.

Scholarships that I have received have provided a source of relief and comfort during my time at CMU. This past summer I had the opportunity to work for a drop-in centre that provided snacks, supper, and day programs for children in the north end. This opportunity was rewarding in countless ways, and truly helped me develop skills in areas that will help me in my career as a music therapist. Yet, in this position, I was not able to earn enough to pay for even one semester. In making the decision to pursue experience in this field, I sacrificed a comfortable, high-paying job and free rent at home.

After paying rent for the whole summer, I barely broke even. But it was during this time that I experienced firsthand God’s love and provision. I received a letter informing me that I was being awarded a CMU academic excellence award, in addition to a generous scholarship from a CMU donor. This aided in covering my tuition expenses and fees, along with the cost of living as an out-of-province student.

Lacey Siemens - Financial Aid: A Source of Hope and Confidence

This summer was a time of relying on God to provide the means for me to continue studying at CMU. The day I received the letters outlining the scholarships I had been awarded, I remember calling my parents and laughing about the concerns that had us anxiously praying months previous. Scholarships are so much more than just a basis for financial support. They are a source of hope and confidence. Some generous person is showing they believe in you through their willingness to help you on your journey.

Use the tools and resources available to you, and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help by applying for scholarships. The funds you receive might just be the hope and confidence you need to kick-start your dreams.

Lacey Siemens is in her first year of a music therapy degree at CMU.

5 Keys to Making It Through the Winter Semester

So the Christmas Holidays have come and gone, and now you’re wondering how you’re going to make it through the winter semester. Reading Week is still over a month away, and your study-motivation meter is waning after grinding out the fall semester. So how are you supposed to stay driven and focused and find success, yet still have some fun in the second semester? Well, here are a few CMU-style tips that might help you get through:

1) Make the Most Out of CMU’s Outdoors


Yes, Winnipeg winters can be cold. But that makes for opportunities that only come in cold climates, so find something you like to do outside. CMU has ice to skate on, trails for cross country skiing, or even just trails to walk on in the forest. Not to mention there are plenty of fields of snow to play in. So find some out-door activities that you like to do, because being cooped up inside all winter is going to drive you crazy.

2) Go to CMU Events


CMU has no shortage of events to attend. That includes everything from potlucks for apartment students, to music recitals, to CMU Blazers games. Or maybe it doesn’t even have to be a formal event, and you end up just hanging out in a Poettcker Hall lounge instead. Whatever it is, find some people to spend time with, because no matter where you go, you’ll find people worth spending time with at CMU.

3) Make Your Classwork Enjoyable…Or at Least Bearable


Let’s be honest…classes aren’t always a student’s favourite place to be. But there are lots of ways to make classes more enjoyable. Many classes see profs assign papers and projects that are open for you to decide on the topic. Take advantage of these, and turn those assignments into something you’ll at least somewhat enjoy. I realize not all classes have those types of projects, so in that case, get to know some of your classmates if you don’t already, and study together. As noted above, most things are more enjoyable with someone by your side.

4) Take Advantage of the Coziness of Winter


When else do you get to wear your favourite cozy sweater every day to class and not get razzed for it? Not to mention snuggling up with a book isn’t quite the same in summer, so here’s your chance to snuggle up with lots of books…and hopefully some textbooks. Grab a favourite blanket and your hot beverage of choice and you’re all set. Seriously, it might help you warm up to those readings.

5) Explore the City


CMU is a great place to spend lots of time, but there is plenty more to explore around the city during a Winnipeg winter. Head down to the Assiniboine Park to skate on the duck pond or to The Forks to skate on the river, or check out the ice castles at The Forks instead. There’s also Festival du Voyageur in February if you want to get a French-Canadian experience. And that’s just a short list. All the stereotypes are true…Winnipeg knows how to have a good time no matter what the weather is like!

From South Carolina to the South Side of Grant

Andi Jacobs - from South Carolina to the South Side of Grant

Throughout high school I knew I wanted to do something different for college. I didn’t want to attend the same four universities that nearly everyone from my high school chose. So when my family was visiting friends in Toronto, and I learned about International Development, a degree that is not widely offered in the States, I felt the opportunity to take a different path. It sounded like it would be just the right fit for me.

After a quick search on Google, I learned about Canadian Mennonite University. Not only did CMU offer a degree that was different, but it also offered small class sizes and a real relationship with my professors, which was definitely something I wouldn’t have if I attend the larger state schools in South Carolina.

CMU also offered a schooling option that was affordable. It’s no secret that American schools are crazy expensive, especially if you are considering attending university in a different state or a private institution. So even though I’m an international student, CMU is just as affordable as staying in my home state of South Carolina. Not only am I going to a great school, but I will also graduate with relatively no debt (thanks mom & dad).

I’ll admit that I was a little nervous going to university so far from home, as this would be my first time living on my own. Not only was the school far away, but it was also in a different country, which was nerve-racking, yet also exciting at the same time. The unknown is what frightened me, yet the possibility for new friends and a new city to explore far outweighed the risks. Thankfully, the community I found once I arrived at CMU was more welcoming and supportive than I could’ve ever imagined. True to their stereotype, Canadians are a friendly bunch.

Another important factor in my choosing a university was whether I would have the opportunity to play competitive volleyball. I had never considered looking at schools in Canada, but I’m so thankful I did. Last January I visited Winnipeg (my parents wanted to make sure I had a chance to experience Manitoba in winter), toured the campus, and practiced with the volleyball team. My visit sealed the deal. CMU was a perfect fit.


The support on campus for academics and spiritual growth is something I have already learned to treasure. There are both chapels and fellowship groups during the week, and the leaders guide us through different worship styles whether that is contemporary, traditional, or something different altogether. While this Christian community is a big part of CMU, you can be as involved or uninvolved as you want. Regardless of your beliefs, you will be accepted for who you are as an individual.

Not only are the people welcoming, but CMU’s location is a welcoming place too. It is a smaller, more traditional campus with wonderful scenery, yet it’s only a few short minutes from being in downtown Winnipeg. If I need some fresh air after studying, there are miles of walking trails in the Assiniboine Forest, right behind campus. It is really the best of both worlds.

I am so happy with my decision to come to CMU. It truly has something to offer everyone.

Andi Jacobs is a first year student from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Meet the blogger: Five things you need to know

Jason Friesen at CMU on the bridge to Marpeck Commons

Whether you’re a student, staff, alumnus, or friend of CMU, welcome to another school year at CMU.

My name is Jason Friesen, and I’m the primary blogger for #myCMUlife this year.

Some of you may know me, but some of you likely don’t. This seems like a good chance to introduce myself, so here are five things you probably want to know about me before you start reading my blogs.

1)    Who the heck is this guy?
Well, I said my name already. But on top of that, I’m a proud Winnipegger, have grown up in the Mennonite tradition, and I’ve got one older brother.

2)    How well does this guy know the CMU community?
I’d say I know it pretty well! I’m now in my fifth and final year at CMU. Though I was a commuter student for my first four years, I found ways to stay connected to the community, such as playing on the men’s volleyball team (which I still play on). But I now live on campus, so I’ll be spending plenty of time around the CMU community by nature of where I live this year.

3)    Is this guy even good at writing?
Well, I suppose you can be the judge of that. But if it comforts you at all, I’m a Communications and Media student at CMU. Most of my degree has consisted of classes that focus on things like journalism and communication theory.  I’ve had the opportunity to put the skills I’ve learned in these courses into practice by writing for The Doxa, as well as working as a journalist for the Winnipeg Sun this past summer. So hopefully I’ve learned some things from those experiences.
4)    What does this guy like to do in his spare time?
Jason Friesen at the mens volleyball final.I’ll be honest, I’m a huge sports fan. I love to play sports (particularly volleyball) and I love to watch sports (particularly the Winnipeg Jets). But I like to think I’m not one-dimensional. I also love music. Though I wouldn’t consider myself a fantastic performer of music, you will probably see me singing along in chapel, or singing to the radio in my car. But I sure do love to listen to it!

5)    What’s been the biggest thing I’ve learned through my CMU experiences so far?
Everybody has a story to tell, and everybody has a story worth telling. I truly believe that if told well, anybody’s story can be intriguing. So many of us think that our stories are not unique, or not worthy of sharing. But if you look at them from the proper angle, and use the right words, you can turn what you might think is an ordinary story into something people can’t wait to read or hear!


The wonderful world of Winnipeg

“Why Winnipeg?” has been the question I’ve been asked the most since I moved here. “It’s too cold, there isn’t much to do here!” are some of the things you might hear. Winnipeg is a city bustling with activities designed for all sorts of tastes and season.

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