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Setting the stage: Orientation week kicks off another successful year

Incoming students get ready for the team-building canoe trip

Incoming students get ready for the team-building canoe trip - an annual tradition for the MSc Global Health program.


By Ruth Adair, September 6, 2019

Orientation week for the new academic year set the stage for success as one hundred incoming MSc Global Health students, along with faculty and staff, gathered to connect and get geared up for the 12 months ahead.

“It’s been a busy couple of days with lots of excited, nervous energy – and a lot of information to cover,” says Sonya de Laat, academic program advisor.

“Also, we have a very diverse group this year, with students from many different nationalities and cultural backgrounds, and it’s been important to ensure that we make cultural awareness an integral part of our orientation week,” de Laat explains.

A truly international program, the MSc Global Health requires collaboration in transcontinental teams in an online learning environment with peers from the program’s global network of partner institutions.

With this in mind, students had a session with McMaster’s Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO) to review issues around communication and language when working with peers  online and in-person from different cultures and countries and who bring with them a diversity of perspectives and ways of communicating. 

Students also had an opportunity to hear from past graduates, via a Q& A session, and received tips from professor DiLiberto on “how to ace grad school.”

The highlight of orientation week was the team-building canoe trip – an annual tradition for the program – which kicked off on September 5 and took participants from Glen Morris to Paris, with only one or two tipped canoes along the way.

“Overall it’s been a very successful orientation and we look forward to a great year ahead,” says de Laat.