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.
Academic Advising is specifically designed to help Richmond students plan and develop their academic path from undergraduate entry through to graduation.
The full-time Coordinator of Academic Advising will be joining Richmond over the course of the Fall 2017 semester, and will be located in Registry Services, but will work closely with Admissions, Student Affairs, and Faculty advisors. As the Coordinator will not be in place during the Fall 2017 Orientation period, the Head of Registry Services (Ms Stephanie Parr) and the Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs (Dr Clare Loughlin-Chow) will be available to help new students. They will introduce undergraduates to the requirements of the Liberal Arts Core curriculum and the student’s programme of study, and assist with their first course selection.
In Fall 2017, new students will be assigned to an advisor in the School of Liberal Arts. They will help to develop an academic plan for any student who has not decided on a major, review students’ academic progress, help them to choose courses for the following semester (during priority registration), and assist them to plan their initial study progress.
General advice on University policies and procedures related to student progression is normally available from the Coordinator of Academic Advising, from Registry Services, or from the Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs.
Students may at any point in their academic progression request an advising meeting with a subject specialist via the Associate Dean of the Academic School or via the Head of Department.
At the end of your first year (or earlier if you have been admitted with large amounts of transfer credit), you will be transferred from a faculty advisor from within the School of Liberal Arts to an advisor from your major (where possible). Your faculty advisor also offers more specialist subject-related advising.
Your academic advisor can offer you expert guidance in choosing your courses each semester and can make suggestions that will enhance your educational experience, such as the possibility of completing a minor, or attending a semester at Richmond’s Italian study centres. Richmond advisers also help their students decide on Internships and post-graduate studies.
Your advisor can tell you more about academic policies and procedures, building upon the information in the University Catalogue. Please be aware that you are subject to the regulations in place and published in the Catalogue at the time of your admission to the university.
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.