First Year Programme
When you come to Richmond, you are choosing to enter a small community that will open up your world to a vast network of other global communities – all here in London. Your first year, especially your first few months, will be exciting and challenging, at times confusing and scary, but overall learning will occur at an incredible pace.
Richmond’s faculty and student affairs staff and student peer mentors are here to help facilitate this learning and the transitional period students go through in their first year. Whether you have lived and studied in a number of different countries or this is the first time you have studied abroad, whether you come to us with many transfer credits or none, we recognize the importance of your “First Year Experience”. We have designed a program to help all new students adjust successfully to the academic, social and cultural demands of university life. You will work closely with faculty in the First Year Seminars and other students, called Peer Mentors, involved in our Student Leadership Program where you will gain knowledge and develop transferable skills that will serve you well in your future.
Most new students live on or close to the beautiful Richmond campus in their first year. This enables our first year students to build networks easily, find their feet and enjoy the tranquil open spaces of the area while getting used to the new environment. Although students inevitably explore central London on their own, many activities are organized through the classes and the available clubs. Students have the opportunity to get involved in various kinds of community service and experiential learning activities. London is a stimulating and diverse city that is a rich academic and cultural resource for whichever major degree program chosen. Students also have the opportunity to visit other parts of Britain and the European continent.
Richmond’s First Year Program has many integrated components aimed at easing the transition towards the successful completion of the degree:
New Student Orientation : This takes place the first week in September before classes begin. It is an important time for all new students to meet other students and the faculty, to register for classes and to get a good head start to life at Richmond – and to London in general.
Academic Advising : Each new student is set up with a specially trained faculty member who serves as the academic adviser.
Peer Mentors of 2015-2016:
Ben Atzmon, Peer Mentor Coordinator
Denisse Cabral Nunez
Ida Nyander Soderheilm
Tatjana von Gaisberg
Academic Advising is specifically designed to help Richmond students plan and develop their academic path from undergraduate entry through to graduation. Every Richmond student is assigned an academic adviser who is a member of the faculty, and who offers guidance on choosing courses each semester. Choices of courses and their sequencing play a crucial role in the student’s ability to achieve academic success and complete graduation requirements as efficiently as possible, avoiding unnecessary delay.
The Coordinator for Academic Advising pairs up each new student with a faculty adviser who is actually teaching them during their first semester. This will normally be the student’s professor in their first year seminar, but may be another professor in the department of their major. Students may easily request a change of adviser at any time.
Academic Advisers take into account specific career ambitions a student may have. They also provide guidance on matters dealing with academic policies and procedures and will direct the student to the appropriate source of information whenever needed. In addition to advising on matters related to a student’s major, Richmond advisers also recommend ways in which to enhance a student’s educational experience, for example, by exploring the possibility of studying for a minor, or attending a semester at Richmond’s Italian study centers in Rome or Florence. Richmond advisers also help their students decide on Internships and post-graduate studies.
By the end of the first year, most students will not only understand the importance of the Liberal Arts system (a link) but will appreciate how the classes in Richmond’s Core Curriculum are helping them develop the various skills and knowledge needed to face the challenges for the future.
Please consult the Student Guide to Academic Advising for detailed information.
Student Leadership Program
Opportunities for student leadership are numerous at Richmond and they are among the best ways to get involved so that each student feels that s/he is making a difference. First year students benefit from the various activities outlined below. Many students go on to fulfill the numerous leadership positions that become available. Developing leadership skills is essential in our highly competitive global world and Richmond is an ideal place to start due to its diverse, multinational student body. Many of the University’s student services are run by Richmond’s students.
Peer Mentors for the First Year Seminars – students assist with the running of New Student Orientation and work alongside faculty in the Wednesday afternoon sessions of the first year seminars.
Student Ambassadors – tour guides, hosts and general good will ambassadors to welcome new and prospective students.
Resident Advisors – live-in staff who provide support to residential students and help foster an environment of living and learning outside the classroom.
Club Leaders – organizers, facilitators and event planners who run student groups based on student interest.
Peer Tutors – faculty nominated students who tutor students needing help in particular academic areas.
Course Representatives– facility discussions between faculty and staff and bring feedback to the University about possible changes and improvements
Contact the Student Affairs Department for more information.