Western Basics

On this page you will find a brief overview of many of the key services, programs, and getting started steps that you will experience here at Western as a new international student. We encourage you to browse and return to this page when you are settled in after your arrival in Canada.

International and Exchange Student Centre

The International and Exchange Student Centre is your home on campus for support. We provide wrap-around support to help you settle in, thrive and succeed:

  • Immigration Advising
  • Social Connection
  • Personal Well-being
  • Career Development
  • Community Links
  • Skill Development

three students vertically stacked, smiling to camera

Student Councils

The University Students’ Council (USC) and the Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) are student-led organizations that advocate for and represent students at Western.

Academic and Career Supports

Academic Support & Engagement supports your academic, personal, and professional growth through a number of services including the Writing Support Centre, Peer Academic Learning team, workshops, accessible education supports and other services.

For undergraduate students, your faculty’s Academic Counselling team can provide academic advice on course selection, course changes, withdrawals and other matters related to your academic success. For graduate students, visit the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website (SGPS), locate your department and contact the graduate coordinator listed.

Health and Safety

Health and Wellness provides services to support student’s physical and mental health throughout their time at Western. Visit their website to learn more and to book an appointment (be sure to bring your UHIP information).

Safety of our students, faculty and staff is of utmost importance to Western. Review the IESC Safety and Security section for an overview of services and supports available to help you stay safe while you are here.

Must Do's and Must Knows for Starting at Western

Fees & Tuition

It is important you pay your fees on time and it is your responsibility to know your fee and tuition due dates. This can be accessed from your Online Statement of Account at any time. 

More information on Fees & Tuition >>

Student Number

Your Western Student Number is a 9-digit number assigned to you when you apply to Western. This is tied to your student records and is often used when submitting assignments and exams.

Please note: Never include your student number in emails. This is your private student number and is used for your Western Identity and should not be shared.

More information on your Western Student Number >>

Western ID & Email

Your Western Identity consists of your Western User ID and Password that is assigned to you upon your application at Western and will grant you access to a wide variety of services. Your Western ID is a unique name assigned to you, it cannot be changed and in your student email just before "@uwo.ca". Your Western ID is not your student Number.

You must first activate your Western Identity before you can access services such as your Western student email, OWL and Student Center. 

More information on your Western ID & Email >>
More information on activating your Western Identity >>

Student Center

Student Center is your application home base as an incoming student. Here you will see your most current application status, your To Do List, and your admission decision once it's made. After you are admitted, Student Center is your administrative account as a student where you can access services, apply for courses and financial aid, and view information about your student status. Student Center can be accessed through student.uwo.ca and if you haven't activated your Western Identity please review the section on Western ID & Email for more information.

Services you can find on Student Center:

  • Detailed Statement of Account for tuition
  • My Weekly Schedule
  • Enroll in Classes
  • Intent to Register
  • View My Grades - final grades for your courses
  • Transcripts
  • Web Academic Report
  • Important links for additional services around campus
  • Much, much more

Course Registration - Undergraduate Students

Course registration is the process you will complete every year to register in the required courses for your program. Incoming undergraduate students (excluding Engineering students) can enroll in Summer Academic Orientation where they will receive support including registering for their courses. Engineering students will receive fully enrolled schedules for first year that can be viewed through Student Center.

Draft My Schedule is very useful for planning out your classes before course registration. Draft My Schedule is not how you register for classes, you must ensure you register on Student Center if you do Draft My Schedule first. You will not be able to register in courses before your appointment. Your appointment signifies the time that you can START enrolling, but you do not have to do it that day. You are encouraged to enroll as soon as you get that appointment to ensure you get the classes you want, but you can enroll in courses until the beginning of the semester denoted by the Add/Drop date.

Course registration dates can be found on the Sessional Dates page of the Academic Calendar. The academic calendar provides important academic information including but not limited to: Sessional Dates, Courses, Faculties, Degree Requirements & Graduation and more.

If you have trouble enrolling in your courses, please contact the Western Live Chat.

More information on Course Registration for Undergraduate Students >>

Course Registration - Graduate Students

Graduate courses are administered by a student's individual graduate program prior to the beginning of the academic terms. For assistance in enrolling in courses, students are advised to contact their graduate program and/or supervisor for further details and instructions.

More information on Course Registration for Graduate Students >>

Western ONECard

This will be your photo ID card for exams but will also work as your bus pass, library card, meal plan card, and can be used for door access and vending machine purchases. This card is often required as identification when you sit in-person exams. It is required to access Campus Recreation and to pick up a parking permit or keys. These cards cost money to replace if lost so ensure that you keep your card in a safe location at all times such as your wallet or in a card holder on a lanyard. 

More information on the Western ONECard >>

Bus Pass

All full-time students at Western have already paid for their bus passes in their student fees. Even if you do not use the bus pass, you may NOT opt-out of the plan and ask for a refund. It is included as a mandatory part of your student fees.

Please note: The bus pass is mandatory for Fall-term & full-year exchange students; Winter term exchange students will have the option to purchase a pass through London Transit.

USC Bus Pass - Full-time Undergraduate Students:

All new full-time undergraduate students will automatically be able to use their Western ONE student cards as a valid London Transit Commission bus pass. This pass is valid for the 12 months of the academic year from September 1 until August 31. For more details, visit the  USC website.

SOGS Bus Pass - Full-time Graduate Students:

All full-time graduate students who pay the bus pass ancillary fee will be able to use their Western ONE student cards as a London Transit Commission bus pass. Since graduate students pay their fees by term, the annual pass consists of 3 term passes valid from September 1 - December 31; January 1 - April 30; and May 1 - August 31. Full-time graduate students who have an old Western student card (cards issued before September 2016) are able to collect a paper bus pass from the SOGS Office in Middlesex College, Room 8. Visit SOGS for more details.

If You Are Not Eligible for a USC/SOGS Bus Pass

Learn about alternative options.


OWL is where you will find all of the requirements for your courses and is the learning management system currently used at Western. Each of your courses will have their own OWL course page where you can find important information about your classes. Not all professors run their OWL pages in the same way, and it is your responsibility as a student to review the OWL courses in which you are enrolled as your professors and teaching assistants advise.

The most common uses for OWL are as follows but not limited to:

  • submitting assignments
  • finding assignment, test and course grades for in person and online assessments
  • resources for each class
  • course syllabi
  • tests and quizzes
  • important links
  • contact information for Professors and Teaching Assistants
  • office hours for Professors and Teaching Assistants 
More information on OWL >>