1. Participate in Week of Welcome and Orientation
All new international students at the University of Alberta are welcome to attend Transitions Orientation , an orientation program that is specifically for international students. Through a series of workshops and tours, international students get tips on adjusting to life in Canada and learn about UAlberta’s academic environment. Transitions also includes lots of social activities so you’ll get a chance to make friends with students from many other different countries who are also beginning their journey at UAlberta.
Run by the Students’ Union, Week of Welcome (WOW) at the University of Alberta happens the first week of fall classes on campus and welcomes both new and old students back to school. All over campus you’ll find free food, events, and activities that you can be a part of. Make sure to walk around campus and enjoy the festive atmosphere during your first week at UAlberta.
2. Join Clubs
As part of Week of Welcome and Orientation, September Clubs Fair is a large event that showcases the many groups on campus. With over 150 participanting groups, from anything to the Gateway (the official UAlberta Newspaper) or the Japanese club, Clubs day is something you for sure don’t want to miss.
3. Ask for Help when you Need It
It is normal to sometimes feel overwhelmed when you move to a new country and are starting your university studies for the first time! If you are feeling like the pressure is too much however, remember to ask for help. There are many student services that provide support for students on campus for anything from the Center for Writers which offers free writing support to all students in any subject, discipline, program, or faculty, and at all levels of study, to the Student Financial Aid Information Centre (SFAIC) which helps assist students in finding the financial resources necessary to fulfill their academic objectives. Just ask your course advisor or the Infolink booths scattered around campus for any help on finding the service you need.
4. Explore the City
One of the biggest mistakes students can make when coming to Edmonton is not spending a few days out of the month to explore Edmonton. This is especially an important thing to do in the first couple weeks when school work hasn’t yet gotten too busy and the weather is nice for exploring. Check out the amazing Alberta Art Gallery Downtown, or visit North America’s biggest mall West Edmonton Mall, walk the river valley, eat on Whyte Ave, all these things will help you gain a better appreciation of your new home and can become good distraction when you’re feeling a little home sick.
5. Assess your University Path Often
Your time at the University of Alberta is a journey – you are expected to try many different things and change your mind. When I first started at the University of Alberta I thought I was so sure I knew what I wanted my major and minor to be….but I ended up changing my mind 5 times! And that’s okay – because in the end I picked the right program and courses for me and I’m so happy I gave myself permission to try so many different things. You should also allow yourself to take a chance and try new and interesting classes because you never know – it could lead to an awesome career change that you never would have thought possible had you not taken a chance.