UBC rolls out welcome mat for thousands of incoming students

For the class of 2020, the doorways to their future are wide open and welcoming.

  • Sep. 2, 2016 11:00 a.m.

There are a number of ice-breaker activities planned for Sept. 6

As UBC Okanagan’s eleventh academic year begins next week, 2,000 new first-year students will embark on their educational programs, according to initial enrolment estimates.

UBC Okanagan’s Deputy Registrar Fred Vogt  said 350 of those students are international students and across all year levels, including graduate studies, UBC will welcome almost 2,500 new students.

“The enrolment numbers are very encouraging,” said Vogt. “This continues a pattern of student growth this campus has seen almost uninterrupted since UBC came to the Okanagan in 2005. I believe that every year more people from across Canada and beyond are becoming aware that we offer a world class education in a dynamic setting in one of the most beautiful locations that can be found anywhere.”

The Vancouver campus expects 7,108 first-year students, bringing UBC’s total enrolment, including graduate studies, to 60,447. At both campuses, UBC faculty and staff have spent the past fewweeks getting ready to welcome all students back to class for the upcoming academic year.

“It is an exciting and busy time on campus,” said Michelle Lowton, UBC Okanagan’s Director of Student Development and Advising. “Orientation marks new beginnings for our students and their families and it’s such a privilege to be a part of that experience.”

Official activities began in late August as International Programs and Services staff welcomed new international students with their orientation program called Jumpstart. Jumpstart’s earlier start date allows new students to acclimatize and get settled before classes begin.

There is a myriad of activities for Jumpstart participants, including academic-specific preparation, break-out sessions where students can meet professors outside of the classroom environment, and social and cultural activities on- and off-campus.

The first day of classes, Sept. 6, are cancelled to offer Create New Student Orientation and to welcome all students to campus. The day includes a welcome from Professor Santa Ono, UBC’s new President and Vice-Chancellor, campus tours, meet the dean sessions, student success panels, Showcase, and the annual colour run.

“Attending university is a huge achievement for our students and we are committed to ensuring they feel welcome and fully supported on our campus,” said Lowton. “The first few weeks are critical as students balance anticipation and stress. Our orientation programs help new students understand that they are not alone and we are here to help them succeed.”

New and returning students are invited to participate in Spark Extended Orientation. Spark is designed to support all students as they transition into the campus community and includes events and activities based on five key themes; Welcome Week (September 7 to 11), Involvement Week (September 12 to 16), Wellness Week (September 19 to 23), Academics Week (September 26 to 30) and Diversity and Equity Week (October 3 to 7).

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