Student Success Centre

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we have to register in advance to attend an SAO Day?

Yes. Only those students and parents who have registered online or by phone can be accommodated. Due to the number of students and their guests attending SAO, we are NOT able to accept drop-in arrivals.

What if I am unable to come to campus for an orientation day?

Telephone counselling is available for students who live outside a four-hour travelling distance to Western. If you live more than four-hours from London, are an out-of-province student, or are an international student, you will be offered the option of a phone appointment when you go to book. Follow the steps on our Account Activation page, and complete all of the modules in your OWL “Academic Orientation” site. Have your Course Selection Sheet ready before your counselling appointment, and ensure you have access to a computer with internet. Allow 30 minutes for your appointment. As a follow-up, you will use Western’s online registration program to register for your courses. You can create a mock timetable before or after your appointment to see what schedule is best for you.

Can parents and other guests attend?

Parents and interested guests are welcome and encouraged to attend. We offer a concurrent parent program to provide parents with more information about Western’s programs and services available to first-year students. As spaces are limited, we can only allow two guests per student and we ask that all guests register for the program.

What is the deadline for course selection?

You are not required to wait for your SAO day before registering for courses, however we do suggest that your courses be reviewed at SAO. We will provide you assistance to make any required changes during your SAO day. The last day for online web registration is September 15. Once SAO ends, you must obtain any academic counselling you may need through the Dean's Office of your Faculty of registration.

How do I prepare for SAO?

Learn more about how to prepare.

Why do I need a student card and how do I obtain one?

The Western ONECard is both your campus identification card (required for all final exams) and a convenient, easy, and safe way to make purchases and use services on campus including: libraries, meal purchases, parking, door access, and vending machines. To avoid the September rush, you are strongly encouraged to upload a photo through our easy to use photo upload feature available in late June. Please ensure that your selected photo meets the following guidelines:

  • A neutral or smiling facial expression that is looking straight at the camera.
  • Open and clearly visible eyes. Glasses, including tinted prescription glasses, are acceptable provided that the eyes are clearly visible. Sunglasses are unacceptable. Nothing on your head, unless it is worn for religious beliefs.
  • Nothing obstructing the view of your face. (Veiled students, please contact our office to make special arrangements to have your picture taken.)

Alternatively, you are welcome to visit Student Central in the Western Student Services Building, Room 1120 to have your photo taken. Please note that the Western ONECard will be distributed during Orientation Week. If you are living in residence, you will be provided with your Western ONECard on move in day. If you are living off campus, you can pick up your card when you come to pick up your orientation package from the Off Campus Sophs. For students that are attending an affiliate college, please contact your college directly for further instructions.

Can I stay overnight?

We have two styles of accommodation to suit your preferences.

Western Summer Accommodations are offered in Western's newest residence, Ontario Hall.   This state-of-the-art new facility is conveniently located at the corner of Western and Sarnia Road, and offers complimentary wireless internet and plenty of free parking.  It is approximately a 10 minute walk from the SAO program, leaving plenty of time to grab a morning coffee. Western Summer Accommodations provides you with convenient and affordable semi-private suites and an opportunity to experience residence before beginning your time at Western.  Visit us online to make your reservation and indicate that you are attending SAO to receive a 15% discount on suites or rooms.



Phone: 519-661-3476

Windermere Manor: offers 48 spacious suites and rooms,  full hot breakfast included in the room rate, ample free parking, free wireless internet service, 100% smoke free facility, on site restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, fully licenced outdoor patio and a beautiful setting. Windermere is located 5 minutes from Western’s main campus. SAO participants get a 10% discount on suites and rooms. For reservations or accommodation inquiries, please contact: Telephone: 1-800-997-4477 Email:


Is lunch available?

Lunch is available to purchase in the University Community Centre. Spoke-To-Go is located in the Western Film concessions 2nd floor UCC next to the Mckellar room. Spoke-To-Go serves coffee, bagels and breakfast sandwiches as well as quick service lunch options. The Wave is also open and it is a full service casual dining experience. Centre Spot Eatery is available as well and SAO participants will receive a 10% discount on food purchases with an SAO nametag. Tim Horton's and Centre Spot currently accepts debit as payment.

Here is a link to the Centre Spot Food Court: 

Are there services for students with disabilities?

Yes, Western provides services for students who have disabilities. If you require any special arrangements in order to participate in orientation, please contact the coordinator at or 519-661-2111 ext. 85183. To prepare for the fall, students with disabilities are encouraged to attend an Orientation and Information Session presented by Services for Students with Disabilities at Western. These sessions are offered every day of SAO at 1pm.  For more information, and to register, click here:

Academic accommodation must be requested during the summer, as soon as possible after students register for courses. Later requests will be considered, however accommodation may not be arranged in time for first term examinations. Please note that academic accommodation and related assistance provided at Western may differ from that provided by an individual’s previous educational institution. Individuals contemplating attending Western are encouraged to consult with SSD regarding accommodations that the University would provide for them prior to making a final decision about attending Western.

What options are available to me over the summer to improve my writing skills or English language skills?

Summer Academic Writing Clinic

Created in 2003 and primarily intended for incoming first-year students (although any student may register), our annual Summer Academic Writing Clinic (SAWC) is a three-day program in which students learn about all aspects of writing at the university level: subject-specific writing, academic writing styles, professor expectations, research, sourcing, thesis statements, critical thinking skills, and more are addressed.

Writing ability is a major reason for academic success. Although students develop sound writing skills in high school, many need to improve in order to excel at university. The SAWC offers you the opportunity to learn how to write at the university level before you write your first paper.