Parent & Supporters Guide
Congratulations on your student’s admission to the University of Guelph! Entering university can be both an exciting and challenging time for you and your student. This guide provides an overview of some of the key events, deadlines, and milestones that your student may experience in each month. The guide also provides some questions and resources that you can look and discuss with your student.
Family and Supporters Welcome
The START Team hosted two Family and Supporter Welcomes in August 2023. Watch the recording here.
Resources on Campus
Parents and families are some of the biggest supports for students while they are at university, even though the support may look a little different. We want to provide you with the resources available at UofG, so you can recommend and encourage your student to visit them.
For Undergraduate students the Undergraduate Academic Information Centre (UAIC) is the first point of contact for information and advice about academic program issues. This can include referrals to an academic advisor or other supports.
This calendar has an overview of all the important dates and deadlines for your student’s academic year. This calendar also provides more information on rules, regulations, and policies for the University of Guelph. View the calendar.
Enrolment Services provides services to students such as student records, transcripts, confirmation of enrolment, grades and course selection.
Hospitality Services is responsible for the meal plans on campus, the campus cards, dining on campus, and much more.
The Library provides many resources, workshops, and one on one appointments to support students in their academic journey while at UofG.
The Off-Campus Gryphons Nest is a Microsoft Teams Page specifically for those commuting to UofG and not living in Residence. Students will have access to Gryphons Nest Facilitators who will host office hours, events, and answer questions.
The Student Financial Services Parent website was created specifically for new students and parents. It provides a checklist of that Student Financial Services has created to assist new students and their parents.
Student Housing Services has designed this website to provide you information on how you can assist your student with their transition to University.
Student Wellness Services is comprised of 7 different units that all support the health and wellbeing of students. Students can access counselling services, health services and much more through this department.
A Year Overview (2023-2024)
- Leading up to the start of University, students are both excited and nervous for the start of the semester. They may experience excitement and anxiety about leaving home and their support network.
There are plenty of resources to help students prepare for their semester ahead;
- Direct your student to visit the new student website; startuofg.ca and to participate in START UofG sessions!
- Ask them to visit the Shine This Year website to hear stories from upper year students about their transition to U of G, and for an overview of mental health supports and programs both on and off campus.
- If your student has a disability and needs to register with Student Accessibility Services, they can begin that process before they step foot on campus!
- Explore Student Wellness Services! This is the on-campus resource for all things mental and physical health, including Health Services, Counselling, Accessibility Services, Wellness Education & Promotion, and Sexual Violence Support.
- June 1st - Deadline to pay the residence deposit
- June 15th - Deadline for International Students to pay their Deposit
- July 31st – Meal Plan selection opens on WebAdvisor
- Week of July 24th - Tuition bills posted on WebAdvisor
- August 11th - $200 Undergraduate Tuition Deposit is due (International students who have previously paid the international deposit do not have to pay this fee)
- August 21st – In-person Family and Supporters Welcom
- August 24th – Virtual Family and Supporters Welcome
- August 24th – Meal Plan selection closes on WebAdvisor
- August 29th – September 2st – START International
- August 31st- September 1st – START Indigenous
In September, your student will be experiencing many new things and trying to establish a community on campus. They might also be feeling homesick, anxious about the adjustment, or struggling to meet new people – all of this is very normal!
There are plenty of resources to help your student adjust to university life:
- Orientation Week is a week full of activities to help your student adjust to the campus, academic expectations, and to find a new community on campus. Encourage your student to download the I Am A Gryphon App to view and check out Gryphlife.ca to view all the events and activities.
- Fall Semester payment is due in mid-September. Check the Student Financial Services Dates & Deadlines page for more information. Students should refer to their WebAdvisor account to see their financial statement. Students can look into financial aid to help pay for their time at university or explore employment opportunities.
- Is your student needing to take care of their physical health? Our Health Services team can provide all medical care that your student would normally receive from their family doctor. Did you know that we also have a pharmacy, optometrist, dentist, dietitian, and more right on campus?
- Does your student just need to talk to someone who understands what it’s like being a student? The Student Support Network offers peer-to-peer drop-in counselling provided by student volunteers who receive extensive training in active listening and communication skills who are here to help those who are struggling.
- September 1st to 10th – Orientation Week for all New Students
- September 7th – First day of classes
- September 15th - Fall semester tuition payment due
In October, students are exploring all aspects of being a student. This can look like getting more involved, learning to balance academics and social life, as well as preparing for mid-term season. During this month, students may also begin to struggle more with their academics and mental health. October great time to check-in with your student and ask how they are doing, now that the hustle and bustle of September has settled down.
Resources for October and mid-term season:
- Being involved on campus can help your student find their sense of community and they are engaged as a gryphon. There are over 200 clubs on campus from interest to identity based. Student Experience offers many resources that can help your student navigate the many ways to be involved on campus.
- When students are looking for mental health support, they often don’t know where to start. That’s why we have Student Wellness Navigators! Students connecting with Counselling Services for the first time will be booked for a 20-30 minute appointment with a Student Wellness Navigator within 24-48 hours of contacting us. The Navigators will clarify what you need and create a plan for support by accessing resources within Counseling, Wellness Education programs, the larger University or even off-campus. Students can call 519-824-4120 ext. 52131 to make an appointment.
- In collaboration with the Library, Student Wellness offers the "Thriving in Action" workshop series, which integrates techniques for building motivation, optimism, and resilience with advanced learning strategies that hone time management, note-taking, and exam preparation skills. In each workshop, students learn and practice both wellness and learning strategies. Students can view upcoming dates on GryphLife.
- October 9th – Holiday Monday (no classes)
- October 10th – Fall Study Break Day
- October 11th – Classes Resume
In November, some students will still have midterms, while others will turn their focus to final projects and getting prepared for December exams. During this time students may be feeling a bit drained. Students will also start to receive midterms marks back, and may be looking to adjust their academic skills based on how they feel about their grades.
Resources and Supports for November:
- The Wellness Education & Promotion Centre offers a number of different workshops and peer-to-peer programs developed to help students build better habits, connect with peers, learn about health and wellness issues that are relevant to them, and more. Students can also access virtual resources like information Kits on a variety of topics, and on-demand webinars.
- The McLaughlin Library offers workshops and appointments for students on a variety of different topics, such as; procrastination, study skills, time management, and much more.
- Family and supporter encouragement goes a long way towards helping your student stay motivated and uplifted. Check-in with your student on how they are doing, or encourage them to participate in an activity they love.
- During the month of November you will be selecting their courses for the Winter semester!
In December, students are preparing and taking their final exams for the semester. They are also getting excited for the well-deserved winter break, and reflecting on how their first semester has played out. Students may also reflect on their habits from the Fall semester and decide what they would like to keep and change when moving into the Winter semester.
Resources and Supports for December:
- Encourage your student to check out a Stress-Buster event! Many campus services, clubs, and societies run fun events for students to help them take a break from preparing for exams.
- If your student is stressed or struggling with exams, encourage them to explore Student Wellness’ resources and services.
- Your student can review the Library’s resources on preparing for and writing exams. They can also book an appointment with a Library staff member who can provide advice and information on effective exam preparation!
- Last day of classes – December 1st
- Final Exam period – December 4th – December 15th
January is a fresh start for students! Students may be reflecting on the challenges and successes of the previous semester, and how they can adapt and change for the Winter term.
Resources for January:
Snow Days: Winter Orientation takes place in January to help welcome new students back to campus. These are a great way for students to re-adjust to campus life and explore resources and clubs and societies
The USHINE Program is a peer mentorship program for students looking to develop lifelong successful habits to boost well-being. Students meet one-to-one with a USHINE Peer Mentor to identify wellness goals and create action plans around topics like sleep, nutrition, exercise, substance use, and more. Students can register at any time by emailing email@example.com.
The Bounce Back program is a voluntary peer-to-peer program for students who received grades 65% or lower in the Fall semester. Students are paired with an upper year facilitator who can direct students to academic supports and help students create academic goals.
- First day of classes for Winter Semester – January 8th
In February many students will be preparing for mid-term exams and assignments. Students will be looking forward to the reading break, and may be starting to think about summer jobs and finding housing for their second year.
Resources for February:
The Off-Campus Living Team provides a number of services for students, including providing resources and advising for students looking to rent off campus, transit information, and neighbourhood and community information.
Encourage your student to check out a Supported Learning Group (SLG) for their classes. These are free peer-led study groups help on a weekly basis to help students taking historically challenging courses.
- Winter Break begins – February 19th
- Winter Break ends and classes resume – February 26th
In March, students continue to move forward with their academics and continue to think about summer jobs and housing. Many also are getting excited about the end of year approaching. Students may also be feeling the pressure to do well on their final exams.
Resources for March:
- The Experiential Learning Hub (EL) offers many supports and opportunities for students. The EL hub can help students find meaningful co-curricular and volunteer opportunities, and help students prepare for a job search and interviews.
- Students sometimes need support outside of standard business hours. If your student is struggling and needs someone to talk to, there are a number of helplines, websites, and apps available.
- March 29th – Holiday (no scheduled classes on this day)
Like December, students are focused on their final exams in the month of April. There can also be an added layer of excitement and stress as students think about their summer plans. It is important to remind your student of all they have accomplished over the last year as they head into the final weeks of the winter semester.
Resources for April:
- Many campus partners offer StressBuster activities to help students relax, stay well, and be resilient throughout the exam weeks.
- Student Wellness Services remains open throughout the summer semester, and students will still be able to receive support whether they are enrolled in classes for the summer or not!
- Last day of classes for the winter semester – April 8th
- Exam period – April 11th – April 23rd
Do you have a question about how to support your new student or about a resource at the University of Guelph? You can send your question in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Student’s Privacy
When your student enters into the University of Guelph they are considered an adult (regardless of age or experience). It is important that any communication or interaction with the University comes through the student and is done so with their University of Guelph email address.
The University is bound by the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA); provincial legislation that governs the University’s collection, use and sharing of personal information. Under this legislation, University faculty and staff are prohibited from discussing, changing or divulging a student’s personal information. This means that we will not provide you with information on grades, academic progress, financial status, disciplinary history, etc. Your student is always welcome to discuss their university experience with the appropriate University academic or administrative resource.
Should you be concerned for the well-being of your student, we invite you to call us to seek advice on how you can support and help your student, and encourage them to speak with a University resource person if needed. We will be happy to walk you through the range of support services that are available to them. We will gladly reach out to your student to discuss their university experience directly with them.