SOGS Orientation is planned by the SOGS Orientation & Social Committee (OSC). It partners with numerous stakeholders, including other SOGS committees, to offer a welcoming atmosphere to incoming and current students.
Our Department Orientation presentation (which we present at each Department Orientation) is available to all students. We also have a dedicated orientation documents folder available in our public Dropbox.
What would you like to know more about?
- “The Essentials”: Welcome to London Ontario and Western University
- GradMap: Map of Western University
- Orientation Schedule of Events
- SOGS Socials – #GradLifeWesternU
- Navigating Your First Year in Grad School: Important 2018-2019 Dates
- Thriving in Graduate School: Taking Care of Yourself
- Gearing Up for Graduate School: Professional Development and Student Services
- Department graduate student associations/councils
“The Essentials”: 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!
Orientation Schedule of Events
Our 2018 Orientation sponsors include: Studentcare (SOGS Health & Dental Plan provider), the International & Exchange Student Centre (IESC), PSAC 610 (GTA Union), the Office of Student Experience (including Indigenous Services), the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS), Health Services, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), Western Libraries, the Ombudsperson, Equity and Human Rights, Campus Police, and Parking Services.
Family BBQ (5:00-7:00pm @ the Grad Club). $5 for adults and free for children under 12. Includes: hamburger/hot dog (veggie option), fries, veggies, games, and prizes! Tickets will go on sale in July.
Stitch & Bitch (7pm @ the Grad Club). FREE. Come out and craft with us! Refreshments provided.
International Grad Meet & Greet (3:00-5:00pm @ the Grad Club). FREE. Register HERE. Refreshments provided. Prizes to be won!
Trivia Night (7:30pm @ the Grad Club). FREE! Prizes to be won.
Welcome to YOUR Grad Club (3:00-6:00pm @ the Grad Club). FREE. Grad Student Associations/Councils (President, Chair, Rep) sign up HERE. Refreshments provided; games and prizes to be won!
Board Game Night (7:00pm @ the Grad Club). FREE. Appetizers, drink special, and games galore!
Amazing Race: SOGS Edition (1:30-3:30pm starting @ the Grad Club). FREE. Register HERE. Winning teams: 1) $200 Grad Club certificate 2) $150 Grad Club certificate 3) $100 Grad Club certificate. ALL participants (except winners) receive $5 Grad Club certificate.
IGSIC Goes to Global Cafe (3:00-5:00pm in the IGAB Atrium). FREE. The International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC) attends and sponsors the IESC’s Global Cafe as a way to welcome and connect with incoming and returning international graduate students. Trivia Contest to win prizes!
Know Your Union (PSAC 610) (5:00-7:00-pm @ the Grad Club). FREE. Come out and enjoy appetizers and refreshments so you can get to know your Graduate Student Union!
Bonfire Night (8:00pm @ the Grad Club). $5. Ticket includes moving screening (Shrek), popcorn, s’more making, hot dog, and corn on the cob. Prizes to be won! Tickets will go on sale in July.
Indigenous Graduate Student Meet & Greet (12:30-3:00pm). FREE. Lunch at Indigenous Services to welcome you to the space and then a Tour of the SOGS Office (Middlesex College, Room 8) and the Grad Club! Register here (registration link to come).
SOGS 50th Anniversary Party (8:30pm @ the Grad Club). $5. Ticket includes pub food, drink ticket, and prizes!
Tickets will go on sale in July.
2018 Orientation Poster (PDF)
SOGS Socials – #GradLifeWesternU
Oktoberfest (Oct 11) ($5)
Halloween Family Night (Oct 30) ($5)
Cooking Class at Loblaws (November; TBD)
Ugly Sweater Party (Dec 6) ($5)
Winter Orientation (Jan 16)
Snowshoeing & Hot chocolate/Cidar (free)
Beach Party in Winter (Feb 22) ($5)
15th Anniversary of Dodgeball & Dodgeball Tournament (March 8) (free)
Karaoke Bash (April 5) ($5)
Important 2018-2019 Dates
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 Thriving in Graduate School hub.
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.
Gearing Up for Graduate School:
Professional Development and Student Services
In partnership with Western’s numerous Student Services, SGPS has launched its Graduate Professional Development Program: Own Your Future. Complementary to the program are the services that you can use to strengthen your academic and personal skills and enhance your overall graduate student experience.
Click the above image for a breakdown of the various services and links to the specific programming and support they offer, and see the below graphic for a general overview of Western’s Student Services:
Department Graduate Student Associations/Councils
SOGS is finalizing a list of Department Graduate Student Associations/Councils. Please continue to check back as we update the document. Please contact your Graduate Administrative Assistant or the SOGS Administrative Assistant in the meantime.