Every year, UASUevents puts on New Student Orientation and Week of Welcome to create an exciting atmosphere during the first week of school and bring the campus community together to kick off the year. It’s a jam-packed event with something for everyone, and our amazing volunteers are essential to making it happen.

Want to help with WOW 2023? Check out what some of our volunteers have to say about what getting involved in this event has meant to them. 

When I started university, it was in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent of my “campus” was the desk in my childhood bedroom. University is always viewed as an opportunity for social interactions, but for many of us, that time in our university careers was when we were most alone. I was in my classes doing the assignments, but I was missing out on a critical part of the university experience and I knew that once I came to Edmonton I would do something to change that. 

Through Week of Welcome I was able to meet new people which was something that had been lacking in my university experience thus far. I was also able to build confidence in my public speaking skills and get more comfortable meeting new people. 

The time in both training and actually volunteering was so well spent and it allowed me to connect with people that I never would have otherwise. I met people from different programs, years and backgrounds that I never would have crossed paths with if not for WOW. I’m looking forward to being more involved in WOW this year and to all the great memories we’ll make! 

Since I started my 1st year of university online, I couldn’t attend New Student Orientation or Week of Welcome in person. At this point, I did not realize how much of an experience I was missing out on. Throughout my 1st year, I felt disconnected and alone, finding it hard to distinguish if my so-called “new friends” were only out of convenience or actual meaningful connections; meeting new people without physically seeing them felt too superficial and insincere. 

Second year came, and I signed up for a campus tour because I felt super nervous about finally being on campus. My anxiety was at an all-time high and I found the tour super helpful and informational. It definitely eased my worries and replaced it with excitement to finally start my university experience. 

As a general volunteer during WOW 2022, I knew how new students felt because I’ve been in their shoes before. It was satisfying to see that I was part of the program that is essentially the first contact of students to university. This volunteer experience has helped me connect with my closest university friends and it definitely made me feel more integrated and involved in the campus community. I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to be a familiar face for others in a daunting, new environment.

It all started with my first New Student Orientation in 2019. I was inspired by the program and the volunteers to get involved on campus. The NSO and WOW programs and their volunteers strive to create a positive and welcoming atmosphere to ease students’ nerves when they start their new journey on the UAlberta campus, and I was one of those nervous first-year students who felt left out and lost in her first week of university life. My own NSO and WOW experiences were so great that they gave me an instant connection with the people on campus. I was looking forward to giving back the same experience to other students and getting the most out of my university experience. 

The WOW program gave me lots of unforgettable memories and experiences that enriched my undergraduate experience as a UAlberta student. It allows me to connect with people, gain valuable and transferable skills, and, more importantly, be a part of the campus community and work with all volunteers toward one goal: to deliver an unparalleled welcoming experience for all students. Not only does it challenge me to step out of my comfort zone and take the opportunity to grow, but it also gives me a sense of belonging in the program.

Volunteer with us for Week of Welcome 2023 - apply by February 17th at uasu.ca/wow!