NEW BEARINGS A GUIDE FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS WELCOME
WHAT’S A STUDENT MENTOR?
MEET THE STUDENT MENTOR TEAM
THE TRANSFER EXPERIENCE
TRANSITIONING TO WASHU
CAMPUS LIFE TIPS
HOUSING & TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS
LIFE ON CAMPUS
WHAT TO EXPECT OVER THE SUMMER
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE CHECKLIST
Authored by Student Transitions & Family Programs Edited by Dacoda Scarlett, Abby Schilly, Taylor Gao ’23 Photography by WashU Photographic Services, Bonner Williams ’16, and Jordan Gamble ’14
WELCOME FROM STUDENT TRANSITIONS & FAMILY PROGRAMS Welcome to Washington University in St. Louis! We are excited you chose to become part of our community. Transfer students bring a wealth of diverse knowledge and experiences to WashU, and our community will be greatly enriched by your presence on campus. We hope you will find a home at WashU. Student Transitions & Family Programs is here to support you in all aspects of your transition to WashU. We want to ensure you have all the resources you need to thrive here. This fall, you will attend Fall Welcome, a program that has been specifically tailored to the needs of transfer students. Transfer & Exchange Student Mentors will guide you through this experience and will continue to serve as peer mentors throughout your first year at WashU. During Fall Welcome, you will also have the opportunity to connect with students and peers going through the same experience as you. The transfer community is strong and we hope you stay connected by attending programs hosted by student mentors throughout the year. As a transfer student, your needs are different than those of other new students. This publication was written by transfer students to provide you with information and insights they gathered during their first year at WashU. It includes some advice from students who have been in your position, as well as faculty perspectives on the
Taylor Gao, Class of 2023 transfer experience. This publication will also serve as your introduction to your student mentors, who will contact you later this summer and introduce themselves. Visit newstudents.wustl.edu for more information about how to make the most of your time here, next steps, academic requirements, housing, campus resources, important dates, and what to expect during Fall Welcome. We can’t wait to see you in August!
Taylor Gao, Class of 2023 Transfer & Exchange Chair Student Transitions & Family Programs Student Executive Board College of Arts & Sciences
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WHAT’S A STUDENT MENTOR? Transfer & Exchange (TX) Student Mentors are student leaders who have gone through a similar transition as you and can act as academic and social resources. They have either transferred to WashU from another institution or studied outside the United States. These students are available throughout Fall Welcome, as well as the rest of the year, to help you move in, answer questions, and assist with the academic and social transition. 2 | New Bearings
MEET THE STUDENT MENTOR TEAM Just as each residential college has a mascot, so does the transfer community: the Transferasaurus Rex. Many students take pride in their residential college mascot, and the transfer community is no different. We are an extremely tight-knit and friendly community, and we all belong to the same Transferasaurus family. Being united under this mascot means even though all transfer students will branch out and find their own places in the WashU community, we all share a unique common experience and an underlying bond. We take a great deal of pride in our community and our mascot, especially during Fall Welcome.
2022-2023 TX MENTOR TEAM
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2024
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2024
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2023
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2024
Olin Business School Class of 2023
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2024
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2024
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2025
Your student mentors will contact you later this summer to answer your questions and help with your transition! Washington University in St. Louis | 3
THE TRANSFER EXPERIENCE Welcome! All of us at Student Transitions & Family Programs are thrilled to welcome you to WashU. We hope to make the transition to your new home as seamless as possible. We recognize that being a transfer student presents unique challenges and may seem difficult in the beginning. However, in our experience, these initial hurdles can be overcome by exercising patience, getting involved on campus, and creating connections. You have the unique opportunity for a fresh start and will have many experiences available to you. You will find everyone at WashU helpful, so never be afraid to ask questions. Student mentors, teaching assistants, professors, and others are here to provide support. It is your job to seek them out and ask for their guidance. Throughout Fall Welcome, make an effort to attend all of the transfer student events. Fall Welcome is also a great opportunity to bond with other new transfer students. As you integrate into the WashU community, I would highly recommend keeping in touch with your transfer friends. Even now, some of my closest friends are the ones I made during orientation. Finally, know that everything is going to work out. As TX Student Mentors, we will be your point of support and guidance throughout your first year at WashU and are sources of information regarding classes, academic deadlines, campus activities, and more. You have the power to create and shape your identity and legacy at WashU. I highly recommend putting yourself out there, keeping an open mind, and engaging with the WashU and St. Louis communities. By doing so, I’ve made friends from various academic divisions and backgrounds, and we have enjoyed sharing our interests and hobbies with one another. My decision to transfer to WashU was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and the benefits continue to pay off with each passing day. Enjoy your break and please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com. We look forward to meeting you this fall! —Misa Mirzaee, Transfer & Exchange Student Mentor, Olin Business School, Class of 2023 As you begin this next phase of your education, keep in mind that you are engaging with a new campus culture. Depending on your previous college experience, you may encounter an academic culture that seems similar to the one you have known, or you may find that it’s different here. Regardless, there are plenty of resources to assist and support you in your transition. Your student mentor has a wealth of information and can assist you as you settle into your new academic home. The same holds for your academic adviser, with whom you likely have already been conferring this summer. Finally, when the fall semester begins, get to know your instructors. You’ll find that by attending office hours, whether they’re held in-person or online, you can introduce yourself as a new member of the WashU community and start building rapport with your instructors. But doing so will take some initiative. As a former dean of the College of Arts & Sciences once said, ‘Learning is not a spectator sport.’ 4 | New Bearings
—Warren J. Davis, Assistant Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
TRANSITIONING TO WASHU COMING FROM A LARGE, PUBLIC INSTITUTION When I first transferred to WashU, classes were suddenly much smaller, walks across campus much shorter, and the seas of people crowding the sidewalks during break times much more navigable. Additionally, I found classes at WashU were quite a bit more demanding than in my previous school, and they required me to come well-prepared and ready to participate every day. I have found this extra work is well worth it. These smaller settings give students a chance to engage in discussions and debates with each other and the professors. These conversations will challenge your understanding of the world. The smaller classroom setting also offers a great way to start meeting other students, especially those in your major or areas of interest. I realized very quickly after arriving on campus I would run into even these few classmates or the other people I had met quite often. Coming from a large university where I rarely encountered the same person twice in a week, it was a nice feeling to recognize other students just by walking around. This has even come to be one of my favorite aspects of WashU—the close-knit student body giving the campus a very friendly and comfortable feel. Washington University in St. Louis | 5
ACADEMIC DIVISIONS COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES
MCKELVEY SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
OLIN BUSINESS SCHOOL 314-935-6315
SAM FOX SCHOOL OF DESIGN & VISUAL ARTS
COMING FROM A SMALL, LIBERAL ARTS INSTITUTION The first thing you might notice is there are a lot more people around! At my old institution, I felt like I met a majority of the student body after just one year. At WashU, however, I am still meeting new people each and every week. You’ll notice the wealth of opportunities to do new things on campus. With four different academic divisions for undergraduates and opportunities to take classes in each one, your educational horizon becomes much wider. WashU is a research university, which means faculty members are usually involved in research in addition to teaching. As a result, you may have the opportunity to get involved with research, even as an undergrad! Most professors do an excellent job of making themselves available outside of class. TAs and help sessions supplement many courses as well. I’ve found that WashU is the perfect size. I’ve had so many opportunities to participate in and pursue different interests, met so many new people, and still manage to see friendly faces I recognize every day. It’s been an extremely positive experience for me.
COMING FROM A NON-U.S. INSTITUTION I have really enjoyed the experience I’ve had at WashU. Transferring here is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve met many talented students here and have been lucky enough to make friends with them. It is very important to get involved at WashU when you first come here without knowing anyone. I definitely recommend taking an active part in Fall Welcome because that’s the first and biggest opportunity to meet other transfer students and spend some time getting to know them better. I met two of my best friends during that time! For international students, especially those who come from non-English speaking countries, there will be many challenges around language, culture, and academic performance. Truthfully, I had a tough time getting through the first semester, but everything became so much better in the second semester. So don’t feel frustrated if you haven’t gotten used to things here right away. It takes time, but hopefully, you’ll love this transfer experience! 6 | New Bearings
STARTING SCHOOL While you may have already completed orientation at your previous institution, you’ll still need to attend an orientation program here at WashU. Fall Welcome will help you learn to navigate campus and meet other students at the university. TX Student Mentors will be there ready to help with anything and everything to make you feel welcome. With plenty of activities and fun ways to spend time with other transfer students, orientation is the first opportunity to connect with the transfer community and the beginning of many meaningful friendships.
COURSE REGISTRATION Registration procedures vary depending on which academic division you are entering. You will be contacted by your academic adviser over the summer to register for the courses you’ll be taking in the fall. No matter which academic division you are entering, be sure to retain syllabi and course information from your previous institution. This information will be important for the evaluation of transfer credit awarded at WashU. If you have any academic questions, don’t hesitate to contact your school, department, or academic adviser.
ARRIVAL INFORMATION International transfer students will hear directly from the Office for International Students & Scholars (OISS) over the summer with specific details regarding arriving to the United States and St. Louis. For all transfer students, please visit newstudents.wustl.edu to learn when your first mandatory orientation event will occur.
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ACADEMIC TIPS You can develop the skills for academic success here at WashU. To help you out, we’ve included a few tips that current students want to pass on to you.
THE LEARNING CENTER The hub of academic support at WashU, The Learning Center, offers peer mentoring for key courses like calculus and chemistry.
THE SYSTEM TAKES ADJUSTMENT The courses are not really harder, but for many, the system takes adjustment. There is consistent homework to do and turn in—in addition to many quizzes, projects, and exams. There are strict guidelines on academic integrity at WashU. Make sure you consult the syllabus and check with the professor about their policy on group work before working on assignments with others.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HELP Your adviser and professors will be your greatest sources of support academically. Reach out to them when you are struggling in a class or need guidance on how to study certain material.
WAITLISTS ARE WORTH THE WAIT A lot of students over-register, “shop” for classes in the first week, and end up dropping a course or two. If you are on a waitlist, show up to class the first day and talk to the professor about joining the course. That being said, be sure to have some back up courses you’d be happy staying in, just in case.
8 | New Bearings
TAKE A SMALL CLASS If possible, take a small class during your first semester. Whether you’re transferring to WashU from a large state university or a small liberal arts college, taking a small class is a nice way to meet other students, get to know a professor well, and become really engaged in an interesting topic.
DISABILITY RESOURCES Connect with Disability Resources if you are seeking academic support or accommodations related to disabilities.
CAMPUS LIFE TIPS We want you to have a great experience while you’re here in St. Louis. Here are a few tips to ensure that you’re engaged inside and outside of the classroom.
If you plan to live in privately managed apartments, it might help to map routes to local amenities and campus before arriving in St. Louis. If your apartment is unfurnished, you can order furniture online and have it delivered on the day of your arrival.
Getting involved is, by far, the best and fastest way to meet amazing people, and form lasting friendships. With literally hundreds of options to choose from, there is an activity or group for everyone The Fall Activities Fair is a good place to start!
Tip: you can find shopping and dining guides at newstudents.wustl.edu!
SIGN UP FOR A U-PASS The U-Pass allows you to use St. Louis’s public transit system and is free for WashU students. You will receive an email with registration information. Be sure to sign up!
EXPLORE CAMPUS Begin exploring the campus as soon as possible to find your ideal study, hangout, and dining locations.
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HOUSING & TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS Off-campus residences are available for services to assist students in finding housing.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT OFF-CAMPUS PRIVATELY MANAGED HOUSING
PRIVATELY MANAGED HOUSING
Apartment Referral Service (ARS) Phone: 314-362-3230 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: ars.wustl.edu
For information on how to search for an apartment or tips on navigating the leasing process, contact Residential Life at email@example.com or 314-935-5050..
Quadrangle Housing Co. Phone: 314-935-9511 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: quadrangle.wustl.edu
transfer students. WashU provides resources and
CIRC The Campus Circulator (or “Circ”) makes a continuous loop around main campus and is free for all students to ride. Using the WashU smartphone app, students can track the Circ location and schedule in real time.
DELMAR LOOP SHUTTLE The Delmar Loop Shuttle (or “Loop Shuttle”) makes a continuous loop connecting main campus to The Delamar Loop and is free for all students to ride. Using the WashU smartphone app, students can track the Loop Shuttle location and schedule in real time.
ENTERPRISE CARSHARE The Enterprise CarShare program allows students to rent a car by the hour. These cars are available at various locations across the WashU campuses and can be reserved online through the CarShare website. Students must apply for membership in the CarShare program. More information on CarShare for WashU can be found at parking.wustl.edu.
WashU students can register to get a free U-Pass through transportation services, which will allow you to use the St. Louis bus and metro systems. Passes are available each semester and for the summer. Registration information will be emailed before the start of the semester.
TAXI Transportation by taxi is another option for travel around St. Louis, particularly for travel to and from Lambert Airport. Two local cab companies are County Cab, 314-991-5300, and Laclede Cab, 314-652-3456.
10 | New Bearings
LIFE ON CAMPUS BAUER HALL
“My favorite place on campus is Bauer! The natural light is so great to study, and Bauer cafe has amazing food!”
“My favorite place on campus is the Swamp. It’s so nice to lie there on a nice sunny day!"
Taylor Gardecki, Class of 2024 Transfer & Exchange Student Mentor, College of Arts & Sciences
HOLMES LOUNGE “My favorite place on campus is Holmes. It’s a great place for doing work if you enjoy a quiet environment, and the ceilings are really beautiful!"
Kate Yeo, Class of 2024 Transfer & Exchange Student Mentor, College of Arts & Sciences
SOUTH 40 BASKETBALL COURT
Caroline Chou, Class of 2024
“My favorite place on campus is the South 40 basketball court! We play, compete, and make new friends from across the school on the court. Come hoop and have lots of fun!”
Transfer & Exchange Student Mentor, College of Arts & Sciences
Gavin Yao, Class of 2025
PARKSIDE CAFE “My favorite spot on campus is the Parkside Cafe. It’s a building made of glass where you can find some special sandwiches, and there is a fine view of East End from the cafe.”
Kevin Wang, Class of 2024 Transfer & Exchange Student Mentor, College of Arts & Sciences
Transfer & Exchange Student Mentor, College of Arts & Sciences
BAUER HALL NEST “My favorite place on campus is Bauer Hall Nest. There is a Starbucks on the third floor, and you can smell the coffee most of the time. Also, the ceiling is glass, and you can enjoy the sky.”
Misa Mirzaee, Class of 2023 Transfer & Exchange Student Mentor, Olin Business School
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WHAT TO EXPECT OVER THE SUMMER Student Transitions & Family Programs communicates with transfer students often throughout their first year at WashU. This communication begins the summer before you arrive on campus. Below, we have detailed what you can expect to receive and accomplish this summer.
COMMUNICATION FROM STUDENT TRANSITIONS & FAMILY PROGRAMS In addition to New Bearings, you can expect to receive an e-newsletter from Student Transitions & Family Program in June, July, and August. This newsletter, Bear Bulletin: Transfer Student Edition, has been specifically designed for transfer students and will provide important information about registering for fall courses, preparing for Fall Welcome, and more. We send out Family Ties, the e-newsletter that bridges the information gap between WashU family members and life on campus, to all family members listed as a contact for their student. To ensure your family members receive updated information from the university, please confirm that the contact information listed for them on WebSTAC is correct. Your family can read past editions of Family Ties at families.wustl.edu.
REGISTER FOR CLASSES Registration varies depending on the academic division in which you are enrolled. You should hear from the transfer adviser for your academic division in early summer. You can also find contact information for each academic division on page 6 of this publication and at newstudents.wustl.edu.
CONNECT WITH THE TRANSFER COMMUNITY We invite you to join the 2022-2023 WashU transfer student community on Teams. This is a great place to meet the student mentors, connect with peers in your transfer class, and stay up to date on important information leading up to Fall Welcome. We encourage you to use this space to ask questions and begin building your WashU community. To join the Teams chat community, please find the link in the August edition of the Bear Bulletin (sent to your WashU email) or email us at email@example.com. You will also hear from your TX Student Mentor later this summer. While all transfer student mentors will introduce themselves and answer questions in the Teams chat community this summer, your student mentor will contact you personally later this summer to welcome you to the WashU transfer community. 12 | New Bearings
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE CHECKLIST IMPORTANT ITEMS YOU NEED TO COMPLETE BEFORE ARRIVING AT WASHU. JUNE 1. Activate your WUSTL Key. 2. Enroll in Duo two-factor authentication. 3. Activate your WashU email account. 4. Review and edit your WebSTAC user profile. 5. Take any necessary online placement and diagnostic exams. 6. C onnect with Disability Resources if you require accommodations due to an identified disability or have questions about specific disability-related concerns. 7. Complete the academic integrity module. 8. Learn about the medical, mental health, and health promotion resources available at WashU. 9. Learn about how to transfer mental health care to a St. Louis provider. 10. Complete the Fall Welcome registration form.
JULY 1. Apply for your WashU Student ID Card by July 31. 2. Register for classes during your assigned registration time. 3. C omplete your Habif Health and Wellness Center requirements (including health history, vaccination/immunization documentation, and health insurance waiver). 4. T ransfer your medical records and prescriptions to the Habif Health & Wellness Center and arrange for treatment. 5. Contact Habif if you will require a referral for ongoing specialist care while attending WashU. 6. Check your housing assignment. 7. C omplete the Year One College Behavior Profile, an online alcohol and other drug prevention education program created by Missouri Partners in Prevention. 8. Complete the New Student Background and Interest form
AUGUST 1. Confirm your AP, IB, and transfer credits were sent to the university. 2. Sign up for a U-Pass, a free transit card for St. Louis public transportation. 3. Pack for Move-In Day! Visit newstudents.wustl.edu for additional details and instructions. Washington University in St. Louis | 13
STUDENT TRANSITIONS & FAMILY PROGRAMS MSC 1136-332-LL One Brookings Drive St. Louis, MO 63130-4899 newstudents.wustl.edu 314-935-5040 844-935-5040