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Supporting incoming students through summer orientation

Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR) welcomes students from across the country to view campus and learn about virtual and in-person resources.

  • A group of incoming students and family members get a tour along University Avenue during Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR). (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
    A group of incoming students and family members get a tour along University Avenue during Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR). (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • Representatives from Queen's Residences provide an update on what students can expect when they arrive to start their first year of university. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
    Representatives from Queen's Residences provide an update on what students can expect when they arrive to start their first year of university. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • Incoming students find out about resources provided by Student Academic Support Services and others during their tour of campus. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
    Incoming students find out about resources provided by Student Academic Support Services and others during their tour of campus. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • A resource fair was held in Ban Righ Dining Hall, to help incoming students connect with a range of resources available at the university. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
    A resource fair was held in Ban Righ Dining Hall, to help incoming students connect with a range of resources available at the university. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • Over the course of six days more than 2,000 first-year students and guests recently visited campus for Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR). (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
    Over the course of six days more than 2,000 first-year students and guests recently visited campus for Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR). (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)

Over the course of six days more than 2,000 first-year students and guests recently visited campus for Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR). Part of First-Year Foundation, SOAR is a day-long program that introduces students to new academic expectations, provides information about on-campus resources, and aims to ease the transition to university life.

With disruptions from the pandemic limiting in-person orientation programming the last two years, many students and family members were enthusiastic about visiting campus and taking part in activities to help them prepare for the start of their postsecondary journey.

Among the SOAR events were student-led campus tours and information sessions which provided an opportunity to ask questions, talk to faculty members, and make connections with peers. Attendees were given the option of spending the night in residence and were encouraged to explore downtown Kingston and get familiar with the city.

Virtual activities

For first-year students unable to attend, the Student Experience Office, a unit in Student Affairs, is running regular online social activities, webinars, and promoting access to the First Year Foundation 100 in onQ. The self-directed “course” highlights important dates, campus life, and helps students navigate administrative processes using onQ.

In addition to SOAR, registration for the first-year peer mentoring program, Q Success, is now underway. Q Success is a full-year mentorship program created and delivered in collaboration with educators, wellness experts, professional staff and student leaders in which students can choose their mentor from online profiles.

To support students outside of Canada, the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) is running a summer orientation for international students. This orientation includes sessions on finding housing and living off campus, financial planning, human rights and employment, and preparing to navigate Canadian culture.  

Looking ahead to Fall

Fall Orientation for undergraduate students runs Sept. 3-11, and includes Residence Move-in, University Orientation, Faculty Orientation, and the first week of class. 

University Orientation programming and Faculty Orientation programming both include fun activities, lots of opportunities to make new friends, and more important information and advice to support the student transition to Queen’s.

Students are automatically registered for University Orientation, but must register in advance for their Faculty/School Orientation. Registration is now open. All details are on the fall orientation website.

For first-year students not living in residence, the Student Experience Office’s First-Year Off-Campus Community student-led team is launching its first online event this week to connect off-campus peers. Registration for this year-long group is also open.