SOGS Orientation (Fall, Winter, and Summer) is planned by the VP Student Services in partnership with the SOGS Orientation & Social Committee (OSC). It partners with numerous stakeholders, including other SOGS committees, to offer a welcoming atmosphere to incoming and current graduate students. In addition to overseeing Orientation, the OSC also runs monthly socials for graduate students.
FALL 2019 EVENTS
SOGS Socials – #GradLifeWesternU
Oktoberfest (October) ($5)
Halloween Family Night (late-October) ($5)
Cooking Class at Loblaws (November; $ TBD)
Ugly Sweater Party (December) ($5)
Winter Orientation (January)
Beach Party in Winter (February) ($5)
Monthly Karaoke (free)
New Student?: Welcome to London Ontario and Western University!
London: Your Home Away From Home
- Check out this Self-Guide to London, Ontario!
- There are various discounts in London (e.g. 10% off on Tuesdays at Loblaws, Valu-mart, Food Basics, Metro, etc). Keep an eye on the flyers, too! Familiarize yourself with your Local Food options.
- London is typically cold in the Winter so take advantage of our discount with Columbia Sportswear offered three times a year. Don’t forget winter tires and a snow shovel!
- Take note of the London Hospitals, London Libraries, Garbage/Recycle schedule, London Hydro (Water/Electricity/Heat), and Internet providers.
- Make yourself aware of the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act.
Western University: The Basics
- Your WesternID provides you access to the Grad Student Portal (SOGS bursaries), Western 365 Email, Student Centre (tuition, scholarships, government funding, class schedule, grades, tax, transcripts, apply to graduate, change in degree status), and OWL (course management).
- Your WesternONE (Student card) also functions as your bus pass, your library card, and your Campus Recreation (Gym) Pass. You can also use it for Office and AV Keys, Parking pass (if applicable), Campus and/or Rez Meal Plan card (if applicable), and as your identification card for exams.
- See here for a list of support and equity services available at Western.
Your Friendly Neighbourhood SOGS
- SOGS produces a Graduate Orientation Handbook. If you are a new student, you will receive a hard copy of it at SGPS Orientation.
- Full-time students receive a SOGS bus pass (WesternONE card).
- Full-time students are automatically enrolled in the SOGS Health Plan.
- SOGS offers a Food Bank for Non-TAs (PSAC 610 offers one for TAs).
- SOGS offers a FREE International Student Identity Card through CFS.
- SOGS provides an INTL Grad Student Guide to Western University.
Need help navigating your way around Western Campus? This map has been tailor-made just for you!
Thriving in Graduate School: Taking Care of Yourself
SOGS and SGPS (School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) have worked together to amalgamate all the relevant resources for graduate students in a single place: the GRADUATE STUDENT LIFE & COMMUNITY HUB.
On this hub, you will find information and resources pertaining to the 5 PILLARS of thriving in Graduate School:
- STUDY: Navigating Academic – No graduate student is an island, and no graduate degree is achieved without the advice of your colleagues, supervisor, and support services. Although you alone are responsible for your academic studies, you are strongly encouraged to ask questions as well as for help throughout your program. With the following resources, you will be able to get the academic support you need to navigate your way through graduate school.
- PLAY: Finding Friends and Fun – Having fun in graduate school is often a foreign concept to graduate students. But you can’t have an all work and no play attitude here. Having fun is an integral component to thriving in graduate school.
- ORGANIZE: Finances and Time – Graduate School is often referred to as a “Balancing Act”. On top of studying, researching, and teaching, graduate students have a number of other responsibilities and commitments outside the academe. Managing increasing financial, time, and everyday life challenges—while staying healthy—may often require additional support and resources. The resources listed below can help you stay on track.
- CONNECT with Your Community – Graduate School can sometimes feel alienating given the amount of work you do. It’s important for graduate students to reach out to their friends and colleagues and take advantage of all the resources your student government (SOGS), department, and SGPS has to offer.
- SELF-CARE: Prioritizing Yourself – With all your other responsibilities in graduate school, it often feels as though there is no time left to look after yourself. With studying, teaching, marking, networking, grant writing, and a dissertation already on your plate, staying well in graduate school may not always make your “To Do” list. Although all your responsibilities as a graduate student are certainly important, the key to your success in graduate school involves making your mental health a priority. Regular mental health “tune ups” will ensure you remain motivated and productive. The following are a list of resources for thriving in graduate school.
- If you need help now, go to Crisis Contact Information (Health and Wellness)
Through your student fees and OHIP card (UHIP for international students, provincial equivalent for out-of-province students), you have access to Health Services (e.g. medical care, individual counselling, allergy injections and immunizations, birth control, STI testing, and drop-in crisis support in partnership with CMHA-Middlesex Crisis). Psychological Services offers individual and crisis counselling, including sexual violence, eating disorder, and LGBTQIA+ (gender and sexuality) support. You also have access to the Wellness Education Centre (WEC), Graduate Peer Support (GPS), and Graduate Wellness Week. See here to visualize all integral services to support your overall wellness in graduate school.
Graduate Student Associations/Councils
SOGS aims to keep track of Department Graduate Student Associations/Councils. If your Department Association/Council information is missing from this document, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.