Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Summer-long outreach builds on SOAR

Close to 2,200 first-year students and family members visited campus this month for Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR), a day-long program that introduces students to new academic expectations, and provides information about on-campus resources, and tips to support the transition to university life.

[Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources]
Incoming students and their families and supports take part in a guided tour during Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR) on July 6. (University Communications)

Those who couldn’t make it to campus for SOAR, though, don’t have to miss out on summer orientation programming. The Division of Student Affairs, in partnership with faculties and schools, is continuing its outreach to first-year students and their families with weekly webinars. They are focused on topics that cover studying, living, staying healthy, arriving, and thriving.

“The summer webinar series is hosted by upper-years students and professional staff, who talk about course registration, living in residence, orientation week, academics, student life, and specific transition issues experienced by some international students,” says Student Experience Office Manager Woo Kim. “We record and archive most of the online sessions because we want to make the information, and questions and answers, as widely available as possible, especially as so many students can’t travel to campus before September.”

For the first time, the Division of Student Affairs, in partnership with faculties and schools, is also taking SOAR on the road in August. “Get Ready for Queen’s” information events will be held in Calgary on Aug. 16 and in Vancouver on Aug. 17, in recognition of the large numbers of first-year students who come to Queen’s from Western Canada.

“This year we have approximately 530 first-year students enrolled at Queen’s from Alberta and B.C. Most are not able to come to SOAR, so we want them to have an opportunity to connect with us in-person, learn how they can best prepare for the transition to Queen’s, and for students and family members to get all of their questions answered,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “We also know that it can be a big step to send a student across the country. We want to reassure them that we have many resources on campus and in the community to support their academic and personal success.”

For students who are passing through Kingston this summer, student-led campus tours are also offered most weekdays at 11 am and 1:30 pm.

Queen’s is preparing to welcome more than 4,500 first-year students to residence on move-in day on Sunday, Sept. 3.