Even though I arrived in Vancouver almost a month before school started, I was really not prepared for the beginning of this program. I had found an apartment, my husband had a job, and I was well on my way to learning the Vancouver bus system. BUT…none of this came close to getting me ready for the intensity of Opening Week and Business Immersion. There are several things that I did, and some that I wish I had done, in order to prepare myself for the social, intellectual, and emotional rigor of those first few days.
- Get in contact with the administration at least two weeks before the start of the program. They will set you up with all the information you need and take the stress out of figuring out where you need to be. Unfortunately, I did not get in touch with anyone before starting the program and it really hurt me that first week.
- Be ready to dive in. Please prepare yourself for the time commitment involved with this program. Whether you are coming from far away, or you have lived in Vancouver your entire life, you will nearly drop everything to be in this program. While you will still be able to have some fun, its way better for you to give yourself over to the MM program.
- For anyone not from Vancouver, it is absolutely crucial for you to familiarize yourself with the transit system. It took me at least a week to figure out the timing and routes to the school. Even now, in early November, there are many time I am clueless when it comes to many of the different lines. You will not be able to use your transit card until September though!
- If you are assigned work before the week starts, just suck it up and do it. Get it out of the way! You really want to spend this first week getting to know your cohort and soaking up as much information as you possibly can.
- Get outside as much as you can! It will soon get dark and rainy, so take this time in late August to go on walks and really enjoy the campus! It’s truly amazing. The first thing I did on campus was visit the Nitobe Zen Garden and I have no regrets.
From personal experience Opening Week will change your life. It’s so incredible to be part such a inclusive and amazing group of people. I hope that these few tips can help anyone coming into this program to gain a little perspective on what the program entails. Keep in mind that these people will be your network, your friends, and some your family during this program and into the future.
– Erica Yan