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, department, and SGPS has to offer. After all, we are in this together.
Graduate Peer Support (GPS)
Need a space to unwind and talk to other graduate students about their graduate school experiences? The Society of Graduate Students (SOGS), SGPS, Student Experience, and CONNECT for Mental Health provide weekly drop-in sessions on Wednesdays (10:30am-12:30pm). Each month GPS also hosts a special session that focuses on a specific topic (e.g. Imposter Syndrome). Currently, GPS is housed in the Wellness Education Centre. For more information, contact SOGS VP Advocacy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Get Involved with your Graduate Student Government
Would you like to leave your mark on Western? The Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) has a number of committees that any graduate student is welcome to join. Our committees range from social event planning to academic and social advocacy on behalf of graduate students.
Get Involved with your Graduate Student Union
As a Teaching Assistant at Western, you’re automatically part of PSAC Local 610, your graduate student union at Western. If you’re passionate about ensuring graduate Teaching Assistants Help advocate on behalf of all graduate student Teaching Assistants.
Volunteer at Western
The Student Development Centre oversees the Volunteers in Progress (VIP) program, which offers all students the opportunity to volunteer for organizations within or affiliated with the Student Experience portfolio. Graduate students are welcome to apply to any of these positions. For a complete list of opportunities, visit the VIP website. For graduate-related volunteer work, Learning Skills often looks for Learning Skills Peer volunteers as well as those interested in getting involved with GradUpdATE.
The Student Success Centre runs Western’s Volunteer Program (WVP). This program provides you with practical experience and the opportunity to enhance your learning and civic responsibility while addressing campus community needs.
The McIntosh Gallery provides multiple opportunities for students to help with visitor services, special events, student engagement projects, archives, or curatorial research.
Learning it Together (LiT) is a volunteer-driven health promotion program that pairs a university age mentor with a London elementary school student of lower socio-economic status in grades one or two and guides them through a unique eight-week after school program.
Volunteer Off Campus
There are a number of opportunities for you to get involved in London. You can use the Student Success Centre’s Western’s Career Central portal or London resources such as the Pillar Nonprofit Network.
If you’re looking to make a difference outside of London, the Student Success Centre also runs Alternative Spring Break. Volunteer as a Student Leader for this one- or two-week community service learning program.
Essentials for International Students
The International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC) created a Guide to Western University for international graduate students. The Guide touches on health care, working in Canada, and integral services for graduate students. The International Exchange and Student Centre (IESC) also created an International Student Handbook, which includes all information integral for adjusting to life in London.
If you’re an international graduate student looking to meet other people, the IESC runs an 8-week English Language Support Program that provides you with the opportunity to practice conversational English outside the classroom. The IESC also runs a Global Café every Thursday from 3-5pm in the IGAB atrium.
Departmental and Campus-Wide Events
Enrich your Western experience by getting out of your comfort zone. Check out Western’s Events Calendar to find out about talks, exhibitions, performances, workshops, tours, and events happening around campus. You can search event by type (e.g. “Wellness”) and by audience (e.g. “Graduate Students”).
London, Ontario is home to a number of culturally enriching and rewarding services and opportunities, many of which are showcased on the London Tourism website, including the London Arts Council, Museum London, the ARTS Project, London Heritage Council and London Fuse. London’s Culture website keeps you up-to-date on these events.