Orientation week brought in tens of thousands of eager first-year students at three campuses, seven colleges, and numerous faculties. While large frosh events, such as those organized by the colleges and faculties, brought together the class of 2022, several student organizations and unions created their own events catering to smaller groups on campus. The Varsity spoke to some of the organizers involved in these smaller and niche orientations.
Over 42 events will be taking place at all three campuses including a Queer & Trans Students of Colour Discussion and Social, as well as a session in collaboration with the Multi-Faith Centre, titled “What is Qu(e)erying Religion?”
A smaller orientation was also held for mature and transfer students on September 4–5, with information sessions on campus resources at U of T.
In the weeks leading up to the start of school, UTM hosted orientation events catering to international students, as well as for parents and families of incoming first-year students.
The international student orientation took place on September 8, and it was a collaboration between the Centre for Student Engagement and the International Education Centre.
The event was not just for incoming international students, but also those new to Canada including permanent residents, landed immigrants, refugees, and newcomers with international experience who might be otherwise considered domestic students.
UTM’s International Student Orientation was the first of its kind on the campus, emerging from a user survey and feedback from the university’s international student centre. Programming included panels on social and cultural adjustment in Canada, as well as finding necessary information for immigration requirements.
“The International and New-to-Canada Student Orientation program [offered] opportunities for students to meet students with similar interests through interactive activities, learn about on/off campus services, and hear from students and alumni from UTM about how to succeed as both an international and new-to-Canada student,” said Dale Mullings, Assistant Dean of Students & International Initiatives at UTM, in an email to The Varsity.
Another similar orientation session for students new to Canada will be held on September 19 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm for those who otherwise could not attend the first event, typically due to study permit issues.
UTM’s Parent and Family Orientation, held on September 1, saw more than 700 families of incoming students. The orientation aimed to connect families and students to academic and personal resources on campus. Panels were held on specific subjects, including “Residence Parents and Families,” “Engagement Outside the Classroom,” and “University Fees and Financial Aid.” A special session was held for parents of newcomer students providing resources for immigrant services.
“The International Student Centre has been organizing UTSC International Orientation for over 10 years,” wrote Don Campbell, Media Relations Officer at UTSC, in an email to The Varsity.
“Each incoming international student is invited to an orientation workshop where they learn about [the University Health Insurance Plan], international programs and services, and review any immigration information they might need.”
Orientation programming at UTSC’s International Student Orientation included trips to local malls, downtown Toronto attractions, and an excursion to Niagara Falls. Students will also be matched with International Student Advisors throughout the first semester to discuss important subjects such as exam preparation, immigration information, and overall guidance.