Start Here for Second Year

Returning for your second year may feel very exciting – you have a year of university experience now.  

Perhaps it will be your first time physically on campus. You may be wondering how you will find your classes, how to use dining services, or how to attend in-person classes in a safe way. Or maybe you found online learning challenging last year and you are anxious about classes this year. If you were one of the few students who were on campus last year, you may be worried about adjusting to more people being on campus. Maybe you are wondering how to make friends or get involved now that more on-campus services and experiences will happen. You might be curious if there are summer and Orientation events for you as a second-year student.  

We are here to support you, no matter what you are feeling. This page is a great place to start. If you have any questions, email start@uoguelph.ca.  

What do I do during the summer? 

Check your email during the summer. Your email will have information about deadlines and summer events. Stay connected in the START at U of G 2020-2021 (Class of 2024) Teams Group. 

Here’s where to find important dates and deadlines for the rest of your time at U of G: 

  • Academics: Dates like the last day to drop a class when the exam period is, and more are found in the Undergraduate Calendar 
  • Finances: If it's not in the Undergraduate Calendar, specific finance deadlines can be found on Student Financial Services website. 
  • Campus and Community: There are many opportunities at U of G to get involved. We encourage you to attend O-Week events to find out about specific clubs and involvement opportunities. Many are listed on GryphLife.ca 

Think proactively about your goals for second-year. Join for summer events to help you get ready for second year. Students do different things during their summer, such as working a summer job, taking summer courses, or volunteering in their community.  

Stay connected over the summer. We’re going to help you get ready for your second year.  

START at U of G 2020-2021 (Class of 2024) 

This group on Teams will continue from last year! Check this team for events, other students who are in your classes, finding housemates, and so much more!   

Summer Events  

Let’s start off second-year on the right path! Join us for summer events on academics, wellness, getting involved, and finances. Here’s what’s coming up: 

SHINE

SHINE is a 7-session interactive workshop series intended to help participants learn skills to boost their overall well-being. Topics include mindfulness, gratitude, and self-compassion. Previous participants report feeling more hopefulness, a greater connection to resources and the UofG community, and a greater sense of well-being after participating in the program. There are currently 2 series being offered; one specifically for LGBTQ2IA+ students, and one open to all students. Interested students can register for an upcoming session on GryphLife.ca or email wellness@uoguelph.ca for more information.   

  • LGBTQ2IA+ session: June 8 – June 29; 12:30 – 1:30 PM; Bi-weekly on Tuesdays & Thursdays   

  • General 1: May 31 – June 21; 1:00 – 2:00 PM or 7:30 – 8:30 PM; Bi-weekly on Mondays & Wednesdays  

The Body Project 

The Body Project is an educational workshop that aims to promote positive body image, reduce body shaming, and encourage folks to accept themselves as they are. Each workshop involves two, two-hour sessions. Upcoming workshops are posted on GryphLife.ca. 

Learning Specialist Appointments 

Students can book appointments throughout the spring and summer to meet with a learning specialist. These appointments can help with: 

  • Practicing presentations and receiving feedback 

  • Identifying strategies for staying motivated, managing time and reducing procrastination 

  • Developing and refining strategies for notetaking, reading, and preparing for exams 

Orientation Week - The Second Year Experience 

Loved Orientation in first year? Didn’t get to attend all the events you wanted to? Don’t worry! Orientation Week 2021 will include plenty of activities and events catered to second years. Keep checking your email and GryphLife.ca throughout the summer for updates! 

Want to get involved with Orientation Week as a volunteer? Sign up here.   

Re-START International Orientation: supports returning international students’ transition in Guelph and Canada while making new connections. We understand that you may be in Guelph for the first time, and moving to Canada can certainly be a big change. The International Student Office at the University of Guelph is here to support you. We will keep you posted about Re-START International Orientation! 

Fall Programs - Mentorship  

Want to connect with an upper-year student mentor as you begin second year? Check out these options:   

  • Academic Action Program: For students in all years who would like to enhance their academic potential. Students meet with their academic coach, a trained upper-year student or staff member, throughout the semester. Support is tailored to each student’s needs, but often focuses on setting goals, staying motivated, reducing procrastination, and making academic transitions. Sign up in September or email learning@uoguelph.ca for more information.  

  • The Student-Athlete Mentor (SAM) Program: For student athletes, the SAM program is tailored to their unique needs, which improves academic performance. The program provides a supportive environment for student athletes where they connect with mentors, upper-year student athletes who are empathetic, open-minded and trained to assist and refer on academic, athletic, and personal topics.     

  • CORE (Creating Opportunities for Racial Equity) Mentorship Program: Pairs BIPOC students in the second year and above with a BIPOC faculty or staff member at U of G or a community professional in an area of interest to the student. CORE intends to support academic success and retention, and social engagement and networking by helping students navigate barriers and challenges they might experience and build skills that will support them in achieving their academic and professional goals. Contact Alexis Charles (she/her), Coordinator of Cultural Diversity Programs at charlesa@uoguelph.ca for more information.   

  • Conversation Partners Program: The Conversation Partners Program is for students who wish to be paired with a volunteer to practice and improve their spoken English. You can sign up for the program here from June – September.   

  • LINK Program: The LINK Program connects new international students with current Guelph students to help ease the transition into Canadian culture and life at the University of Guelph. This is a great way to get involved in your new community! Students can sign up from June–September here.  

  • USHINE: USHINE is a peer-to-peer mentorship program where participants can get 1-on-1 support from a trained peer mentor while they work towards building healthier habits of their choosing. Participants will set and work towards goals related to any area of their health and well-being. For more information or to sign-up, email ushine@uoguelph.ca    

Need help choosing? Email start@uoguelph.ca

Living Off-Campus in Guelph 

For housing, most upper-year students rent off-campus in the city of Guelph.  

Students who are interested in living off-campus in Guelph in September are looking at rentals now. If you haven’t yet explored living off-campus, the Off-Campus Living (OCL) office is your resource. OCL is happy to connect about next steps and what to consider, including rental websites and tips on how to find roommates. Email them at ocl@uoguelph.ca or book a meeting with an OCL advisor here. To find rental listings for students, faculty, and staff near the University of Guelph, search our rental listing website at Places4Students.com.   

If you’ll be using public transit while living in Guelph, make sure to check the bus routes nearby so that you’ll be able to make it to your classes and other commitments easily. You can find bus schedules, where to load your On Your Way card, and trip planning resources on the Guelph Transit - City of Guelph website here

Commuting to Guelph 

Some students choose to commute from a nearby city or town by public transit or personal vehicle. Looking at commuting in from a neighbouring city or thinking about making trips outside of Guelph? You can check out the Triplinx Trip planner here or email ocl@uoguelph.ca for planning support.   

If you will be using a personal vehicle to get to campus, budget for the cost of parking on campus. You can find information about costs and where you can park on the Campus Parking Services website. Check that where you’ll be living has parking availability, too.   

Residence   

Due to the high demand from new incoming first-year students, Student Housing is unable to guarantee housing for returning upper-year students currently. After all first-year students who have met the June 1 deadline have been assigned, residence placements will be offered to second year students using a lottery system. Successful applicants will be contacted after June 15. 

As a result of this high demand, we encourage you to explore off-campus options. If you do not receive an offer and choose to stay on the upper-year residence waiting list, but cancel your application while on the waiting list, you’ll receive a full refund of your residence deposit. Read more about the waiting list here

Navigating campus for the first time? Many second-year students will be visiting campus for the very first time. You’re not alone!  

Over the summer, we’ll be sharing helpful information about navigating campus. And, Orientation events will help, too.  

In the meantime, check out this map here that gives you an overview of campus and where to find certain buildings. Students often use the website ClassFind to look up the building and room they have class in and to get a visual walk-through of how to get there! Unsure what building your class is in? You can check out the Building Abbreviations page here. 

If you’re living off-campus in the fall, you’ll likely want a bus pass to help you get around town. In Guelph, your bus pass is carried on an ‘On Your Way’ card. This is a pre-loadable card, that can be loaded with individual trips, a monthly pass, or a post-secondary pass. More information on how and where to purchase your card is on the CSA website here.  

If you will be using a personal vehicle to get to campus, budget for the cost of parking on campus. You can find information about costs and where you can park on the Campus Parking Services website. Check that where you’ll be living has parking availability, too.   

Whether you are learning online or in person, the jump from first to second year can feel overwhelming. Perhaps your first year did not go according to plan, or maybe you are feeling nervous about what Fall 2021 will bring. These feelings are completely normal, and a key part of university is learning how to overcome setbacks. No matter how you are feeling about this transition, we are here to provide you with support and resources! 

What is resilience? 

Resilience is one’s ability to positively cope with stress and to bounce back to a previous state of functioning. Resilience is not a fixed state. You may be more resilient at different times during the semester. Most importantly, resilience can be learned, practiced and strengthened.  

Why is resiliency important? 

All individuals will face challenges and setbacks during university. Challenges may include things like: 

  • Failing a midterm or not passing a course. 

  • Difficulty finding a sense of community. 

  • Housemate conflicts. 

  • Financial stressors. 

  • Living away from home.  

  • Making friends. 

  • Navigating health concerns. 

  • Maintaining work/life balance. 

  • Getting around Guelph/Campus. 

Learning to work through these challenges is necessary, but also offers a powerful opportunity for enhancing growth and personal awareness.  

Resilient people are more likely to... 

  • Meet the demands of their academic work and personal lives successfully. 

  • Take action to deal with challenges, problems and setbacks.  

  • Seek support and assistance when they need it. 

  • Know when to stop, rest and replenish their inner resources. 

  • Have a strong sense of independence and self-worth. 

  • Form and maintain positive relationships with others.  

  • Have a sense of purpose and goals for the future.  

How do I build resilience? 

Social Engagement – Building positive peer relationships and avoiding social isolation is one of the best ways to build resilience. Fostering supportive connections are known to be an important factor of student success. 

This may include - joining a student club, volunteering, or practicing random acts of kindness. 

Self-awareness – Self-awareness is your ability to understand your own strengths, weakness, emotions and motivations. These thoughts and attitudes support your emotional and physical health.  

This may include - ensuring you are getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, practicing self-compassion, and learning to manage stress.  

Meaning - Research shows that finding purpose in a task can contribute to a positive outlook and increased feelings of satisfaction.  

This may include - developing realistic goals, finding ways to embrace change, helping others, or reflecting on what is going well/and what is not. 

Growth Mindset - Developing a growth mindset allows you to learn from challenges, and through this strengthen your abilities.  

This may include - not comparing yourself to others, viewing challenges as opportunities to grow, prioritizing your own learning, and applauding your efforts.  

Online Resources 

We encourage you to check out the following materials and use what you find helpful. 

Disclaimer about Links: The online services listed below are not meant to replace a face-to-face consultation with a trained counsellor, nor do these services provide online counselling. The listing of these websites and resources does not imply Counselling Services or its staff endorses all the information that is included.  

Looking for additional support/resources? Check out Student Wellness Services

Last year wasn’t what many new students expected their first year of university to be like. For some, that was extremely challenging.  Many felt loss from not experiencing the O-Week or residence they expected. Others are grateful for a year devoted to their classes. And some feel nervous about what next year will bring.  

No matter what you are feeling, just know that it is completely normal to feel this way. Many second-year students feel the same way, and we are trying our best to anticipate these very normal feelings. University is a learning experience - not just academically - and the University is here to support you with these transitions.  

U of G’s Wellness Services has many resources to support you, including during the summer, as you transition into second year:  

There are also Student Experience advisors who can assist you in getting the help you need. Appointments can be booked with the Cultural Diversity Advisor, Indigenous Student Advisor, International Student Advisor, or Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor. Click here to book a meeting with an Advisor. 

International Students 

Cultural Adjustment 

It takes time to adapt and integrate into a new culture, especially for international students who move away from a familiar culture in your home country. It is a completely normal phenomenon, and it is experienced by all international students at some point and in some form during their stay in a new country.​ If you are feeling homesick, try some of the strategies below:  

  • Getting involved in some aspect of Canadian culture. 

  • Eating, sleeping, and exercising well. 

  • Maintaining contact with friends and families. 

  • Joining cultural clubs on campus to meet new people and do things that remind you of home. 

  • Adopting an open mind for new experiences. 

You are encouraged to chat with one of the International Student Advisors when you are going through the process of cultural adjustment. 

UHIP for International Students 

There are two health insurance plans available to University of Guelph international students and their families: the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) and the Student Benefit Plan.  

The UHIP fee is compulsory, and it is charged as part of your tuition and fees which can be viewed on WebAdvisor. All international students paying international fees will automatically be enrolled in UHIP (single coverage). See the most current rates on the Student Financial Services website. 

Your UHIP card will be sent to your U of G email by SunLife, the UHIP insurance company, during the first week of class. You will not be able to use medical services, even emergency services, without your UHIP card. Make sure to save your UHIP card and carry a copy with you. 

Read “Health Insurance” to learn more about health insurance for international students here. 

What if I am an international student living outside of Canada? 

Keep.meSAFE by guard.me provides University of Guelph International students with real-time and appointment-based confidential support, anytime of the day or night from anywhere in the world!  

Get matched with a counsellor that speaks your language, is from your culture, or has a shared experience for any school, health, or general life concern at no cost to you. Real-time support is available via telephone and chat. Appointment-based support is available over the phone, via video and in-person (in-person is currently limited due to COVID-19 restrictions).   

Through our free My SSP app, access a wide variety of multilingual self-help resources, including articles, videos, and assessment tools.    

There are several ways to learn more and connect: 

  • Call or chat with a counsellor directly from the My SSP app available for download through App Stores by searching “My SSP” or the links can be found on the website below: 

  • Call us directly at 1.844.451.9700  

  • Visit the Keep.meSafe website to find out more information. 

Athletics 

No matter where you find yourself this year – on-campus or off-campus – Gryphon Athletics remains committed to delivering innovative programs, services and experiences that promote and advance sport, physical, social and emotional health and wellness.  

The University of Guelph Department of Athletics is currently closed as Ontario implemented a province-wide emergency brake shut down. For the Department of Athletics, this includes registered programs, fitness memberships and facility rentals.   

Outdoor Fitness & Recreation Opportunities expand: Get outside and stay active with us as our outdoor recreation opportunities continue in July. We are offering outdoor fitness classes and an outdoor fitness drop-in area that is fully equipped for you. Please continue to check https://gryphons.ca/reservations for an up-to-date schedule and availability. We will be adding times and opportunities as we can. Bookings will open up seven days in advance. More Info 

We are working hard to welcome you back into our other facilities. To maintain best practices, we will be implementing a phased approach to re-opening each facility. Use this website as a reference for our COVID-19 related re-opening procedures so you know what to expect and when. Please continue to check here & our social media accounts for updated information as it becomes available. 

Virtual Fitness and Recreation Resources: 

  • GryphFit App: Download the GryphFit app to access class schedules, create goals and participate in club challenges. You can download the app from the Apple Store here or Google Play here.  

  • Gryphon Fitness On-Demand: Provides a library of Gryphon Instructors teaching some of your favourite classes. Access is free to current U of G Students. Use your single sign-on credentials to gain access. 

U of G offers resources to help you learn about everything related to finances, jobs, and how you approach money as a student. Plan ahead, budget, and know when to ask for help. It's also important that you plan your finances for your entire academic career and not just one year at a time. To help students plan their finances, Student Financial Services has created a Student Financial Success Guide

Budgeting 

If you’re a second-year student living away from home, you may have new things to budget for. Budgeting for tuition and school supplies is important, but so is budgeting for groceries, rent, and transit! If you’re a student who will be commuting in a personal vehicle to campus for the first time, you will also want to budget for the cost of gas and a campus parking pass.  

Student Financial Services has a whole webpage dedicated to helping students budget. There are also videos about how to cook on a budget! Visit their website for tips and resources about budgeting.  

For help building your budget, try out the Budget Planner tool from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. It will help you map out all your potential expenses. It will also give you alerts to signify categories where you may be overspending (based on averages). Try to think ahead and set aside some money in case of emergencies. And don’t forget, a budget is not a one-time activity! You should continue to review your budget and see if it matches how much you’re actually spending. 

If something unexpected happens with finances at any time during school, reach out to Student Financial Services for help. 

Loans, Scholarships, and Bursaries 

Students who have completed one full year of studies at U of G can apply for in-course scholarships. Browse the available awards and their application requirements using the award search tool

Things to keep in mind for OSAP:  

  • You need to start a new OSAP application for each funding year. (The OSAP funding year starts with the fall semester.) The application is usually available by early May on the OSAP website
  • If you received OSAP in first year and do not wish to have OSAP for second year, but are a full-time student, you should complete an online Continuation of Interest-Free Status (CIFS) form through the OSAP website
  • Check out the OSAP FAQs for more information. 

Looking to work while a student? 

If you are looking for employment on campus, Experience Guelph is a great resource that allows students to search for jobs on and off campus and submit applications directly through the portal. Some departments also list their employment opportunities directly through their websites such as the CSA and Brass Taps (the Campus pub). So, keep an eye out on departmental websites as well! 

Part-time positions are also available through the Work Study Program for students who demonstrate financial need and are taking at least 1.5 credits. To determine your eligibility for the program, you will need to submit a Financial Need Assessment form, which will be available in mid-August. For more information on eligibility and the application process, visit the Work Study section of the Student Financial Services website

Want to spruce up your cover letter and resume? Looking to improve your interview skills? Career Services offers free appointments with Peer Helpers and Career Advisors that can go over your cover letter and resume with you, help you prepare for an upcoming interview, or even learn how to approach faculty members to ask for references.   

International Students 

Looking for a job? Check out Working in Canada for resources and details on how to find a job. The webpage Immigration Documents and Permits also highlights which documents and permits are needed when working in Canada. 

Not sure how to pay your tuition? PayMyTuition is a new payment option for international tuition payments. It allows you to pay your tuition from any bank, in any country, in any currency at better than bank exchange rates. Learn more about PayMyTuition, and read the step-by-step instructions for using this new payment method. 

International students can use the Award Search Tool to identify scholarships that require an application and to check eligibility criteria. International students should also check the eligibility criteria for In-Course Bursaries. If you are eligible, you can apply for an in-course bursary by submitting an "International Student Financial Need Assessment" form (available on the Student Financial Services Forms and Documents page).   

New international students who have been awarded an International Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship are eligible to receive a renewal amount of $4,000 for each of their second, third and fourth years of study as long as they meet all renewal criteria each year. Read more about International Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships

BIPOC Students  

Many students rely on financial aid to fund their education. You can find a list here of external bursaries, scholarships and scholarship portals, some of which are particularly geared towards BIPOC students (both undergraduate and graduate). We hope that you find this useful, and encourage you to connect with us and the staff in Student Financial Services for more information about additional financial aid offered through the University of Guelph.   

First Nations, Inuit and Métis Students 

The Indigenous Student Centre (ISC) provides resources for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students and offers programs and services to support your transition to university life. The ISC is your connection to the U of G Indigenous community, including other new and upper year students, and the ISC staff who are available to support you throughout your journey at U of G. 

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Students who demonstrate financial need can receive up to $3,500 through the Indigenous Student Bursary. To apply, submit the Indigenous Student Bursary application form and the Financial Need Assessment form to Student Financial Services by October 7 2021. The forms are available on the Student Financial Services Forms and Documents page. If you are looking for more support, you can connect with the Indigenous Advisor or with the staff in Student Financial Services for more information about additional financial aid offered through the University of Guelph.   

LGBTQ2IA+ Students  

If you find yourself in a unique or challenging financial situation, whether because of your sexual or gender identity or another barrier in your life, we have supports for you. You can connect with Jarred, the Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor, and there are staff at Student Financial Services that can assist with OSAP, bursaries, emergency financial assistance, budget counselling, and much more. 

Students with Accessibility Needs 

At the University of Guelph, we believe that the educational experience of university should be open to every student who is academically qualified. This includes financial assistance for students with disabilities. There are staff at Student Financial Services that can assist with financial information, navigating financial assistance, and more.   

Tips from Our Upper Year Students 

  • An easy way to cut your expenses is by buying used textbooks and course materials when possible. Both the Campus Bookstore and the Co-op Bookstore sell used materials.  

  • Looking to make an extra bit of cash? Both bookstores also have a textbook buyback program where you can sell textbooks that are in good condition back to the University! Buyback usually operates at the beginning and end of semesters. 

  • Some textbooks and course materials are offered in loose leaf or online PDF versions. These are often less expensive than hardcopy textbooks! If you are unsure about your options, feel free to ask the bookstore staff! 

  • Many stores offer discounts for University of Guelph students (on a certain day each week, like ‘Tuesdays’, or for every purchase). When you pay, share that you are a U of G student to find out about discounts. 

  • Make a list when shopping for groceries and stick to it. Find a friend to share the cost of bulk items and don't shop at a convenience store where items are usually more expensive. 

  • Enjoy free activities on campus and in the community; this is a great way to meet other students at a lower cost! 

Academic Advising 

The University of Guelph is committed to providing every undergraduate student with high-quality academic advising in order to help you achieve your academic objectives.  

Some questions you can ask an academic advisor include: How do I select a major? How do I change majors? What if I’m not doing well this year? What if I have to go on academic probation? What courses should I take? 

There are two types of academic advisors: 

If you have a general question, start with the UAIC (Undergraduate Academic Information Centre). They are a first point of contact for academic questions, information, and resources.  

Career Advising

Career Advisors continue to support students throughout the summer months and are available for appointments through video calls using Microsoft Teams. Career Advisors can support you with job searching, interview preparation, career development, further education planning, and much more!  

You can book an appointment by loging into to your Experience Guelph account. In the left-hand menu, click on "Career" and then "Appointments".  

Additionally, check out the Appointment FAQs page to our answers to common concerns! 

You may find your classes in second year to be more demanding. There is often an increase in what is expected of you now that you have completed your first year. You might also find that, after a year of online courses with few extracurricular options, finding a balance between coursework and other activities can be challenging. Although this may feel daunting, students can seek support and access the resources available to them early to stay on top of things. 

The University Classroom  

You may have never been in a university classroom before. Neither have most other second-year students. During the summer, check out our summer events where we’ll talk about how to prepare for an in-person university classroom.  

Preparing for the Hybrid Classroom 

The University of Guelph is looking forward to a vibrant on-campus experience this fall. As public health and government regulations change, we’ll adapt our plans, always keeping safety as our top priority. Click here for the most up-to-date information on campus plans for Fall 2021. 

During course enrolment, you’ll notice that there will be options for online or in-person classes, so what does this look like for you? 

  • In-Person Learning: We are currently planning for a significant number of courses at all year levels to be offered face-to-face or to include in-person components such as labs or tutorials.  

  • Blended Learning: These courses will combine face-to-face sessions and online aspects. Online materials and activities are meant to build upon face-to-face components, rather than replace them altogether.  

If you select an online course, here’s what to expect: 

Online Learning: Online learning can be synchronous (in real time) or asynchronous (to be completed at your own pace). The University of Guelph has learned a lot about remote teaching over the past year and we will continue to offer our students an experience that reflects the best of it.  

Synchronous (AD-S; VIRTUAL): Synchronous learning happens in real time. This means that you, your classmates, and your instructor interact through a specific online medium (e.g., Zoom), at a specific time (e.g., 9:30am to 10:20am, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) for some or all course activities. Attendance at a specific location is not expected for any activities or exams. 

Asynchronous (AD-A; REMOTE): Asynchronous learning happens without the need for real-time interaction. It has no requirement for attendance at a specific time or location for any activities. Your instructor will provide materials for reading, lectures for viewing, and assignments and assessments with deadlines through CourseLink. You can access the material and satisfy these requirements based on your own schedule. 
 
One example of asynchronous learning at U of G is Distance Education (DE), which uses a variety of tools and resources to provide students with a flexible online learning experience. DE courses will display differently than other asynchronous courses on WebAdvisor; please see the "How will courses display on WebAdvisor" section. 

First time enrolled in an on-campus course? Here are some tips: 

  • If you know you will be late for a class, consider contacting the professor ahead of time to let them know why you're joining midway.  

  • If you are late for a class unexpectedly, engage respectfully. This may mean coming into a large lecture quietly through the back of the class and apologizing to the professor after class. 

  • If you are sick and must miss a class, let your professor know as soon as possible. There may be additional information to provide, or steps you need to follow.   

  • If you have doubts that you will be able to finish an assignment on time, we recommend that you proactively reach out to your professor before the deadline to discuss options with them. 

  • If you miss a deadline for an unexpected reason such as being sick or a personal emergency you should let the instructor know as soon as possible. You may have to review the Process for Academic Consideration and Appeals chart and see your Program Counsellor.  

  • Use available resources proactively. For example, some of the best students proactively use the Writing Centre to ensure that their writing skills are strong before submitting university papers. 

  • Each instructor has a preference for how they want to be addressed. Call a professor by how they introduce themselves. Did they say Dr. Albert Einstein, Mr. Einstein, Professor Einstein, or Albert? If you are unsure, ask.   

Additional Support 

U of G has offered online courses for years, and the U of G Library has been supporting students in succeeding in them. The library has developed a guide to online learning; it covers a variety of topics like transitioning to online learning, testing online, presenting online, and other resources. 

Making a Schedule 

Many students will be welcomed to campus in the Fall for the first time so creating a schedule will be a little different than it was for virtual learning.  

When selecting courses, it’s important to consider what buildings your classes will be held in and the time it takes to get from one location to the next. There’s nothing worse than having back-to-back classes on opposite ends of campus! When possible, you should also try to arrive 10 minutes early for class. This gives you some time to find a seat and get settled before the class starts.  

You may also have a mix of in-person and virtual classes so try and make sure you’ll have enough time in-between classes to find a quiet and comfortable space to attend your virtual classes. Or perhaps you may try to attend your virtual classes in your living space to avoid the hustle and bustle of campus. 

If you’re interested in some tools or strategies to help you create a manageable schedule or find time for all of the things that you want to do, the library has downloadable calendars and schedules, tips for managing your time, and appointments for personalized advice. 

The Library 

The library continues to support students during the summer semester. Visit the library’s website and follow them on social to learn about upcoming workshops you may be interested in and resources  available for you like online appointments and how-to guides.  

You can book appointments for support with writing, research, English language support, studying, time management, presentations, group work, and more! If group work is something you need support with, the library can provide strategies for creating a study group and for working effectively on group projects – even if you’re meeting online with other students who live in different time zones. 

Accessibility for Academics 

If you have questions about accessibility for your academics this upcoming year, summer is the time to reach out to Student Accessibility Services at accessibility@uoguelph.ca.  

International Students 

Looking for help?  

An International Student Advisor would be happy to chat with you about any questions you have regarding your degree at the University of Guelph and moving to Canada. 

If English isn’t your first language, the Library provides English Language Support which can help with: reading, writing, listening, pronunciation, and communication.  

If you would like to improve your spoken English, you can join the Conversation Café. It is a welcoming and informal space for peer-led discussions and activities. You will get to share your cultures and improve your conversational English in a comfortable and welcoming environment.  

Tips from our Upper Year Students 

  • There’s no shame in taking part-time studies instead of full-time studies. Only about 20% of U of G students graduate in four years, and many take longer than ‘normal’ to graduate. It is all about finding out what works best for you.  

  • It is okay to change your mind about your degree program. As you move through university you will begin to realize what you are passionate about and explore courses that interest you. You are not stuck! 

  • Declaring a minor is a great way to diversify your degree and take courses you would not normally enroll in. 

  • Do not be afraid to ask for extensions! When I felt sick in first year, I just pushed through it. I was scared that the professor would not give me extra time. If you need the time, just ask! Professors are people too, and most are very understanding. The worst that your professor can say is “no.” 

  • Contact your Teaching Assistants (TA) or professor for extra feedback on assignments, especially if you are not sure where you went wrong. This can give you a lot of insight into where you can do better in the future, or an idea of what campus resources may be helpful to you. 

  • Go to your professor’s office hours; this is a great way to get to know your profs! Professors help students in many aspects of university, not just with academic support. Professors have many connections and can help you find unique opportunities for research, work, volunteering etc.  

  • Find a good study spot that is not your bedroom. This could be somewhere on campus, a coffee shop, or even outside! Studying outside of your bedroom helps to create more separation between your work life and your personal life. Plus, changing up your location is a great way to stay on task and limit distractions while you work. 

  • If your classes are online, try and make a schedule that would resemble a normal school day (and stick to it!). This routine will help you stay motivated long-term.  

  • It is important to take breaks throughout the day and move your body. This can be as simple as taking a walk or stretching! The Arboretum is a great place to go for a walk and break up your study sessions.  

  • Get to know other students in your classes and degree program. Studying with friends can show you new perspectives on the course content, reinforce your learning, and is a lot more fun!  

  • If you have multiple classes in a day and live off campus, come prepared to spend a whole day on campus. Pack snacks, a water bottle, laptop, chargers, etc. Forgetting one of these things can really throw you off and make your entire day a lot less productive! 

  • Prioritize self-care! Finding hobbies that you find restorative can do wonders for preventing student burnout. Make sure that you take care of the basics first. For example, eat a good meal, get enough sleep, get outside, and spend time with people you care about. All these things will be the difference between short term and long-term success; remember that your schoolwork will always be there. 

Being a Gryphon means getting involved. With the university planning to have a more vibrant on-campus experience in the fall, you might be thinking… How can I make friends? How should I get involved on campus or in Guelph? Where do I start?  

Before then, here’s some ideas for how you can plan to get involved on campus: 

Clubs 

Did you know that the University of Guelph has 100+ clubs? The Club Directory provides a comprehensive list of clubs that are currently available at the University. If nothing is catching your eye, you can form your own club! CSA Clubs outlines how you can form a new club here. 

Gryphons Read 

Gryphons Read is your university book club. This program encourages University of Guelph students from every discipline and around the world to connect through reading and conversation. Whether you love reading or you’re interested in meeting new people, Gryphons Read is for you. This year’s book is Vivek Shraya’s The Subtweet, a novel that explores friendship, the music industry and identity in our contemporary Canadian landscape. To register for the program and receive your FREE copy of The Subtweet, please fill out this short form here. 

Please direct any question or concerns about the program to gryphonsread@uoguelph.ca.  

Jobs & Volunteering  

Some students work while studying at U of G. You can earn while you learn! Throughout the year, on- and off-campus job opportunities are posted on Experience Guelph. As a new student, you gain access to Experience Guelph around the first week of September.   

Work Study program  

Work Study is a part-time job program to assist students with demonstrated financial need meet their educational costs by working part-time during their registered term. This program is available for eligible students after the approval of a Financial Need Assessment form. To determine if you are eligible for the Work Study program, look at the Student Financial Services’ information on the Work Study programFinancial Needs Assessment Forms are now available for the fall and winter semesters. Submit the form to Student Financial Services to apply for an in-course bursary or for approval for the Work Study Program.  

Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) program 

The Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) program is a competitive program that provides summer research opportunities to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. Students gain invaluable research experience working under the direction of U of G faculty and may expand their knowledge and understanding of their current field of study. 

Undergraduate Student Research Award program   

The Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) program is meant to nurture your interest and fully develop your potential for a research career in the natural sciences and engineering fields through full-time summer employment.  

Indigenous Undergraduate Research Assistantship (IURA) 

The Indigenous Undergraduate Research Assistantships (IURA) are meant to stimulate First Nations, Métis and Inuit students' interest in research and to encourage students to consider pursuing graduate studies. The students will gain research experience, further their insight into their field of study, work with faculty and learn the value of a graduate degree. You can learn more about this program here. 

Co-operative Education 

Co-operative Education is an opportunity available for students registered in a co-op degree program. Guelph’s co-op programs integrate academic studies with related work experience. Co-op students complete paid work terms alternated with academic semesters throughout your degree following a sequence-specific to your academic program.

Volunteering  

Volunteering is a big part of the U of G student experience. Gryphons volunteer for many reasons: to connect and engage with their community, help others, develop a social network, explore career options, gain valuable experience for their resume, or build job-related skills. 

Interested in starting your volunteer journey in Guelph? Student Volunteer Connections (SVC) is your on-campus volunteer hub! The SVC team can help you explore volunteer opportunities in the community and beyond that fit your interests, academic and career goals, and availability. Connect with them today at svc@uoguelph.ca

Experiential Learning 

In the EL Hub, we want to connect you to experiential learning opportunities (such as research, community-engaged learning, field courses and hands-on electives) to help you develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes you'll need for life after graduation. Visit our website to learn more about experiential learning and check out opportunities. 

Email experience@uoguelph.ca to set up a meeting to chat about for-credit and not-for-credit experiential learning opportunities relevant to your interests, program, or goals for after graduation. Stay in the loop about events and deadlines by signing up for our weekly e-newsletter

Tips from our Upper Year Students 

  • Find at least one club on campus that you are interested in. This can be a great way to meet other students that share similar interests! 

  • Follow U of G social media accounts! This is how I stay up to date on current information and events that I may want to attend! 

  • Set one single goal for yourself to complete before graduation, even if it is something silly! It will give you something to work towards other than your academics. Personally, mine was to wear the Gryphon mascot costume for a campus event. I accomplished that goal in third year and now I have an amazing experience I’ll never forget. 

  • It is okay if you did not meet your ‘forever friends’ in first year. There will be a lot of opportunities to meet other students and find a sense of community throughout your time at U of G. I did not meet my friend group until my third year – but now I could not imagine life without them! 

  • Have an ‘open mind’ mentality! You will learn the most about yourself when you are pushed outside of your comfort zone. 

International Students 

International Student Experience (ISE) supports development and learning needs of undergraduate and graduate international students. If Fall 2021 will be your first semester on campus or living in Canada, you may be worried about what that experience will look like. We know that it can be challenging to leave your home, family, and friends for a new community, and enter a foreign climate and culture. We are here to help you find your place on campus, manage the transition in a healthy way, and make being away from home easier.  

What does international student life look like in Guelph and in Canada?  

Are you looking for a step-by-step checklist on what to do to prepare for your arrival and what to do once you arrive in Canada? The “Get Prepared: A Guide for International Students Before You Arrive” handbook is perfect for you. It includes a lot of important information you need to know while preparing for this exciting journey!    

Did you finish reading the Handbook, but are still looking for more resources and support?  Check out International Student Experience's website.   

Looking to get involved? Check out International Programs and Services here or follow “International Student Connections” on GryphLife to stay updated with our events and programs!  

First Nations, Inuit and Métis Students 

The Indigenous Student Centre (ISC) provides resources for First Nations, Inuit and Métis student and offers programs and services to support your transition to university life. The ISC is your connection to the U of G Indigenous community, including other new and upper year students, and the ISC staff who are available to support you throughout your journey at U of G.  

Be a part of the virtual community for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Students on Microsoft Teams. Within the community, you can connect with other new and upper year Indigenous Students, get to know the ISC staff, and access programs, services and activities that are available to you. 

The Indigenous Student Society is your student club on campus. Check them out on GryphLife.ca and on Instagram at @uog_iss.     

Looking to connect? Email your Indigenous Student Advisor, Natasha Young, at natasha.young@uoguelph.ca

You can also follow us on Instagram at @UofGuelphIndigenous. 

BIPOC Students 

The University of Guelph is a place where students are encouraged to celebrate their many identities, build community, and learn from each other. Here are some of our student groups that provide resources, support and social opportunities for BIPOC students:   

  • Caribbean Culture Club: a student group aimed at connecting with various generations of Caribbean students and those interested in learning about the rich Caribbean culture and histories.    

  • Guelph Black Students' Association: a student group focused on issues of diversity, race, and other significant factors relevant to the lives of students of colour.    

  • Queer and Trans People of Colour (QTPOC): a student group specific for building community amongst Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour who are queer and transgender.    

  • Muslim Students' Association: a student group serving the Muslim community on campus through social and religious events organized to give the opportunity to learn and discover Islam.    

  • Indigenous Student Society: a student group serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis students. The ISS strives to increase awareness of Indigenous affairs and provide social activities, resources, and peer support.  

This list does not include every cultural and identity-based student club at the University of Guelph! Be sure to explore GryphLife for more information about the various clubs and communities here on campus.     

If you would like your email added to the Cultural Diversity Office newsletter to receive information about BIPOC community and events on campus, please email cultural.diversity@uoguelph.ca.  

LGBTQ2IA+ Students 

The University of Guelph has several student groups who provide resources, support, and social opportunities for LGBTQ2IA+ students:   

  • OUTline: a confidential support and resource service for individuals with questions relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, online chat and other in-person support programs.   

  • Guelph Queer Equality (GQE): a student group aimed at building community through social events, and events and offering resources to students.   

  • Queer and Trans People of Colour (QTPOC): a student group specific for building community amongst Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour who are queer and transgender.   

  • Queer Christian Community (QCC): The Ecumenical Campus Ministry offers QCC for students who wish to explore the intersection of Christian faith and their LGBTQ+ identities.   

Looking for more support?  

Connect with our Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor by emailing cacnioj@uoguelph.ca. If you'd like to book a meeting directly with Jarred, click here.   

Students of Faith or Spirituality 

Multi-Faith Resource Team (MFRT)  

The Multi-Faith Resource Team (MRFT) celebrates diversity, promotes understanding, encourages harmony, and fosters spiritual growth at the University of Guelph. The team includes representatives from diverse faith communities, working together and within their own faith traditions to meet the religious and spiritual needs of students.    

The MFRT consists of the following faith communities:   

If you are a student of faith, or even if you are just interested in asking questions about meaning and purpose, you can email faith@uoguelph.ca or visit the Multi-Faith Resource Team in Raithby House, right beside the Cannon.     

Transfer Students 

Have you joined the University of Guelph community after spending some time at another post-secondary institution?  Welcome to the Gryphon Family! We hope you are ready for this next step in your academic journey.  

The key to a successful first year at the University of Guelph is engaging with the campus community and reaching out to resources available to you to help you achieve your goals.   

Here are some of the resources available to assist you as a transfer student:   

  • START at U of G 2021-2022: Connect with other transfer students in the virtual hub over the summer. Email start@uoguelph.ca if you'd like to be added to the Transfer Student group.   

  • Check out GryphLife in September. U of G hosts frequent transfer and mature student events to give you many opportunities to connect with others who might have a similar educational journey to you and learn about relevant resources.   

  • Living off-campus? Check out information here: Off-Campus Living.  

Want to chat with someone about starting at U of G as a transfer student? You can book a meeting with the New Student Advisor, Andrea Pape, by emailing start@uoguelph.ca

Off-Campus Living  

Some students commute from other cities, some students live with their families in and around Guelph, and many students are living and renting independently in Guelph.   

If this is you, you will have a virtual community called Gryphons Nest this fall. Click here for more info.  

Would you like more support with off-campus living? The Off-Campus Living (OCL) Office exists just for you! Here are some additional resources available to you as a U of G student: 

  • Ask questions about living off campus or commuting to Off-Campus Living, including rental living resources, tenant rights, community, and more. Email OCL at ocl@uoguelph.ca.     

  • OCL also runs events for commuters and off-campus students throughout the year, with the Commuter Engagement Team. Email the Commuter Engagement Team at commuter@uoguelph.ca and they will add you to a list of students they contact during the year about events.   

  • OCUS, the Off-Campus University Students club, also runs social events and has a lounge room in the University Centre building. Email OCUS at ocus@uoguelph.ca or follow them on Instagram @guelph_ocus86.  

Safety Resources 

The safety of students is a priority at the University of Guelph. The following resources help maintain a safe environment on campus: 

  • Campus Community Police: Responds to all emergencies on campus and monitor video surveillance cameras, intrusion alarms, fire alarms and emergency phones. The Campus Community Police service is located in the Trent Building at 32 Trent Lane. For emergencies dial 519-840-5000. For non-emergencies dial 519-824-4120 extension 52245.  
  • First Response Team (FRT):  FRT is a student-run, non-profit team of volunteers. They provide on campus emergency first-aid services 24 hours per day, 7 days a week during the Fall and Winter semesters. For on campus medical emergencies dial (519) 840-5000. 
  • Safe Walk: A student-run volunteer organization that provides a safe and reliable escort from 7:30 pm to 2:30 am every night apart from the break between semesters and the summer semester.  
  • SafeGryphon App: Download it now. The SafeGryphon app is your personal companion during your school experience here at the University of Guelph. It has many features including a personal alarm and flashlight, friend walk (sends your location in real time to a friend so they can watch you as you travel to your destination), click-to-call SafeWalk to request a walk, a direct link to the University’s COVID-19 screening form, and more. Download on the App Store and Google play.  
  • Sexual Violence Support: Provides programs to support survivors of sexual violence and to enhance the conditions and likelihood of personal and academic success. This includes ensuring appropriate coordination of care and individual support for students and communicating with appropriate partners, both on and off campus. Here is a list of support resources for survivors of sexual violence.  

You will also notice there are several emergency poles located around campus, inside and outside of buildings. If you are ever in need of assistance, just push the button and you will be connected to our dispatcher who will contact the appropriate resource.  

COVID-19 

The COVID-19 landscape remains dynamic and ever-changing. As such, the approach for the fall semester is "planning for flexibility" -- flexibility in our preparations, in meeting the needs of our students, faculty and staff, and in adjusting to any changes the pandemic may still bring. 

The positive developments with vaccination rollout and recent advice from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health means that the University is currently planning for a vibrant on-campus experience in the fall. They are planning to offer as many face-to-face classes, labs and other student experiences as possible. Safety will be a priority and public health regulations will be followed to ensure a safe return to campus. 

In every section on this page, there are resources and supports you can connect with.  

If you don’t know where to start, connect with a Student Experience Specialist! The Student Experience Specialists are knowledgeable about a wide range of programs and services and can assist you in getting the help you need. Click here to book a meeting with a Student Experience Specialist.