U of A+: International Undergraduate Academic Success Program

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International Undergraduate Academic Success Program: August 17 - 23, 2022

Are you 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.

Please note: Registration is now closed. If you have any questions about, please contact uaplus@ualberta.ca.


Registration Information

Who can register?

International students from all faculties are welcome. To apply you must:

  • Be entering your first year studying at the University of Alberta
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or bridging program student
  • Will have a valid study permit upon arrival

*This program might not be a good fit for exchange students. Please consult an International Student Specialist to find out by setting up an advising appointment.

What is the program fee?
  • Fee: $150/person
  • Registration deadline: July 31, 2022
What is included in the fee?

This fee includes:

  • Registration
  • All classes, workshops, training, class materials
  • Field trip (transportation and lunch included)
  • Some courtesy meals
Can I Stay in Residence?
UofA+ students who have a confirmed space in residence for Fall 2022 can request to move into their academic year accommodation early, by submitting an Early Arrival Request From - Due Aug 3. to apply, please log into your Resident Account and complete the "Early Arrival Request" form.  If you do not see the form, please contact Residence Services at housing@ualberta.ca say that you cannot see the form, and provide a copy of your receipts of registration.  Residents of Lister Residence and Peter Lougheed Hall will need to make their own arrangements for meals until August 22.

  • Earliest Move in date: August 14
  • Cost: $40 per night (Charged to Bear Tracks)
  • Meal Plans will not yet be activated

Note:  Students who will not be living in residence in Fall 2022 must find their own temporary accommodation.

Session Information

Canadian Academic Writing

Session 1: Cultural Expectations: Navigating English academic writing expectations 
Many students struggle with replicating the norms and practices associated with university-level writing. This session identifies some of the cultural dimensions of writing in academic English, with a particular focus on key rhetorical moves in scholarly texts. It will also introduce the importance of attribution.

Session 2: Approaching Writing Assignments: Cultivating a process-approach to writing
Many students do not approach writing systematically, often leaving them unprepared for demanding writing assignments. This session introduces the process-oriented mindset to help you master the skills and habits of university-level writing. We will also touch on the rubric as a tool to guide your use of scholarly sources.

Critical Thinking

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
Dramatic Approach to Communication

Be Seen and Be Heard

A series of four 90-minute workshops to help you share your ideas in the classroom and beyond with specific attention to

  1. Building confidence in your expressive voice. Your accent is an advantage as your voice communicates who you are to the world.

We speak to each other with words and with silence and how you say something can be as important as what you say. It starts with becoming aware of what you are doing and making the necessary shifts to help you strengthen your ability to communicate.

  1. How to participate in class discussions and small group work. Speaking and listening and the practice of effective collaboration.
  2. Developing your presentation skills. Organizing your thoughts and the value of embodied practice in your vocal and physical expression. Understanding the importance of defining your purpose and what you hope we take from your presentation.
  3. Beyond the classroom. How to take what you have learned beyond the walls of the University. Extending from academia into practical applications.

In order to improve one’s communicative skills, one needs experiential practice. It is in the act of doing that we come to an understanding and awareness of a deeper meaning and retain what we are learning.

Throughout our time together you will be actively engaged in the art of communication. You will be led through a series of exercises/structures of engagement that will encourage you to discover how to express yourself with clarity and passion and develop an awareness of the importance of mindful attention to the present in the act of communication. It's also important that as you learn about Canadian culture you are able to share your own culture with us. We have much to learn from each other. 

A Study System for Deep Learning and Remembering
In this workshop, students will learn how to set goals, break down tasks into manageable chunks, focus while reading, understand challenging terms and phrases, and create active study aids. Also, students will learn and apply a study system in real-time during this workshop so they can personalize and adapt the techniques to their individual courses and academic needs more effectively once the fall term begins.
Time Management for a Balanced Life and Effective Learning
Students will learn how to organize their schedules to improve memory, minimize re-reading, and reduce anxiety in preparing for exams or completing assignments. Students will also start creating an individualized time management system within the session in order to create a balance between their academic and personal lives.
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.

Faculty Visit
Meet with your faculty academic advisors to learn more about your program, your department, and your faculty. It’s a very good opportunity for you to listen to the advice from your academic advisors about your academic plans and ask questions.
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?"  “How do I develop the skill set and get experience?” “How can I plan on my career development?”

This session walks you through the process of job searching and explores the unwritten rules of a Canadian workplace. We will discuss the road map of career development and clarify how, in Canada, it is not your technical job skills that get you the position, but how you interact with work colleagues.

Immigration Session
This session will provide you with important information to safely navigate your way through the immigration regulations in Canada, help you understand the conditions of your stay, your working eligibility, and how to maintain your student status while in Canada.