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Welcome mat rolls out for students new to UBC’s Okanagan campus

August 26, 2013 - 2:12 PM

Most people remember their first day at a post-secondary school. Sometimes it’s exciting, sometimes it’s daunting. Often it’s both.

That’s why staff, faculty, and student volunteers at UBC’s Okanagan campus go the extra mile to ensure that new incoming students not only experience a warm welcome as they begin their undergraduate journeys, but also feel they are not alone.

Campus Life manager Liz Hilliard says it’s important for new students, and often their parents, to know they are among peers and have plenty of support networks.

“Attending university is a life-changing experience,” says Hilliard. “We want to make sure that all of our new-to-UBC students and their families are confident in the decision they have made, and that they feel welcome as soon as they step foot on the Okanagan campus.”

Create New Student Orientation begins at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, and continues throughout the day. During Create, new-to-UBC students meet other first-year classmates and student leaders in their respective areas of study. They can also participate in campus tours, meet the Dean of their faculty, see a showcase of UBC and Kelowna-based resources, and attend an evening concert on the campus Commons.

“Create is a great way for students to become comfortable with new people, get excited about their program, and discover the endless opportunities available to them,” says Create coordinator Alanna Ekkert.

UBC staff also organize Jump Start, from Aug. 25 to Aug. 30, and Kick Start, Aug. 28 to 31 –
week-long activities designed for international and out-of-province (or out-of-region) students, respectively. Participants experience a wide range of off-campus activities while they explore the Okanagan, participate in preparatory workshops, and begin friendships that will last a lifetime.

“Kick Start provided me with a tremendous sense of belonging and the skills necessary for a successful university transition,” says Kelly Panchyshyn, Kick Start Orientation coordinator and former program participant. “I am incredibly excited to offer a similar experience to this year’s participants.”

For 18-year-old Chilliwack student David Pederson, knowing there are several resources and events like Create available to him will make his first move away from home just a little bit easier. Pederson, who participated in a campus tour this summer, chose UBC’s Okanagan campus because he likes the size of the campus, and recognizes it comes with high-calibre study and research opportunities.

“I know that my studies in biochemistry will be demanding, but going on the campus tour and participating in opening-day activities will enable me to be as ready as I can be,” says the incoming Bachelor of Science student. “UBC Okanagan offers exactly what I am looking for – a smaller and more personal setting for academic study, as well as an abundance of facilities and opportunities for me to maintain my active lifestyle.”

This fall, more than 2,900 students are new to their program of study (some may have been registered at UBC before, but in a different program). Most of them are expected to participate in some sort of orientation program.

For Welcome Week event updates and details, check out ubcsuo.ca/events/week-of-welcome

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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