Welcome Webinar for incoming graduate students, July 2019

Welcome Webinar for incoming graduate students, July 2019


Okay, so welcome everybody to the International Graduate Students Pre-arrival Orientation Webinar. My name is Andrew and
I’m your host for today. So a few little housekeeping
items before we get started. We would like this webinar
to be very interactive so we encourage you to ask
questions using the Q&A feature that you will find sort
of in the control bar. You’ll notice there is
also a chat feature, so the chat feature we will
be sharing links to you but we would ask that you use all sort of communication with us
and questions through the Q&A. If you have any questions that you maybe don’t want to identify yourself as asking you can always elect to ask
the questions anonymously. So today we’ve got a lot
of different panelists. Some you will see onscreen, some are helping behind the scenes. And I think we will get started. So we’ll start with some introductions, so once again my name is Andrew Staples and I am the Student Success Coach working with International
Student Services. And I’d like to invite
Francesca to, there she is. Francesca do you want
to introduce yourself? – Hi, sure, welcome everyone,
thank you for joining us. I’m Francesca and I’m the Coordinator for international grad students. – Great, thank you, and JC? – Hi everybody, welcome. So I’m JC, and I’m a
second year PhD student in the Department of
Physics and Astronomy. And I’m also one of the
co-presidents of IGSA, the International Graduate
Student Association. But I will come back to that
later in the presentation. – Okay, great. And behind the scenes we also
have Andrea, Judi, and Kevin who are staff in the
School of Grad Studies. They may or may not make
a visual appearance, yeah, here they go. Give everybody a wave. Yes hello everybody, awesome. And then we also have
Sebastian, who’s joining us. So he’s the executive
from the International Graduate Student Association. So as I said, we’ve
got lots of people here to support you today, and so today we’re gonna talk
a little bit about key dates. So pre-departure, things
that you need to know before you leave home. Information to help you arrive in Hamilton and then get settled. We’re gonna talk a little
bit about registration. About your health and wellness and your health insurance
while you’re here. We’re gonna talk about
different community resources that are available. And again, this is a
very interactive session so please ask your questions. We will either answer them live throughout or someone will type the answer to you or we will answer them at the end. So all of your questions
will be answered today. Okay, so next, oh we already talked about
that, so there’s the agenda. So next we’re gonna hand it over to JC. – Okay, so just before we get started for the actual webinar,
we wanted to let you know that McMaster University
has partnered with iCent to design an informational app you can download on your cell phone. So there’s a lot of information in there so we really recommend
that you download the app, log into the app, and just scroll through the different items because there will be a lot of information
that is in the webinar but there is even more in there. So it’s really useful to just go on there and kind of browse through it. So if you have accepted your
offer to grad studies here then you should have received an email with all the instruction
to download the app as well as logging into the app. So now that I’ve covered that I will just send it to
Francesca for the key dates. – Hi, so right before going into key dates I just want to mention
that this presentation will be uploaded to the School
of Grad Studies website, most likely this afternoon or tomorrow, so you will have access to it
and to all the links in it. All right, so moving along,
right now registration is open and the deadline is August 27th, so make sure you register by then. And another upcoming deadline
is the payment for tuition, and this one is on September 25th. Sometimes students are asking about their first day of class,
when is it, this may vary, so please check your program
and your course schedule. And an upcoming holiday is September 2nd, so the university is closed on this date. JC, you may continue with pre-departure. – So just before you depart to Canada there might also be a lot of information that you can find useful
on the Educanada’s website. They cover in there a lot of things such as the currency that we
use here, visas and permits, housing, how could you
work while you’re studying, and also they deal with the culture shock that you will experience, and
trust me you will experience at least a little bit of it. So it’s kind of good to
just go on that website, read through, and get used
to how we do things here. Yeah, so that’s worth the read. – Okay, so let’s talk a
little bit about what to pack. Remember to pack all
your required documents. You can also pack your,
if you need medications, if you use usually
medications that you will need within the first few days or
within the first few weeks you may also want to bring that with you with the proper prescription. And toiletries, clothing, shoes. If you’re coming from
a warm weather country try to buy your winter
clothes here in Canada because whatever you get to buy abroad may not be suitable for Canadian winters, I’m sure you’ve heard about them. So the same happens with footwear. If you would like to
bring your electronics and adapters if needed. And just make sure you bring any items that you will need immediately, and anything, you may also
want to bring something that reminds you from home. Okay, so what to bring to the airport. Okay, so during this webinar we won’t be talking about immigration, there’s another webinar
that addresses this and we’ll let you know later
what the link is for that one. However we did want to
list some of the things that you may want to bring with you. Of course your valid
passport or travel document, the letter of introduction that
the visa office sent to you when they approved your study permit, your letter of acceptance
from McMaster University. Proof that you have enough
funds to support yourself, this may be a letter stating
that you have a scholarship, or that you have a
teaching assistanceship, and also any bank account information. Basically anything that
you used to prove funds when you applied for your
visa and/or study permit. And also you may want to bring
some letters of reference or any document, again, that you used to apply. In addition to that you’ll either have a valid Electronic Travel
Authorization, ETA, or a Temporary Resident Visa, this is gonna depend on the
country that you’re coming from. And if you have a valid
ETA it will be linked to the passport you used to
apply for your study permit. Okay, and once you’re here at Mac, please bring your study permit
to the School of Grad Studies at Gilmour Hall 212 and
we will make a copy of it. Please make sure you
maintain a valid study permit while you’re here. Sometimes your study permit
will expire during your studies so make sure you put a
note on the date of expiry so you can request an
extension before it expires. And you can find very useful information on how to apply for a study
permit, how to renew it, on the McMaster International
Student Services website, the Immigration and Mobility
Advisor for McMaster has put together some very
useful guides for you. And you may also go to the
government of Canada website. There is also very detailed information in the pre-departure webinar that we had a couple of weeks ago, and you will have this
link in the presentation. You can access it through
the grad studies website probably tonight or tomorrow. – Okay great, thanks very much. So we’ve got a couple of questions, I know panelists are
answering them really quickly, which is amazing. So Francesca you did
mention something about bringing electronics, so we have a student who’s
asking about the plugs in Canada, they have two branches or three branches, and if you wanted to. – JC, do you want to address that? – So it depends,
sometimes they have three, sometimes they have two. But there are, so I know when I came here they were different from Europe, I don’t know about the other countries, but I would definitely recommend
that you bring an adaptor no matter what, so if you go to any store they usually have adaptors
from your country to the US. So the ones in Canada are
the same as in the US, so you’ll be able to
find one pretty easily. But I do recommend that you bring one, especially for the beginning. – Okay, great, and I
know if you go in the Q&A somebody actually just posted a link to the types of plugs that
you need, so that’s great. And so another question here. What exactly do we have to
do to properly register? So in other words, do we only
have to enroll in classes or are there any other
steps that we need to do? – Okay, so that’s a very good question, and we will be going over it when we talk about registration. – Okay, perfect. So I think that’s all for this
section, we will continue on. – Okay, so Francesca told
you a lot about what happened when you arrive at Pearson and about immigration and
the documentation you need. But once you get through the immigration you’ll be able to take your luggage and then you will cross the
door and you will be in Canada. At that point there will
be a team of volunteers that will be here to welcome you from August 1st to September
1st between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. You can’t miss them, they have
really bright orange T-shirts so you will be able to see them and they will be able to guide
you through the next steps. And even if you know
exactly where you’re going, I would still recommend
that you go to them and introduce yourselves because you will see them
later on campus anyway. So it’s a good way to
just interact with people, especially if it’s a bit overwhelming. Just go to them and talk to
them, they will help you. – I would like to mention before
moving to the next slide JC that I just heard and
forgot to mention to you that the team may not be
there from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., the hours will vary. So in case the team is not
there you’re always encouraged to go to the, there’s
gonna be a booth there called Destination Ontario, and they will have information
that we’ve provided about McMaster University in
case you have any questions. – Okay, and so once you
have seen these people or went to the booth, then they will probably say
exactly what I’m gong say, but I’m still gonna say it. So you have several options
to get to downtown Hamilton. So the first one, which is the
one I would use, personally, and it’s also the cheapest
option, is to take the Go Bus, and you need to get on the route number 40 towards Hamilton Go Center, don’t go the other way, just
go to Hamilton Go Center. There is a bus every hour,
roughly, and it’s about $13. So that’s the cheapest option,
you can bring your luggage, they will put them in the
bus and you will be able to pick them up once you’re in Hamilton. So that’s one option. The other options are more classic. So you can take a Uber or a Lyft, you can take a taxi or a limo, and the rate will probably
be flat around $120 just to go downtown. There is also Airways
Transit which is around $80 and usually what happens
is you share a van with other people. But in that case there may be some delay between the time you want to leave and the time that the van
is actually full of people and you can go, so, but it’s
a little bit cheaper too. And I know that the grad
student association, GSA, will be offering some
transportation arrangement, and there’s a link on this
slide that you should follow if you want more information about that. And so now you are
technically in Hamilton, because you took the Go Bus, so once you get here you
can ride the bus for free because it’s included in our fees and we get a really good discount. So you can ride all the HSR buses, the one you see on the slide,
you can ride them for free. So the only thing you need to do is you pick up your student card and once you have your
student card you need to go to the campus store to pick
up your Presto Card, that’s the green card on the slide. And then the only thing you
have to do is to tap it on when you get on the bus and
you can just ride if for free. You can also use that card
to go outside of the city. So say you want to go
to Toronto for example, you can also use that card but
you need to preload money it, ’cause it’s not included in our fees. So you can load money on
it and then just use it and tap it on and off the bus to go to Toronto or somewhere else. – Okay, so moving on to housing. If you haven’t secured housing yet, you may want to take a
look at the housing webinar that was put together by the International
Student Services team. It has detailed information
about finding housing off campus and what you should be taking into account when searching for housing. It includes common
practices, lease agreements, Residential Tenancies Act and much more. Please note that there is no on-campus graduate student housing, so you will have to look off campus, and here we have included a
couple of online classifieds. The macoffcampus, a mcmaster.ca website is an official McMaster
website, the other ones are not. But they sometimes students
find housing through there so you may just want to
take a look at the webinar to know what to look out for,
and you may want to use these. Okay, so let’s talk a little
bit about working in Canada. Many students are showing
interest in working in Canada while they are studying so our Immigration and Mobility Advisor has put together some information for you and that’s included in the ISS website and also in the pre-departure webinar, so you may want to take a look at that so that you know how many
hours you’re allowed to work while you’re studying full time and how many hours you’re allowed to work during the summers. The most important thing if
you’re thinking about working is that you need to get a
social insurance number. And you will need it also if you’re working as a teaching
assistant at the university, so you want to get this early on. There is no fee to apply and
you need to bring your passport and your study permit when
you go to apply for it and they usually give it to
you within a couple of minutes. Some places where you can
get your SIN is on campus, it’s organized by the ISS team and you can book it through OSCARplus. They’re not here, they’re here
only a couple of times a year so not every day, so you need to see when is it
that they’re gonna be here. You can also, if you get
in early at Pearson Airport you may be able to also
to get your SIN there and in Hamilton City Hall on Fridays. And there are also
Service Canada locations you can look them up and
you can go here in Hamilton. Okay, getting paid. Okay, so this is especially
important for students that will be receiving scholarships and that will be teaching assistants. Your payment will be deposited directly into your bank account after you have enrolled in direct deposit. And you may be receiving two
different types of payment, scholarship and TA, and if this is a case, you need to enroll in
two different places. So if you’re receiving a
scholarship you need to enroll in direct deposit, putting
in your account information through Mosaic through the Student Center, that’s our online portal. And if you are having a TA then you need to fill out a paper form and take it to Human Resources
services here on campus. There is a link on that, on
how to enroll in direct deposit and it walks you through it. And some of the questions
that we’ve been getting from future TAs and from students that will be receiving scholarships is when will they receive
their first payment. You will receive your first
payment on September 13th, 2019. So if your bank account is
not yet active in this system you may pick up the check
for your scholarship here at the School of Grad
Studies at Gilmour Hall 212, and your TA check, you may go pick this up at Human Resources service,
so it’s two different places. Okay, so there has,
can you go back Andrew? Okay, so there is a package,
a payment information package that was put together by the
School of Graduate Studies. It has all the information
that you will need about pay schedules,
understanding your funding, and steps to getting paid. And where you should go for,
and in case you have questions. So please take a look at this package and the link will be sent
through the chat box. And if you need more information you can also go to the some
of the student accounts and working at McMaster websites. – So Francesca mentioned
briefly about getting the money, if you need to set up your bank account in order to get the money for
scholarship and the TA money. So that’s obviously
something you will want to do fairly quickly so that you can
have your income coming in. So we would recommend that
you do that extremely early, like one of the first thing you will do. So we’ve listed here
five banks on the slide. Just please note that we
don’t endorse any one bank we just wanted you to have couple links you can click on to and
just go on their website, just couple names ’cause
I had no idea for example what the banks were. So just knowing what they are
you can go on their website and check what the different offers are. Just so you know the banks
are regulated in Canada so all follow the same financial rules. The offers are gonna be very similar, so it really depends on your preference which bank do you want to go to because it’s close to
home, close to university, or maybe they have a better
offer at that time of year. So it’s really up to you to decide. So just go on their website and choose which one you want to go with. The other thing that you may want to do is to get a Canadian cell phone ’cause it’s a little bit easier if you have a Canadian phone number for people to reach out to you or for you to reach out to them. Just so you know it’s
expensive to have a cell phone in Canada especially
compared to other countries, it’s more expensive here. So it’s just, you have to know it. To set up your cell phone
you may require a credit card and if you don’t have a credit card sometime what they do is
they ask for a deposit that they will just give
back to you after six months. So it really depends on
the cell phone provider and everything, so you’ll
have to check with them. Again, we’ve listed couple providers at the bottom of the slide here. We don’t endorse one of them
and usually there is a balance between having a really good service, so Bell and Rogers are the
two main providers here, and they usually have good
service, but it’s expensive. And the other ones are
usually a little bit cheaper but they don’t have the same
service as the other ones so it’s a balance you
will have to decide which, what you want most, service
or paying a higher price. So maybe you have understood
by now that moving to Canada will be expensive, there
is a lot startup cost that you will have to pay. So we’ve included here a
website it’s called Expatistan and it’s really accurate
for giving you an idea of how much you’re gonna
spend on different things over the month. So we really recommend
that you go on that website so that you will have an
idea of how much money it’s gonna cost every month
or something like that. And also there is the payment
schedule that you can check, Francesca mentioned it
already that kind of tells you when the money will get in. I saw in the Q&A there was a
question about do we get money bimonthly or monthly, it really depends. The scholarship you get the money everything at the beginning of the term, and your TA money will
come every two weeks, but you don’t get paid if you don’t TA. So there’s a lot that
you need to figure out and the payment schedule
is really good for that. And just couple tips
before I handle that part, groceries are definitely
some of the expensive part of living in Canada, so couple tips here. If you go on Tuesdays to
Fortino’s or Food Basics you get 10% discount, so it’s worth just doing
groceries on Tuesdays. On Wednesdays you get 15%
discount at Bulk Barn. On Thursdays you get 20%
discount at the Drug Mart that is just across campus, so
that’s just that one location but if you go there on
Tuesday, on Thursdays, sorry, then you get 20% off. Make sure you bring your student ID every time to those stores otherwise you won’t be
eligible for the savings. And then there are a couple other options, so if you want cheap
produce there is a store on 60 Ewen Road that
has really good produce and they’re fairly cheap,
but they only take cash, so just make sure you bring cash with you. And now so those options are for people that live closer to university, but if you live downtown Hamilton there are other options too. There is the farmer’s market,
which has really nice produce. It’s a little bit more expensive but the produce are really nice. And there is also an
international grocery store that is called Nations downtown and you can find anything there. So if you’re really
looking for specific items that you had from home,
it’s definitely worth checking out over there,
they probably have it. – All right. – Great, so we do have
a couple of questions that I just wanted to
maybe talk about out loud. So TA compulsory for
every graduate student? – Maybe, correct me if
I’m wrong Francesca, but I don’t think it’s compulsory,
it depend on your program and they will offer the TA, and
that’s part of your funding. But I don’t think it’s compulsory to TA. – Exactly, it will depend on your program. – Okay great, and is it possible
to TA in their first term? – I think there it also again
it depends on your program what they want you to do. I know I TA’d right away,
but it might be some program that won’t let you TA the first one. I think, again, that
depends on the program. – Yes, that’s a question
specifically for the program. – Okay. Perfect, great, thank you. And so next I believe Francesca, she’s gonna talk about registration. – Yes, okay so we’ll be
using the word registration and enrollment, these two
words interchangeably. They mean the same thing
in this presentation. We have all the details
that you need in this link, in the enrollment link
you’ll find all the details that you need to take you step by step throughout the process of enrollment. Please make sure to register on time. There are three terms in an academic year, fall, winter, and summer. To be considered fully enrolled you need to register for all three terms. So this means that you
need to enroll courses for all three terms now. And if you’re not taking
an academic course in one of these terms then you must enroll in
a placeholder course. Okay, so this slide, it’s basically it’s all about the links. There’s a lot of
information in these links that are very important for you. JC mentioned before when he
was talking about the bus pass that this is included in
your supplementary fees, this is part of the essential fees. It’s good for you to go to
this links and understand what is considered a
supplementary essential fee and a nonessential fee. And then you can also
read some information on the Student Choice Initiative, and there’s also information
on dates and deadlines. Okay, so when talking about
paying tuition what we’ve heard is that bank transfers
are the most convenient and secure method, so this is
usually what’s recommended. All the information that you need for this you will find in the website
for student accounts, and there’s also the
payment information package for September 2019, which
contains a lot of this information so most of the questions that
you’re gonna have about this will be answered throughout that document so we encourage you to take a look at it. Make sure you check your
tuition and fee amount on your student account. You will not be receiving
a bill, not by mail, not by email or an invoice,
you have access to this through your student account, so make sure you take a look at this and you pay your tuition
on time by September 25th. Once enrolled you have several ways to check your financial
account information and we’ve detailed in this
slide what the steps are and you will also find that information in the students account website. Conditions clearing. Okay, so what this means
is in your offer letter you may have a condition
that you need to clear as soon as you get to McMaster. And this may be that you
still need to give us your, to submit your English
test scores, or it may be that you still need to
submit your final transcripts or your, prove your
certificate of graduation from your undergrad, so please make sure you
review your offer letter and if you still need
to clear some conditions be in close contact
with your program office because they’re the ones
that are gonna be in contact with the School of Graduate
Studies to clear this. And there are firm deadlines
for conditions clearing and for requesting an extension, and this is early in September, so please do not risk your
offer being rescinded. – Okay great, so there are a
lot of quite specific questions about course registration so I’m gonna let the behind the scenes
panelists answer some of those, but one question, if I’m on
a waiting list for a course is it possible to enroll in them after the registration deadline? – I don’t have the answer for that, maybe the panelists can look into it. – Okay, sure no problem. – I don’t know if you
have the answer for it JC? – No, I’ve never been on,
like the classes I was taking are pretty small so I was
not on a waiting list. – Okay, then we’ll let the
panelists answer that one. Another question in terms of tuition, so when they log in to Mosaic
they see a negative balance. What do negative balances mean? – Okay, so unless the panelists
have an answer for this, I would definitely, I mean for any questions
related to tuition, it would be directly
with student accounts. – Okay sure, so it was my understanding is that anything that’s a negative balance is money that’s a credit to your account and anything that’s a positive
balance is money owing. But again, you can double
check with student. – Okay. – Okay, so we will move
on, I believe JC is, oh no, sorry (speaker
muffled by choppy audio). – Okay, so now let’s move
on to health and wellness. Okay, so all students will have the university health
insurance, which is called UHIP, and this is mandatory for
all international students. This covers emergency medical
care and physicians visits. You will be automatically enrolled and charges will be added
to your student account. So you will see these charges as UHIP. You must enroll your
accompanying dependents, spouse, and/or children into
UHIP, into the UHIP plan if they are residing in Ontario with you. And they can only be added to UHIP once they’re here in Ontario. You are required to enroll
your dependents into the plan within the first 30 days
of arrival in Ontario. So again, this is not
automatic, you have to come in with the information and enroll them. And if they’re enrolled
after the first 30 days you will be charged a $500 late fee in addition to the UHIP charge from the date of the
dependent’s arrival in Canada. So please make sure you
put a note to yourself and if you have any
dependents coming with you you do this within the first 30 days. Okay, so we have a little
bit more information on UHIP. To add dependents to the plan you can either book an appointment with the UHIP representative
Ana Pereira via OSCARplus or visit the Student Success
Center in Gilmour Hall room 110, it’s right beneath
the School of Grad Studies and they have drop-ins on
Wednesdays from 1:30 to 4:00 and for drop-in hours there’s
no appointment needed. Again, if you would like
to make an appointment you can do it through OSCARplus. You need to bring your student number, your dependent’s passport photo page and the flight itinerary
so that they have proof of when your dependent arrived in Canada. So the coverage period
for UHIP in any given year is from September 1 to August 31st. So all students are automatically charged for 12 months of coverage
and it is effective the 10th day of the month before
the academic terms begins, or the day of arrival in
Canada, whichever is later. So for example, if you arrive August 10th you will be covered, if
you arrive August 1st you will not be covered for
the days between August 1st and August 9th because
it starts on the 10th. So you may want to look into
other types of coverage, maybe travel insurance
for those first nine days. Okay, so as of now the amount
for 12 months of coverage for a single person is
636 Canadian dollars and if you add one dependent it’s 1,272 for the student
plus the dependent. And then 1,908 for the student
plus two or more dependents. But you can always check this with, confirm this once you
enroll your dependents. There are some exceptions
for exchange students. – So a couple of questions about UHIP. So will you be receiving
a physical card for UHIP? – Okay, so this is in
one of the next slides. – Oh, I’m sorry. – No, it’s okay, UHIP, yeah we have a couple
of slides on UHIP still. Okay, so you will receive,
oh that was timely, you will receive an email
from SunLife Financial in your McMaster email with
your UHIP card attached. Please make sure your
McMaster email is active because this email won’t forward,
like it won’t be forwarded if you have a forward to your
personal email for instance, if it’s active but you have a
forward you won’t receive it. It will only come to your Mac email so make sure it is active. You need to print this UHIP
card and carry it with you at all times in case you
need medical attention. There are some exceptions,
exemptions to UHIP. There is a list of pre-approved plans and these are the only
plans that allow members to be exempted from UHIP. Please take a look at the UHIP website which we have included in the next bullet just to make sure that
you’re exempt or not. And if you have any questions
make sure you contact Ana Pereira, the UHIP representative. – Okay, so– – Will tell you a little bit about this. – So Francesca gave you a
lot of information on UHIP, but there was one
question I always wondered when I first came to Canada
is okay so I have UHIP but what do I do if I get sick? So the first thing is,
if it’s an emergency you need to call 911 or you get yourself to
an hospital somehow. Just to get emergency care. If it’s a non-emergency
illness, then your best bet is to make an appointment at
the Student Wellness Centre here on campus. So it’s a center where the doctors are, you can make an appointment with them, it’s really easy and convenient, and they know everything about UHIP, so it’s gonna be super easy,
everything will be very smooth. If it’s an after-hour illness,
so, and non-emergency, then you can go to a walk in clinic. In that case you may be
required to pay up front and then get reimbursed by UHIP because sometimes they don’t
know exactly how UHIP works for international so they
may require you to pay first. But all of that will be covered by UHIP and the only thing is if you’re not sure if it’s covered or not you
should definitely contact the representative at ISS here. And the other thing I
didn’t know when I came here is that if you need a specialized care, say you want to see a sport doctor or you need more than
just a regular physician then you will first need to
see your regular physician and they will recommend
you to somebody else after. So we just discussed
what UHIP was covering, so it covers the emergency
if you go to the hospital, the blood work and also
just the doctor’s visits. But you also have, depending
on which status you have you may also have extra coverage for things like vision, dental,
or prescription medication because those ones are
not covered by UHIP. So if you’re a grad student here then you have coverage
through either GSA or CUPE. So for prescription drugs and
vision it will be through GSA and the difference between
being a TA and not a TA will be dental. So if you’re not a TA the GSA
will cover your dental plan. If you are a TA then CUPE
will cover your dental plan. And the plans are slightly different and I don’t know exactly
what the difference is so you should definitely
look into the website just to see how they’re different. And if you’re a TA you’ll
be opt out of the GSA, so you don’t pay for the
dental, so you don’t pay twice. If you are a MBA or a MELD student, then your coverage won’t be through GSA it will be through MSU
Health and Wellness, but that I don’t know what the plans are. And also just, it’s important to note that if you’re an exchange student then you’re not eligible for those plans so you won’t be covered for
that during your exchange here. – Great, so we did have
a couple of questions. So one, how far are the
hospitals or clinics from McMaster University? Does anyone? JC did you, or I can talk about it. – Yeah, you know better. – Okay, sure, so on campus we do have a Student Wellness Centre
that was talked about before, so that’s really probably
your best first stop if you’re in a sort of a
non-emergency situation. That is located right on campus. If it’s something a bit more urgent there is what we call
an urgent care center maybe a five to 10
minute bus ride from us, so sort of between McMaster and downtown. And then the closest hospital
if it was a true emergency would be located downtown, so again you’re looking at
maybe a 10, 15 minute bus ride. So things are quite close. And then there was another
question that maybe I’ll answer, which was about if health insurance is just for international students or if Canadians are required
to register for it as well. So, UHIP is sort of mimics what
Canadians pay taxes for, which we call OHIP the the
Ontario Health Insurance Plan. So that’s something that
every Ontario resident, we are paying through our
taxes to have coverage. And then supplementary
coverage such as the GSA plan, so for dental or extended care, that’s something that
all students do pay into. Okay, so I think we will keep it going and talk a little bit about
the community resources. – Okay, so I’m gonna try
to give you an overview of everything that is available on campus, try to guide you through that. So there’s a lot of information, so don’t, ask questions if I’m not clear at all. So the first people that
you will interact with and especially on a daily
basis will be your department. So the secretaries, your
supervisor, the lab managers, make sure you introduce
yourself to these people. And I’ve always found,
especially in my department that the secretaries know
everything about everything. So you should really
introduce yourselves to them so that they will be
helpful to help you a lot. And I rely a lot on them, so just make sure you introduce yourself, say who you are so that they, that’s gonna be easier
to interact with later. So then there is the
School of Graduate Studies, which Francesca is part of, so you want to say something about it, or? – Sure, okay, so you’ll have
the School of Grad Studies, you’ll be in contact with
us as soon as you get here. You need to bring your study
permit so we can make a copy, and you’ll probably have
questions, so we’re here for you. You can come into Gilmour Hall 212 and we’ll help you with
any of your questions. And throughout your
experience here also at Mac you may have some questions related to, you know, later on, to PhD
defenses and also anything, basically anything you
need you can come to us. There are some things,
just as JC mentioned, the first contact will
always be your program because some things are very specific to each program and department, so if they don’t have the answer then please feel free to come to us. – Okay, thank you. And then so on the student side there is the Graduate Student Association, so it’s an association
that is run by students and they run everything for the students. So they do a lot of things, so there’s the health and dental coverage that we’ve talked about,
they have sport leagues, there’s a restaurant on
campus that is run by GSA, so it’s a really nice place
to go and relax sometimes. There is a lot of things
they do, a lot of events. So again, you will meet them on events, they’re usually here during
the Welcome Week event as well, so you will interact with those people, so it’s nice to know who they are so you can refer to them a little bit. And then if you are a
TA or RA then CUPE 3906 will be your labor union. So they protect you under
the collective agreement and they provide dental plan, advocacy, there is an international
officer there as well. So again, if you’re a TA
you will interact with them at some point in your life here. So the other entity on campus will be the International Student
Services that Andrew is part of. So Andrew, do you want to
say something about that? – Sure, so we are located just
below the grad studies office in Gilmour Hall 110. And here we’ve got myself, so
I’m the Student Success Coach, so I’m really here to help
you through your transition. You can book appointments with
me, we can meet one on one, so if you’re having really
any questions or concerns and you’re not too sure who to turn to you’re welcome to come and meet with me and I can help connect you
with the proper resources. We also have an Immigration
and Mobility Advisor so if you have any questions
at all about your study permit, renewing your study permit, can you work, how much can you work, any questions related to your
status while you’re in Canada, we do have a designated person that is certified to help
you through all of that. She can also help if
you have questions about inviting family over to visit (speaker muffled by choppy
audio) so her name is Lajipe, she’s probably the most
popular person on campus for international students,
and you’ll probably meet her at some point while you are here. And then we also have Ana
Pereira who is responsible administering the UHIP plan and she also does lots
of different events. And so I know there was reference
previously about OSCARplus and so you can go on OSCARplus
and see some of the events that (speaker muffled by choppy audio). Okay, thank you. – All right, thank you. And so now we’re gonna move
on to the grad student groups, so there are several
groups that you can join. So is there the International
Graduate Student Association, IGSA, that I am one of the co-president. And Sebastian, one of the
person that is helping everybody in the Q&A as well is
the other co-president. So we kind of, we try to
do two things, so we have, we run social events because
we think it’s important that you meet other international students and have fun with them as well. And we also try to have
more informational sessions. For example every year
we try to run a seminar about immigration and
how we invite a lawyer and she will tell you about how to get PR and the different ways you
can get permanent residency here in Canada, so we try to do both, both have fun and be a bit
more serious sometimes. So yeah, we have a lot of events so if you want to come
you are always welcome. Then if you are part of engineering there is another association
and it’s called EGS, the Engineering Grad Students. So they also run a lot of events. I don’t know much about it
because I’m not in engineering but I know they run a lot
of events and everything so you should definitely
check out their website. Then if you are part of science there is the Science
Grad Student Association, Sebastian is part of that as well. And again, they do a lot of events, they also have workshops and everything so they’re website is linked here so you should definitely
go and check it out. And then the African Caribbean
Grad Student Association is also one of the other
grad student association that you may want to look into because they again, a lot of
events throughout the year. So there’s a lot of
things you can do here. And off campus there is one association that is worth mentioning here, is the Global Hamilton Connect, so it’s in part run by
the city of Hamilton and they also do things
like the inviting lawyers for immigration and things like that. So if you go on their Facebook page they have a lot of the
different activities they have. So you’ve seen there’s a
lot going on on campus here, there’s a lot of associations, so it’s good because you
can join social events and informational associations as well. But you also can get involved if you want some leadership experience, so if you’re interested
into helping your community, getting involved, then it’s
definitely worth reaching out to those people and they
will be able to tell you if they need more, and we
always need more people to help, so it’s worth asking. – Okay, so if you’re coming with family, if you have any children,
you may want to join the GradParent Network. They have a Facebook group and
they put together activities throughout the year and they
also have a lot of information on play dates and services
and activities for children during the winter and during the summer. So they would be able to
answer a lot of the questions that you may have, so you
may want to join them. The link is in this slide,
and their contact information. Now I also want to mention
if you have children that you’re registering in
school and you have any questions please feel free to contact me because I can walk you
through that process for school registration. – Okay, so now it’s, that
slide is more for the people that will be doing research
and interacting with a faculty supervisor during
their experience here. So you’ll be really
likely to work that person anywhere between one and six years so it’s a really good idea
to start things off right. So Grad Studies have created
a really useful document and that resource is
linked on the slide here. And that document will help you understand the expectation of that
relationship with your supervisor. So we really recommend that
you review that document because that will, so that you’ll be aware of
your rights and responsibility as a grad student, but also the rights and
the responsibilities of your supervisor and your department. So it’s a very useful link, I
really recommend you read it. – MODEL. If English is not your first language and you feel that you
may need a little help with your writing, your
reading, conversation, please feel free to go to MODEL, contact them and take a look
at what they have for you. It’s a free service
offered by the university and they have usually
conversation groups, workshops, and a lot of support for English as a second language learners. – Okay, so we’re getting close to the end of the presentation now, so just to try to get
you a little bit excited about what will be
coming in the next year, and especially in the month of September. So September there’s a lot of events because it’s the beginning of the year, everybody is really excited. So the School of Grad
Studies organizes events through the year, but as I said, especially in the month of September ’cause it’s the Welcome Week events that we call them that way. And so we think that
events are a great way for you to meet other grad
students and make new friends, obviously, but also to
meet people from the GSA, the staff from Grad Studies,
so if you want to meet Francesca as a real person for example, she’ll probably be there. I will be there as well, the International Graduate
Student Association will be there as well. And if you have questions that you just, just don’t feel like asking
in the Q&A for example, or don’t send an email and you just want a contact with somebody, just come to those events, we’ll be helpful to help you there. I also know that the International
Student Services office organizes events, and
Andrew said that you should go on the OSCARplus website just to see what are the different events, but I think they also have a Facebook page where they advertise all
their events as well. And so more specifically for Welcome Week we’ll have several
events and I’ve tried to, we’ve tried to list them here so there will be a resource fair, there will be a new
graduate student welcome, and there’s a Clubfest. So Francesca, tell me if I’m
wrong, but I think the Clubfest will be all the organization
and groups will be there with a table and they will
try to tell you what they do and what kind of events they
run, convince you to join them because they need more people to help. So that’s a good way to know
what’s going on on campus. There’ll also be a scavenger hunt, there’s an International Graduate
Student Board Game Night, we ran that event last year, it was really successful and really fun. So please come to that
event, I mean all of them, but that one’s really fun. And there’s also a
Teaching and Learning Forum from the McPherson office. So I remember going to that
forum the first year I was here ’cause I was kind of
worried about being a TA in a Canadian classroom ’cause
I knew it would be different, so I went to that forum and
that was really helpful for me just to get used to how it
works in a Canadian classroom. So if you’re worried about
that, go to that event, that will help you definitely. – JC I just want to mention that the Teaching and Learning Forum, they’ll have it, students will receive, will be able to look at that
information, they’ll get it so that they can register is, I think it runs for a
morning, so it’s very useful. And it’s not only for teaching assistants. If you’re thinking of maybe
becoming interested in teaching in the future, you may also attend. And just like JC mentioned, they also offer the Canadian classroom, teaching in a Canadian classroom workshop, the McPherson Institute, and they will be offering
two sessions this year. In August and September, so make sure you take
a look at those emails when you get that
information and you register. – Okay, great, so thank you
everybody for attending today, we know there’s been lots
of different questions, which is awesome. So actually coming up in a
couple of days we’ve got, JC will be back and we’re
doing a student panel Q&A, so if you have questions about what it’s like to be a student and you want to know maybe
JC’s favorite restaurant or what his experience has been
like transitioning to Canada I would recommend that you
register for this webinar coming up on August 1st. Would like to thank everybody
for joining us today. Especially thank you to
everybody who contributed, everyone who’s very
frantically trying to answer all these questions behind the scenes. And as well thank you very
much to JC and Francesca for sharing so much great information. So we will stick around to
answer the remaining questions that are here. And again thanks everybody
for joining us today and you can always contact
School of Grad Studies at [email protected] or the International
Graduate Student Association at [email protected] if you do have any other
questions before you arrive. And we look forward to meeting
you in August and September.

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