New to the department?

If you're just starting your graduate program at the U of C there are a bunch of things that might be useful to help you get, particularly if you're also new to the university, city, province, or even country. First, of course, is to attend the orientation session that CSGS is helping to organize. In addition, we've highlighted below a few other links that might be helpful as you begin your program here.

Orientation

The department, CSGS, Graduate Student Association, and U of C International all run orientation sessions.

Living as a student in Calgary

The Computer Science department has a section on student life in Calgary in addition to providing information about your program, funding opportunities (including Teaching Assistantships), and other related issues.

For move details, you can consult The University's Graduate Student Association, which provides a handbook for those new to the city. It's targetted at international students (and they also provide other information for international students as well), but may also be of use to those new to the city of Calgary. Similarly, the University also provides a handbook for new international students.

Health and Dental

The Graduate Student Association has a Health and Dental plan which all grad students are part of by default. Details of this plan are available here. If you'd like to be instantly reimbursed for expenses prior to the fee payment deadline each year you reregister you'll need to consult the GSA's web plan for details of how to explicitly opt-in. Similarly, if you can provide documentation of other health and dental coverage, you may be able to save some money by opting out of the plan - this too must be done by a certain deadline each year - talk to the GSA for details.

Get to know others in the department

One way to help you get better integrated into the department is to get involved in CSGS-organized social activities and thereby meet others in the department. Weekly Tuesday Tea meetings are organized by CSGS as a time for informal conversation over tea and an assortment of snacks. As well, a number of other social events like sports tournaments and parties are held throughout the course of each year.

Stay tuned to this website and your @ucalgary.ca email account (once you've got one) for announcements about these activities and how you can take part!

Teaching

One of the changes you may find when starting a graduate program here are the teaching assistantships which place you on the other side of classrooms from students. Even if you have prior teaching experience, teaching styles may be different from what you're used to. (A relatively informal atmosphere exists in many Canadian classrooms).

In addition to department-provided information at start-of-the-semester TA meetings for those acting as teaching assistants, a variety of other resources are available to help you improve your teaching. These include workshops which may be organized by groups like us (the CSGS) and feature professors in the department, or the university-wide Graduate Student Association.

You may also wish to contact the Teaching & Learning Centre on campus for assistance and training on teaching-related matters. They are running a series of two-day TA Preparedness Workshops in September, free of charge.