If you are unable to locate your department or have other concerns that cannot be addressed by your program chair or secretary, then your best option is to contact the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS). You may also email the SGPS with specific concerns or look at their comprehensive website for more information.
This extensive workshops series provides a comprehensive suite of support for Western graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and graduate program administrators and leaders.
GradPath offers a diverse range of events, workshops and courses for graduate students at Western. These offerings provide critical communication, writing, teaching and professional skills to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The objective of GradPath is to provide graduate students with the knowledge, skills and mentoring they need to succeed at each stage of the graduate journey, from course work through comprehensive exams, thesis writing and publishing to the academic and non-academic job search after graduation.
This orientation program, organized by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, offers a variety of information sessions for new Western graduate students. Special sessions for international graduate students may be offered as well. Food and refreshments are provided.
TSC offers training for new Teaching Assistants, including a seminar series specifically for new international students such as “Communication in the Canadian Classroom”, “Advanced Communication in the Canadian Classroom” and “Pronunciation in the Canadian Classroom”.
International students who are also Teaching Assistants can also attend the International Graduate Teaching Assistant Conference (ITA Day) on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. This half day conference will include workshops and discussions that will be helpful for new international student Teaching Assistants.
SDC offers a full range of services (e.g., Learning Skills Services, Writing Support Centre, Psychological Services, Services for Students with Disabilities, etc.), which are available to assist you during your time as a graduate student at Western.
SDC’s Learning Skills Services assists international graduate students to adjust to Canadian academic culture. They offer confidential counselling appointments and a drop-in help centre to discuss academic and time management skills, a twice-monthly e-mail out (GRADUpdATE) with ideas and advice on how to succeed in grad school; self-help books in SDC’s Resource library; and presentations such as “Succeeding in Graduate School”. For information on scheduling a confidential appointment, click here.
SDC’s Writing Support Centre offers a range of free services aimed at helping graduate students in all aspects of their writing. To help you develop your skills and realize your potential as a writer, they offer individual consultation, workshops on writing topics, and thesis and dissertation discussion circles. The Writing Support Centre also offers GradWrite Day, a conference devoted to graduate-level writing. Professor panelists from diverse faculties will share their expertise. For information on scheduling a confidential appointment, click here.
The Allyn and Betty Taylor Library (in the Natural Sciences Building) offers free library research workshops throughout the academic year. These workshops are useful in helping graduate students to develop their research skills and accessing a range of resources. For more information, click here.
To better understand your rights and responsibilities as a graduate student at Western, please refer to “Principles and Guidelines Regarding Graduate Student Supervision”. This document defines Western’s expectations for supervisors as well as for students. It also provides guidelines on a variety of topics, including how to appropriately resolve conflicts with your supervisor.
The “Western Guide to Graduate Supervision” produced by the Teaching Support Centre, addresses the supervision of graduate students and focuses on best practices in mentoring, promoting student progress and clarifying expectations in the supervisor-student relationship. The Guide also includes a sample agreement that can be signed by the supervisor and the graduate student and an Expectations Worksheet.
“Relations with Supervisors - A Guide for Graduate Students” provides information to help you in your interactions and communications with your supervisor. It also offers you some guidelines on how to deal with conflict with your supervisor if any issue arises.
The Student Success Centre assists with career development through offering programs and services that guide successful transitions, foster local and global citizenship, promote leadership opportunities, encourage personal growth, deliver career resources, and encourage active community engagement. Visit their website to learn more.
This website provides information about the 7 Dimensions of Health and Wellness (Emotional/Mental, Physical, Academic/Career, Social/Cultural, Spiritual, Financial, and Environmental) and offers specific examples and resources relevant to international students and other members of the international community at Western. Wellness information is provided in the context of cross-cultural adjustment and intercultural experience. For example, information about how to manage cultural transitions and enhance emotional wellness, support services available, as well as the nature of counselling in Canada. Each section of the website includes important links to on- and off-campus resources as well as additional online information. The I-Wellness website forms part of the Mental Health @ Western website.
SOGS is a student-run organization that serves the needs of graduate students at Western. As a member of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), SOGS is a very active member of the Western community. SOGS is also responsible for the Grad Club. The Grad Club, in Middlesex College, has great food and is a wonderful place to meet and mingle with other graduate students. SOGS also has very useful information for international graduate students available on their website. International graduate students can also voice their issues and concerns via the SOGS International Graduate Student Issues Committee (IGSIC).
The Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610 union periodically updates a collective agreement with Western which defines Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and Postdoctoral working conditions, compensation, and benefits. All members receive the rights and benefits of the collective agreement and are assisted by the union when those rights have been violated.