GO (Get Oriented) is the third stage of transition supports for new immigrant and international students. Over the first eight weeks of your program, we have strategies, resources, and supports to help you start on the path to success in your life, program, and career in Canada.
GO Sessions will run on Tuesdays from September 4 to October 24.
Click the link to register online:
- Notre Dame Campus: Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 pm, eTV Studio
The session will also be streamed and recorded by eTV Learning Technologiesfor viewing 24/7 across all campuses. You may also register for viewing online.
Week 1: Get Involved (Sept 4-7, 2018)
How do you get to feel that you really belong in a new place, that it is your “home?” With so many new things to worry about it can be stressful and difficult to adjust to your new life.
One negative way students may approach the difficulties and challenges of life in a new environment is to hide. They just keep to themselves, staying at home, eating familiar food and watching familiar TV, only going out for classes or work. This can quickly lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Other times, students create a “bubble” of people around them from their home culture. In the short term, this can feel very good. Together, you share a familiar language and culture as well as the experience of living in a new place.
The problem with this coping strategy is that although you have a small group of friends around you, you are still isolating yourself from all of the opportunities to learn, connect, and belong in the place where you live. You may also be sending a message to classmates, instructors, employers, and potential friends “We don’t want to participate in Canadian life.” This can narrow your opportunities for career and personal success if you plan to stay for an extended time. You will need those connections to build a successful life in Canada.
Successful integration into a new environment requires intention. Choosing to get out of your comfort zone and start participating in life on campus and in your Canadian community.
How can you get started on campus?
- Sign up for the Cultural Mentorship Program
- Try out for an RRC Sports team or Fitness & Wellness Program
- Get involved in the Red River College Students’ Association
- Join a Club (or start your own)
- Participate in the Canadian Connection program (Welcome Party coming up September 28!)
- Read the International and Immigrant Student News for new opportunities and activities throughout the year.
How can you get started in the community?
- Volunteer – check out Volunteer Manitoba for opportunities across the province.
- Participate in Recreational Activities
- Join a community Recreational League
- Join a community-based club
- Take a friend to explore Winnipeg
(Please note that these community-based activities are not associated with or endorsed by Red River College)
We hope you have a great time getting to know your College and your community.
Watch these videos from this week’s GO Session for more information!
Week 2: Get Settled (Sept 10-14. 2018)
If you have just recently arrived in Winnipeg, you may be spending as much time adjusting to the new city as you are to your new program. During the first few months, you may find that taking care of your basic needs can be more complicated than in the past.
Making this new place your home helps you to feel comfortable and secure, and you will be able to accomplish more in class and in life. Just like building a good friendship, getting to know your city takes intention and quality time. Set a goal for yourself to get to know Winnipeg better over the next few weeks!
GO Session: Get settled!
Come to this week’s GO Session:
- Notre Dame Campus: Tuesday, September 11, 12:00-1:00 pm, @ eTV Studio
- Exchange District Campus: Wednesday, September 12, 12:00-1:00 pm, Roblin Centre P315
Please register today for the events at your campus online:
- Notre Dame Campus Sessions
- Exchange District Campus Sessions
- Online Viewing – Go to live.etvlabs.com Watch online and/or access the videos 24/7 online.
Register early, as seats are limited for the in-person sessions.
Tips for getting to know your city:
- Start with the basics! What do you “need,” and where can you find these things close to where you live? Talk to classmates, neighbours, or explore the internet to identify the most important stores and other places in your neighbourhood.
- Expanding Circles. Start with the places where you spend the most time—school, home, work, or familiar shopping centres. Begin exploring the nearby areas—walk into a new store, library, or park each day just to see what is there. Explore a bit farther each time.
- Get lost! When you have free time, visit a different part of the city—a shopping centre, neighbourhood, or park. Go to a tourist attraction or try to find something you’ve been craving. Make sure to charge your phone and check your data plan so that you can find your way back!
- Find a guide. Meet up with a local friend and let them show you their favourite places & activities. (Need to make local friends? Try joining the Intercultural Mentorship Program!)
- Try something new! You can enrich your life by trying a different way of doing things. Find out how local residents meet their needs—it might work for you, too. You may come from a culture where eating out is the norm but it is too expensive here. Find other ways of connecting with people through activities or meeting at home. Living in a different climate you may need to adjust your clothing, personal hygiene (take more showers), or the number of blankets you use.
Where to get what you want in Winnipeg:
(Note that all external links are for information only and are not connected with or endorsed by Red River College)
There are several options available when renting a place:
- Red River College Campus Living
- Renting an apartment from a rental agency
- Home-stay programs (through homestay agencies or private listings)
- Renting a room in a house / apartment (private rental)
- Sharing accommodation with friends
- Short-term private accommodation (such as AirBnB)
- Kijiji is the most common and well known website for rentals in Winnipeg. Other websites for rentals include Craigslist, Rentboard, or Easyroomate.
When looking for housing, be aware of:
- Scams – always view the rental space, meet the landlord and examine the contract in person before signing a lease or paying a deposit.
- Bedbugs – These are a problem across Winnipeg (not just in low-cost housing). Take care when renting a place or buying used furnishings.
- Illegal Boarding Houses – houses that are illegally converted for room rentals may be unsafe.
- Contracts & deposits – Lease agreements are typically for 1 year, but may be month-to-month. There is typically a security deposit required, which should not be more than ½ month’s rent. Check the rules in your agreement—for example, many agreements require all adult occupants to sign the lease.
Check out these resources fro more information about renting in Manitoba:
- Manitoba Residential Tenancies Branch has comprehensive information for both renters & landlords.
- New Journey Housing provides training and advice to newcomers to Winnipeg about finding safe & affordable housing. Learn about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and what to be aware of when looking for a place to live.
Other options are:
- Taxis (Unicity, Duffy’s, Spring, & Greencity)
- Rideshare ( Tappcar, Cowboy Taxi, U2Go)
- Car sharing – Peg City Car Co-op
- Carpooling (gomanitoba.ca)
Driver’s License: check out Manitoba Public Insurance for information about driving in Manitoba:
Credit Cards – Using a credit card and paying all your bills on time can help you build a good credit record to help you qualify for financial opportunities in the future. With no credit history in Canada, you may need to start off with a secured credit card. These require a deposit in exchange for a credit limit.
The major grocery stores in Winnipeg have a wide range of foods, usually including a diverse range of ethnic foods:
- Sobeys / Safeway
- Real Canadian Superstore
- Save-on Foods
- Co-op Marketplace
Check out these links for information about finding ethnic foods in Winnipeg:
- English Online Manitoba Food Guide
- Food Matters Manitoba Map to Newcomer Traditional Foods in Winnipeg
If you need to see a doctor, you can either find a family physician, or visit a Walk-in Clinic (no appointment needed, but be prepared to wait up to 1-2 hours). For emergency care, you can attend a hospital emergency department, or call 9-1-1 for ambulance service ((also fire or police service).
For more information about these and other health care options, visit MyRightCare.ca
For help with health insurance information and claims, contact the RRCSA Student Benefits Plan Office.
Cellular phone plans are relatively expensive in Canada, but they are important tools to stay connected for education, employment, and personal use. Typically contracts run for 2 years, but if you already have a device, you may be able to get a month-to-month plan.
Major companies offering cellular service in Manitoba include:
Some other companies (Fido, Koodo, Virgin Mobile, etc. ) sell plans based off of the major carriers’ networks.
Manitoba Travel & Recreation Information
- Travel Manitoba
- Winnipeg Tourism
- Winnipeg Leisure Guide : Activities across Winnipeg
- Are you attending a rural campus or visiting a town outside of Winnipeg? Check out information about Rural Centres in Manitoba.
- Live & Learn Online Community for New Manitobans – Great online resource about getting settled in Manitoba.
- Immigrant Centre Manitoba offers a wide range of settlement services to newcomers in Manitoba.
What are you looking for?
Is there anything you’re still trying to find in Manitoba? Let us know! Email Norlan at email@example.com with your questions.
Get Settled! Video Links
- Week 2 Intro and Activity
- Get Settled
- Financial Services
- Health Care
- Child Care
Week 3: Get Organized (Sept 17-21, 2018)
You’ve probably figured this out already, your Red River College program is challenging! You have to work hard to become employment-ready. Adjusting to academic life can be overwhelming, but with focus and organization you can take control and find study success.
5 Keys to Academic Success:
- Overcome academic culture shock
- Organize your life.
- Communicate with your instructors.
- Follow academic integrity standards.
- Access academic supports.
Overcome Culture Shock
When you walk into a new class, a lot may be different than classes you have attended before. Class layout, resources, activities, and assessments may be very different. What helped you to succeed in the past may not work here—you may have to learn new skills to excel here.
For some, the biggest challenge may be presentation skills. For others, it may be learning how to work independently and within groups, or to prepare for both theoretical and practical evaluations.
Every time you meet a challenge in studies or in life, it is an opportunity for learning. Keep a positive mindset and an inquisitive approach to effectively adapt to new expectations.
Organize your Life by Planning Backwards
A lot of stress can be reduced by simply organizing the tasks that you have to do. “Backwards Planning” involves placing all of your deadlines on your schedule, and then work backwards from that deadline to the present, breaking down the tasks that you need to complete in order to stay on track.
This technique can apply to personal and settlement challenges as well. For example, if you need to find a new apartment, you can map out the tasks and decisions that need to happen in order to move at the right time.
If you take a few hours at the beginning of the term to organize all your work, you do not have the burden of all the deadlines and tasks for the term. You only need to focus on the tasks that are scheduled for that day. Once they are complete, you are free to do other things – rest, socialize, or other activities. This will also help you to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle as a student.
Communicate with your Instructors
Your instructors are on your team—they are working to help you meet the outcomes required by your program. Communicate with them. If you are struggling, they can suggest ways for you to get additional support, practice, or resources to get back on the right pathway. If you are doing well, they can suggest opportunities to take on additional challenges to prepare for success beyond your program. They are also your link to the industry you are preparing for. Get to know them, and let them get to know your goals and skills.
Academic integrity is taken very seriously at Red River College, and reflects the principles of honesty, truthfulness, and fairness.
Western education places a high importance on individual work. You are responsible to use your original work and ideas, and to give acknowledgement when you use or refer to work and ideas by other people. Even when work is done by a group, individuals are given credit for their individual contributions, and individual assignments must be completed according to the guidelines without outside help.
Penalties for Academic Misconduct can be severe, ranging from receiving a failing grade fro the assignment to being expelled from the College.
If you are coming from an educational system with different standards, this can be a significant challenge. Make it a priority to learn the standards early in your program, and follow them is all your academic work.
Tips for avoiding academic misconduct:
- Read the College’s Academic Integrity Policy(S4)
- Ask your instructor what activities are allowed before you start an assignment.
- Learn the citation method used in your program (for example, Modern Language Association Guidelines). Find a guideto help you cite your sources properly.
- Contact the Academic Success Centrefor help with Academic Writing.
- Meet with a language tutor to learn how to properly paraphrase, summarize, and refer to research sources.
- Be honest and truthful in all of your academic work, communications, and representation of your work at Red River College.
Access Academic Supports
Your Red River College program may be one of the greatest challenges you have taken on in your life so far, but you don’t have to do it alone. There are complete supports available to help you meet the high academic standards. Visit the Academic Success Centrefor academic and language coaching, tutoring, or workshops. You will be surprised at what you can achieve with a bit of support.
GO Session: Get Organized!
Come to this week’s GO Session:
- Notre Dame Campus: Tuesday, September 18, 12:00-1:00 pm, @ eTV Studio
- Online Viewing – Go to live.etvlabs.comWatch online and/or access the videos 24/7 online.
Please register todayto let us know you are coming or watching online!