International student Kareem Sowid is nervous yet looking forward to starting the University 1 program as a first-year student this Wednesday.
Along with Sowid, the University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry campus is ready to begin the 2023-24 academic school year with over 23,000 undergrad students, along with graduate students and faculty, on Sept. 6.
Matt Koop, another first-year, is set on a degree in history and is hoping that “the classes area lot more interesting, and it will be really engaging.”
Kailan Au and Luke Silvestri will both be entering the faculty of science, with a shared goal of joining the medical field.
In the hopes of eventually getting an arts degree, Sowid is “looking forward to [taking] philosophy and political science” as the year begins but is also eager to join clubs and meet new people.
For others, like Au, coming to the U of M as a first-year from Winnipeg means he gets to continue school with his friends from high school. He is also looking forward to participating in the numerous athletic opportunities the U of M has to offer.
University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) president Tracy Karuhogo said that “school is more than academics — it’s also your experience.”
While not every first-year is ready to begin school, the energy surrounding coming back is “hyped,” Koop said.
Karuhogo, along with vice-president community engagement Divya Sharma, is excited to welcome students as the term begins.
Welcome day on Sept. 5 will be the UMSU teams’ vantage point for meeting all first-years and a kickoff to the annual Bison Bash. As Sharma explained, Bison Bash will be a week full of events, where people will “get to connect with like-minded students.”
The Bison Bash week from Sept. 11 to 15 will start with free breakfast in University Centre each morning. Students can also find various student and UMSU groups tabling on the first floor throughout the week. Afternoon and evening events students can participate in will include a karaoke night and “Bisons on the quad,” ending with the UMSU street party from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sept. 15.
Participating in the Bison Bash week is one way for students to get involved, something Karuhogo encourages all first years to do.
“[Involvement] doesn’t mean only leadership,” she said. “It could be in student clubs or volunteering.”
“We’re all Bisons at the end of the day and we are very excited to welcome each and every single one,” Sharma concluded.“Horns up, Bisons!”