Welcome from Dr. Joanne Fox
Hello and welcome, Vantage One students of 2015!
As you begin your journey at UBC, our faculty and staff team are very excited to connect with you. You might be wondering: how do I connect with faculty, staff and my fellow Vantage One peers? Below are some key points that will provide you with information and advice you should keep in mind as you navigate your first year at UBC.
You are first year students, new to university studies, new to adulthood, and perhaps even new to an unfamiliar country! You have already demonstrated open-mindedness: to a new language, a new culture, and new ways of learning. What bravery you have demonstrated already! Hold on to the open-minded quality you possess in these first months: it will serve you well. Continue to look for new experiences, new lessons to learn, and new faces. Your peers in Vantage One can become your life-long friends and mentors.
At UBC, we strongly value a culture of diversity and inclusion. What does this mean? It means that we value everybody’s perspectives on the world and treat all ideas with respect. It means we’re interested in finding out about how others think and feel. It means we encourage all members of the community to participate in conversations and activities. So, here’s some advice to help you embrace this culture of inclusion: Listen well to the conversations happening around you, and share your thoughts and ideas in return. As much as possible, practice speaking English! You can learn together. When a single language other than English is spoken in a group setting, it can exclude others. You can support each other, and grow your own abilities and interests by aiming to include everyone in your conversations.
All over campus - in your residence buildings, in your Jump Start learning communities, and in your classrooms -- you will likely meet people from diverse countries, cultures and backgrounds. What happens when you embrace the opportunity to meet and engage with new people? Connections happen. New friendships are forged. And, what might happen when you come across a new concept or subject of study in your courses? You might discover your life’s passion, or consider a new career path!
Do you know what your professors will truly love? Getting lots of questions from you! Don’t be afraid of asking questions that may seem silly or confusing (or even scary). Asking questions shows that you are thinking, listening and processing new ideas. At UBC, we welcome, encourage and actually expect questions from students! In fact, the chances are very high that if you are wondering about a concept, someone else is as well.
Curiosity is linked to another priority of the Vantage One program, which is engaging with all the individuals and learning opportunities that you have in your program. Being curious will enrich your experience and will make sure that your eyes are open to opportunities that you might have otherwise missed.
We hope these ideas will help you as begin your studies and build a community of new friends. Do you have questions or want to find out more about any of the content included here? We invite you to stop by the Lower Mall Research Station, which houses the offices for the Vantage One program. We are always happy to see you and will happily answer any questions. We also look forward to learning about you, and welcome your ideas and suggestions!
Best wishes for an exciting and rewarding beginning of your academic journey at UBC.
Dr. Joanne Fox
Principal & Academic Director, UBC Vantage College