Organize - Management: Finances, Time and Self

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Graduate School is often referred to as a “Balancing Act”. On top of studying, researching, and teaching, graduate students have a number of other responsibilities and commitments outside the academe. Managing increasing financial, time, and everyday life challenges—while staying healthy—may often require additional support and resources. The resources listed below can help you stay on track.

Financial Management

Whether you’re arriving in London for the first time, or if you’re about to enter a different stage in the program, it’s important to keep track of your academic and living expenses.

The below figures are based on 2018 tuition rates. They represent cost of living in a 12-month period for a single adult living in London (in Canadian dollars) and are likely to increase slightly each year based on inflation and extenuating circumstances. It is important to note that costs depend on a number of factors, including a student’s program, familial situation, and personal needs. The figures presented in this table, therefore, could be considerably higher or lower depending on the individual student.

Estimated Costs (Full-Time) Domestic International Master's
Tuition $7,067.00 $17,889.00
Ancillary Fees $201.05 $201.05
SOGS Membership Fee $35.28 $35.28
SOGS Health & Dental Plan* $520.99 $724.99
SOGS Bus Pass $72.37 $72.37
WesternONE Card $31.00 $31.00
Textbooks, Equipment, Supplies $500.00 - $1,200 $500.00 - $1,200
SUBTOTAL $8,360.69 - $9,060.69 $19,764.69 - $20,464.69

Estimated Living Expenses Domestic International
Rent (incl. utilities) $7,000 - $12,000 $7,000 - $12,000
Food $2,400 - $5,500 $2,400 - $5,500
Personal and Household Expenses $1,500 - $2,000 $1,500 - $2,000
Entertainment $800 - $1,000 $800 - $1,000
Transportation $1,800 - $3,000 $1,800 - $3,000
Travel $1,700 $3500.00
Technology $600 - $1,100 $600 - $1,100
Additional Health Expenses $350 - $1,000 $350 - $1,000
SUBTOTAL $16,150 - $27,300 $17,950 - $29,100

TOTAL $24,510.69 - $36,560.69 $37,714.69 - $49,564.69


*If you already have your own Extended Health Care Plan (not OHIP or UHIP), you can opt-out of the Society of Graduate Student (SOGS) Health & Dental Plan. If you would like to opt-in a spouse or partner in the plan, you can do so via an opt-in form. To find out more information about opting out and opting in, visit the SOGS website.

**As stated above, a student’s tuition is dependent on their particular program. For a detailed list of graduate student program tuition fees, please see the registrar’s website.

 

Time Management

Learning Skills
Good time management skills are often crucial to your success as a graduate student. Once per term, Learning Skills offers a Time Management presentation for graduate students on planning and organizational strategies and explores ways to increase motivation and productivity. Register HERE.

MITACS
MITACS Step workshops are offered online throughout the year and at universities around the country. As a graduate student, you are able to take these courses for free. One of these online courses includes Time Management.

The Teaching Support Centre (TSC)
Each year in the Fall, the TSC hosts TA Day: Graduate Student Conference on Teaching.  This one-day conference introduces graduate students to teaching at Western University and helps them prepare for their roles as teaching assistants. Join TSC staff and award-winning professors to learn about facilitating discussions in tutorials, helping undergraduate students in laboratory settings, dealing with difficult students, and much more!

 

Transitioning to Graduate School

Orientation
The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies hosts the official Graduate Fall Orientation for incoming Western graduate students in early September. Orientation is a time for you as a new graduate student to familiarize yourself with Western and find answers to any questions you might have.  Various Western services are on-hand to jump-start your graduate experience.

Learning Skills
Transitioning to graduate school can be exciting, but also challenging. Learning Skills offers a workshop on this transition every year in late September. The workshop focuses on the expectations and demands of graduate-level work, the skills needed for success as a graduate student, and the various strategies and resources that will help you better manage your progress through graduate school. Registration for this workshop usually opens during the first week of classes.  

How to Survive Your First Year of Graduate School
Nanda Dimitrov, the Associate Director of Western’s Teaching Support Centre, discusses the importance of recognizing the five stages of academic culture shock and offers five tips in Part II of her Academic Culture Shock article on how to survive your transition into graduate school. 

 

Balancing Life and Graduate School

Graduate Peer Support (GPS)
Every Wednesday from 10:30am-12:30pm, GPS offers drop-in hours at the Wellness Education Centre for graduate students. Whether you’re looking to grab some refreshments, attend a monthly GRADTalk session, or simply wanting to check-in with someone, GPS is here for you.

 

The Student Success Centre (SSC)

Effective Self Management
Although this SSC workshop is not specifically designed for graduate students, it focuses on time management, being assertive, recognizing and managing stress, and staying motivated, which are all integral personal development skills for success in graduate school.

Psychological Services

Talk: Talk About Life in Canada
The group provides a place to discuss and share with others the experience of being an international student at Western as well as receive information and support. This group is co-facilitated by staff from both the International and Exchange Student Centre (IESC) and the Student Development Centre (SDC). 

Child Care
Western University provides a number of child care services. There are also a number of before and after school programs for your children (kindergarten to 12 years old). Western also provides a listing of parenting resources, prenatal care, babysitting, and public/private school enrollment.