Orientation & Retreat


The Graduate Affairs Committee, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the Teaching Support Center, and the Geograd Society organize welcome and orientation activities for the incoming student cohort the week of Labour Day. Some of this is specific to Teaching Assistants while the rest applies to all new graduate students. The latter will include information on such things as: departmental offices, departmental resources, and health and safety. Some of this is self-directed (e.g., contact the Graduate Administrator to obtain office space and keys, activate computer and print accounts, get details about how to obtain ID card) while the rest involves both a meeting with your entire cohort and a full department casual "meet and greet". On the second weekend of term the cohort of incoming students goes on a Graduate Retreat (see below).

Geography's Orientation Day activities, Retreat, and Health and Safety session are mandatory for all new GeoGrad students. The Teaching Support Center's TA day is highly recommended for those of you who will be teaching assistants.

Orientation Itinerary 2021

Day and Time Location Item Who
Sept 1 (Wed)
International Student Orientation Day
International and Exchange Student Centre. Registration is open!
International & Exchange students

School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies - The Wire - check here for upcoming events

new & continuing grads
Sept 2 (Thurs)


SSC 2050

Welcome Message Grad Chair & Department Chair
(Jeff Hopkins & Jamie Voogt)

Debates in Geographic Thought
(Peter Ashmore & Lewis Williams)

new grads
12:15-12:30 SSC 2050 Health and Safety
(Erika Hill)
new grads
12:30-12:45 SSC 2050 Cartography
(Karen Van Kerkoerle)
new grads
12:45-1:15 SSC 2050 Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) new grads
1:15-1:45 SSC 2050 Graduate Teaching Assistants' Union -PSAC 610 new grads
1:45-2:00 SSC 2050 Centre for Teaching & Learning new grads
2:00-2:15 SSC 2050 Let's Talk About Science new grads
2:15-2:30 SSC 2050 Wellness and Wellbeing Education, Western Student Experience new grads
2:30-2:45 SSC 2050 Mitacs
(Joseph Santarelli)
new grads
Sept 3 (Fri)


SSC 3022

Environment and Sustainability Collaborative Program Information
(Paul Mensink)
new grads
1:15-1:30 SSC 3022 Global Health Systems in Africa
(Nassisse Solomon)
new grads
1:30-1:45 SSC 3022 Hazards Risk and Resilience
(Craig Miller)
new grads
1:45-2:00 SSC 3022 Migration & Ethnic Relations
(Michael Haan)
new grads
2:00-2:15 SSC 3022 Planetary Science and Exploration
(Tabetha Sheppard)
new grads
2:15-2:30 SSC 3022 Own Your Future
(Julie Jonkhans, SGPS)
new grads
2:30-3:00 SSC 3022 GeoGrad Society Co-Presidents new grads
3:00-4:30 SSC 3036 Meet and Greet all
Sept 7 (Tues)
online TA Day - Centre for Teaching and Learning - graduate student teaching assistant workshop all TA's
Sept 7 (Tues) grad classes and undergrad classes start - make contact with instructor for whom you are the TA.
Check your course outline for start dates.
Sept 9 (Thurs)
online Graduate Student Life - Orientation Welcome Session all

Retreat Itinerary 2021

This year we will hold a one-day retreat at Camp Stevenson on Friday, September 17
In addition to the various departmental meetings and campus activities, all new students participate in a subsidized retreat where additional familiarization, briefing and program preparation are undertaken in an informal setting. The retreat is also meant to help students get to know their cohort of peers - which is typically 20-25 students - and to explore issues about being a grad student (at UWO). The Graduate Affairs Committee representatives and the new students are transported by arranged travel. Meals are provided; participation is mandatory.
There is a $20 fee for the Retreat.

Before We Go:

  1. FOOD ISSUES The event is catered, so notify the Graduate Administrator about any dietary issues or food allergies (by Sept 8).
  2. FEE The subsidy for this trip is substantial (thanks to a generous anonymous donor) leaving a balance to be paid by the student to the Graduate Administrator. This will be communicated at the Orientation.
  3. WAIVER All students are required to sign a waiver. Return your completed waiver to the Graduate Administrator (by Sept 15).