NEW BEARINGS A GUIDE FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS WELCOME
WHAT’S A WUSA?
MEET THE WUSA TEAM
THE TRANSFER EXPERIENCE
TRANSITIONING TO WASHU
CAMPUS LIFE TIPS
HOUSING & TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS
EXPLORING THE CITY
WHAT TO EXPECT OVER THE SUMMER
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE CHECKLIST
Authored by The First Year Center Edited by Dacoda Scarlett, Miranda Kroeger, Lizzie Michalski ’21 Photography by WashU Photographic Services, Bonner Williams ’16, and Jordan Gamble ’14
WELCOME FROM THE FIRST YEAR CENTER 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. The First Year Center 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 Bear Beginnings: Fall Welcome, a program that has been specifically tailored to the needs of transfer students. Washington University Student Associates (WUSAs) will guide you through this experience and will continue to serve as peer mentors throughout your first year at WashU. During Bear Beginnings, 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 your WUSAs 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 transfer experience. This publication will also serve as your introduction to your transfer
Lizzie Michalski ’21 WUSAs, 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, along with next steps, academic requirements, housing, campus resources and important dates, including detailed information about what to expect during Bear Beginnings. We can’t wait to see you in August!
Lizzie Michalski, ’21 Transfer & Exchange Chair First Year Center Executive Board McKelvey School of Engineering
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WHATâ€™S A WUSA?
ABOUT THE TX TEAM
Washington University Student Associates (WUSAs) are student leaders who have gone through a similar transition as you and can act as academic and social resources. Transfer WUSAs have either transferred to WashU from another institution or studied outside the United States. These students are available throughout Bear Beginnings, as well as the rest of the year, to help you move in, answer your questions, and assist in your academic and social transition.
In the same way each residential college has a mascot, the transfer community has one as well: the Transferasaurus Rex. Many students take pride in their residential college mascot and the transfer community is no different.
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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 willÂ branch out and find their own places in the WashU community, we all share a unique common experience and anÂ underlying bond. We take a great deal of pride in our community and our mascot, especially during Bear Beginnings: Fall Welcome.
MEET THE TEAM
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2023
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2022
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2023
Olin Business School Class of 2022
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2022
College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2022
Your WUSAs will be contacting you later this summer to answer your questions and help with your transition!
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THE TRANSFER EXPERIENCE Welcome! All of us at the First Year Center 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 have been overcome through patience, campus involvement, 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. Your WUSAs, teaching assistants, professors and mentors are all here to provide support. It is your job to seek them out and ask for their support and guidance. Throughout Bear Beginnings: Fall Welcome, make an effort to attend all of the transfer student events. Bear Beginnings is a great opportunity to bond with other new transfer students. As the semester carries on, keep 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 WUSAs, 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 your 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 as my time here passes by. Enjoy your break and please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to meeting you this fall! —Misheel Sodgerel, Transfer WUSA, Olin Business School, Class of 2022 As you begin this next phase of your education at Washington University in St. Louis, 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 —Warren J. Davis, Assistant Dean, have known, or you may find that it’s different here. Regardless, there College of Arts & are plenty of resources to assist and support you in your transition. Sciences Your WUSA has a wealth of information about Washington University and can aid you in getting to know your new academic home. The same is true for your academic adviser, with whom you may be working over the summer. Finally, when the semester begins, get to know your instructors. Attending office hours is an excellent way of introducing yourself and of building rapport with your instructors. As a former dean once said, ‘Learning is not a spectator sport.’ 4 | New Bearings
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 my previous school, and they required I come well-prepared and ready to participate every day. I have found this extra work is well worth it. These smaller settings give you a chance to engage in discussions and debates with other students, and even the professors, who 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 five 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. (This means 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 WashU is the perfect size. I’ve had so many opportunities to participate in and pursue different interests of mine, 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 Bear Beginnings because that’s the first and biggest opportunity for you to meet so many transfer students and spend some time to get to know them better. I met two of my best friends during that time! For international students, especially for 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 becomes so much better in the second semester, so don’t feel frustrated when you are not getting used to things here right away. It takes time and 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 Washington University. Bear Beginnings: Fall Welcome will help you learn to navigate campus and meet other students at the university. Your Washington University Student Associates (WUSAs) 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 courses you’ll be taking in the fall. No matter which academic division you are entering, be sure to retain syllabi and/or course information from your previous institution. This information will be important for the evaluation of transfer credit awarded at Washington University. 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 wanted 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 before working on assignments with others to be sure of their policy on group work.
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.
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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 take a look at the map in advance and look for routes to local amenities, etc. 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 people, and with literally hundreds of options to choose from, there is an activity or group for everyone. Getting involved is a great chance to meet some amazing people and form lasting friendships. 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, so make sure you sign up!
EXPLORE CAMPUS Begin exploring campus as soon as possible to find your ideal study, hangout, and dining locations.
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HOUSING OPTIONS Off-campus residences are available for transfer students. Washington University provides resources and services to assist students in finding housing.
PRIVATELY MANAGED HOUSING For information on how to search for an apartment or tips on navigating the leasing process, contact Evan Keil, assistant director for off-campus undergraduate student life, at email@example.com or 314-935-2930.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT OFF-CAMPUS PRIVATELY MANAGED HOUSING Apartment Referral Service (ARS) Phone: 314-362-3230 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: ars.wustl.edu Quadrangle Housing Co. Phone: 314-935-9511 Email: email@example.com Website: quadrangle.wustl.edu
CIRC The Campus Circulator (or â€œCircâ€?) 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.
ENTERPRISE CARSHARE The Enterprise CarShare program allows students to rent a car by the hour. These cars are available at various locations across the Washington University campuses and can be reserved online through the CarShare website. Students must apply for membership to the CarShare program. More information on CarShare for WashU can be found at at parking.wustl.edu.
METRO/U-PASS Washington University 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 per semester and 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.
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LIFE OFF CAMPUS CORNER 17 “My favorite place (restaurant) in St. Louis is Corner 17. They serve delicious Asian food and many people go there for the bubble tea! I enjoy going there with my friends on the weekends.”
Taylor Gao, ’23
Transfer WUSA, College of Arts & Sciences
MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM “One of the most interesting places in St. Louis is the Missouri History Museum! Admission is free and the exhibits change throughout the year, showcasing various aspects of Missouri history.”
Misheel Sodgerel, ’22 Transfer WUSA, Olin Business School
ST. LOUIS ART MUSEUM “The St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park has free admission and an excellent collection of paintings and other pieces.”
Meredith Levin, ’22 Transfer WUSA, College of Arts & Sciences
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN “My favorite place is the Missouri Botanical Garden. It's small and cozy but beautifully decorated. Its annual Garden Glow is one of the most popular events in the winter!”
Mingyi Suo, ’22 Transfer WUSA, College of Arts & Sciences
THE LOOP “My all-time favorite restaurant on The Loop is Thai Country Cafe. Truly authentic and amazing. Trying Blueprint Coffee next door may bring you even more pleasure.”
Lori Lin, ’23 Transfer WUSA, College of Arts & Sciences
CHEROKEE STREET “My favorite place in St. Louis is Cherokee Street. Decked with small businesses, I have discovered my favorite record store, cafe, and boutique. Cherokee Street is also home to some of the best vintage fashion I’ve seen and friendly, long-time store owners with amazing stories.”
Cassie Vaden, ’22 Transfer WUSA, College of Arts & Sciences
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WHAT TO EXPECT OVER THE SUMMER The First Year Center communicates with transfer students often throughout their first year at Washington University in St. Louis. 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 THE FIRST YEAR CENTER In addition to New Bearings, you can expect to receive an e-newsletter from the First Year Center 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 Bear Beginnings, and more. We send out Family Ties, the e-newsletter that bridges the information gap between Washington University 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 check your contact information on WebSTAC to ensure all of your family contact information is correct. Your families 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 dean for your academic division in early summer. You can also find contact information for each academic division on page six of this publication and at newstudents.wustl.edu.
CONNECT WITH THE TRANSFER COMMUNITY We invite you to join the 2020â€“2021 WashU Transfer Student community on Slack. This is a great place to meet your WUSAs, connect with peers in your transfer class, and stay up to date on important information leading up to Bear Beginnings. We encourage you to use this space to ask questions and begin building your WashU community. To join the Slack community, please find the link in the June edition of the Bear Bulletin (sent to your WashU email) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will also hear from your WUSA later this summer. While all transfer WUSAs will introduce themselves and answer questions in the Slack community this summer, your WUSA will contact you personally later this summer to welcome you to the WashU transfer community.
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BEFORE YOU ARRIVE CHECKLIST IMPORTANT ITEMS YOU NEED TO COMPLETE BEFORE ARRIVING AT WASHU. ACADEMICS 1. Check your WUSTL email account several times a week for important messages from your academic division. 2. Connect with Disability Resources if you are seeking academic support or accommodations related to disabilities. 3. Register for classes after communicating with your academic adviser. 4. Complete the Academic Integrity Module. 5. Confirm your AP, IB, and transfer credits were sent to the university.
HEALTH & WELLNESS 1. Complete your Habif Health & Wellness Center requirements. 2. Transfer your medical records and prescriptions to the Habif Health & Wellness Center. 3. Complete “AlcoholEdu for College,” an alcohol and other drug prevention education online module through EVERFI.
PREPARE FOR ARRIVAL 1. Secure off-campus housing 2. Sign up for a U-Pass, a free transit card for St. Louis public transportation. 3. Plan for your arrival to St. Louis!
Visit newstudents.wustl.edu for additional details and instructions.
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FIRST YEAR CENTER Campus Box 1136 One Brookings Drive St. Louis, MO 63130-4899 newstudents.wustl.edu 314-935-5040 844-935-5040