U of A Plus Program

International Undergraduate Academic Success Program: August 17 - 25

Do you want to get a head start at the U of A? Are you are looking to overcome the unique challenges of being a new international student--living in a new culture, adapting to a new learning environment? U of A+ is the program for you!

U of A+ is an introductory academic skills program, focused on increasing international undergraduate students’ academic proficiency and clarifying what is expected of students in a Canadian university classroom.

Through a series of classes, workshops, and peer-led activities, you will develop skills to help you succeed in the Canadian post-secondary system. It’s also a great way to connect with other students and build lasting friendships.

Registration is now closed.

Add your name to the U of A+ waiting list, email uofaplus@ualberta.ca

What you will learn:

  • How to work with students from different cultures 
  • What are Canadian classroom expectations
  • How to write academic essays and reports 
  • How to communicate appropriately with your professors
  • How to build your resume and plan for your future career in Canada
  • Volunteer experience/field trip: Get to know Edmonton's culture, experience teamwork activities and make friends! 

“My experience with U of A+ was one of a kind, just like the friends I met and the tips on how to thrive in school!” – Jesslyn Rosanna

Who Can Register?

Students from all faculties are welcome. To apply you must:

  • Be a first-year international student coming to the University of Alberta
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or bridging program student
  • Have a valid study permit upon arrival


  • Early bird registration (before June 20, 2017 11:59 PM MT): $100/person
  • After June 20, 2017: $150/person

Registration deadline: July 31, 2017

This fee includes:

  • Registration
  • All classes, workshops, training, class materials,
  • Field trip (transportation and lunch included)
  • Opening reception breakfast, lunches, and graduation dinner

You must prepare for additional living costs, including temporary accommodation, meals and transportation from the airport, etc.


Student and Guest Services

Students enrolled in U of A+ can register for temporary accommodation with Student and Guest Services.

To apply, fill out the Accommodation Reservation Form and email Guest Services (guest.services@ualberta.ca). This option costs $49/night.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This form specifies accommodation with Guest Services is available until August 23, 2017; we would like to assure students, campus accommodation will be available for the entire duration of the U of A+ program (August 17 -25).

Students who have confirmed on-campus housing for Fall 2017, can move into their residence building, August 23, 2017. The rate to stay is $25/night until August 28, 2017.

Please note: You are not required to provide credit card information when you apply. Credit card information will be required when you check-in.

Find Your Own Accommodation Students may find their own temporary housing in Edmonton for August. See the temporary accommodations section for other options.

Program Information 

Introduction to Canadian Academic Writing (Centre for Writers)

Learn the cultural expectations of North American academic writing, common discipline-specific writing genres, and the components of the writing process. From understanding an assignment description to producing a detailed outline. Tutors will identify the various writing and research support services available across campus.

The session focuses on grammar, punctuation, self-editing process, and different strategies for writing an in-class essay. Towards the end of the session, you will do an in-class essay assignment drawn from the lessons you learned throughout the session. 

A Dramatic Approach to Communication (Michele Fleiger)

This session helps you develop an awareness of your potential to communicate with passion, power and purpose. Through active engagement in a variety of exercises, you will learn how to enhance your range of vocal and physical expression, develop an awareness of the cultural expectations of the Canadian classroom, and discover ways to feel confident and relaxed and able to participate more fully in your Canadian experience both on and off campus.

Brief session outline: 

  • Exercises to enhance physical and vocal expression.
  • Awareness of habitual tendencies and how to move beyond those habitual tendencies that restrict your ability to be fully present
  • Practical application of the tools of vocal variety designed to enhance clarity
  • Practice a variety of forms of presentation 
  • Practice a variety of communicative strategies in relevant contexts designed to familiarize participants with the Canadian post-secondary environment
  • The importance of active participation in the classroom: what it means and how to contribute
  • Cultural expectations of the Canadian classroom

Critical Thinking: Thinking for Yourself, with Others (Jason Taylor/ Eurekamp)

This workshop includes a series of activities, group work and discussions which aim to help you start to learn about: 

  • Working productively in groups
  • Being comfortable speaking and listening in groups
  • Identifying and forming good questions for discussion
  • Thinking critically about ideas by, e.g., identifying reasons, listing assumptions, raising examples
  • Critically self-assessing your thinking; i.e., think at the 'meta-level', about your own thinking

Immigration Basics

This session provides you with important information on how to safely navigate your way through the immigration regulations in Canada. Learn to understand the conditions of your stay and how to maintain your student status while in Canada. 

Achieving your Career Goals: Making the most of your university experience

If you hope to stay in Canada after graduation and find a good job, to be competitive, you will need more than just your post-secondary education. You will need Canadian work experience, proficient English language skills and a professional network. You will learn about potential career opportunities and what employers look for in potential candidates, by participating in different activities throughout the academic year. 
The University of Alberta Career Centre is a student service and your resource for career and employment information and expertise. They provide essential links between those looking for work and those looking to hire. Learn about the programs that will help you achieve your employment goals including U of A Job Shadow Week, Career Mentoring Program, Transition to Career (T2C), Employer Information Sessions, the Arts Work Experience Program (AWE) and the ALES Internship Program.

How to Talk to Your Professor (Jack Zupko, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy
Editor, Journal of the History of Philosophy)

Jack Zupko, PhD—Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department.  A Cornell University graduate, Professor Zupko specializes in medieval philosophy, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. Professor Zupko received teaching awards while on the faculties of Emory University and San Diego State University. Prior to coming to the University of Alberta in 2013, He was Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Winnipeg. He was also a professor in residence and delivered various workshops for students on campus.

One of the keys to academic success is knowing when and how to talk to your professor.  Professors want you to succeed!  This presentation helps you get the most out of your interactions with professors both inside and outside the classroom.

Studying Successfully in Canada (International Student Services)

You must have expectations of what life will be like as a UAlberta student and you are excited about it.  In the next four to five years, you will go through many new moments and your expectations may be different from what you will experience. With International Student Specialists, students learn how to transit to a Canadian university as an international student, the academic culture differences, the strategies they can use to help them succeed, and how to use the many on-campus resources and services. Through stories, activities, and discussions, students are prepared for the learning path on how to adapt themselves to the new academic culture and how to use different campus resources to support themselves.

The Pragmatics of Working in Canadian Context

Most students start university with hopes to find employment at the end.  Whether you plan to stay in Canada or go back to your home country, having work experience will increase your chances. To do that, it is important to ask "What do organizations and jobs expect of employees, and how does that look?"  This session explores the unwritten rules of a Canadian workplace.  We will discuss what initiative, promotability and teamwork look like. This session will clarify how, in Canada, it is not your technical job skills that get you the position, but how you interact with work colleagues. 

Surviving Cultural Transition 

For some, this may be the first time you experience a “foreign” culture on your own. While it is an exciting experience, you may come across challenges in this new culture.  Your focus on new cultural experiences combined with a new academic culture can result in a lot of mental, emotional and cultural stress. This session, a two-part series, aims to provide an opportunity to think about perceptions and discuss different ways to communicate while introducing tools to help your cultural transition, to better understand and leverage your own cultural identity.

Expectations and Accountability – strategies for success in an academic community

Students coming from other countries can be surprised by some of the cultural differences they encounter in Canada. This session talks about how students conduct themselves both in their academic work and in the University community so that everyone has the same opportunities to succeed. Using stories, discussions and videos, presenters will discuss academic integrity strategies. 

Library Session (University of Alberta Libraries)

We have one of the largest University libraries in North America and we know that finding good information for your studies can be complex and confusing. But don't worry, we are here to help and our library staff really enjoy helping people.  

Students will learn: 

  • Some key course resources: e.g. textbooks to borrow, printing, computers to use
  • The variety of ways to search our library and how it is different than just going online (e.g. Google, Baidu, etc)
  • Finding films, international newspapers/magazines, and foreign language materials

Healthy U! Session (Maddi Genovese, MEd, RPsych / Counselling and Clinical Services)

Welcome to the U of A! No question, you are, probably, very excited about moving to Canada and starting University, this session will help you recognize debilitating habits and signs of poor mental health. It is easy to forget the significance of our mental health when we are busy adjusting to a new life, but good mental health is very important for personal well-being and academic success. This session will share several strategies to improve your mental health and provide helpful resources to you!

Studying Mathematics at University

This session starts by a discussion on some of the major differences between math courses in high school and math courses at university. It will cover tips on how to be successful in your UAlberta mathematics courses.


For questions or more information email uaplus@ualberta.ca