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Experience a new Academic Community

As you start your classes at Queen’s, you may encounter academic practices that you are not accustomed to, such as:

  • different ways to communicate with professors or peers
  • unfamiliar approaches to research
  • new types of assignments.

Each academic community has particular ways of behaving, interacting, valuing, thinking, believing, speaking, reading, and writing. You may be asked to perform tasks, display skills, or use disciplinary language that you have not encountered before.

*Learn some common academic words you may hear at Queen’s in the Academic Dictionary


Take Time to Transition

Transitioning to a new community is a process that needs time.

Think of a time that you tried to learn a new game. Unless the rules of the game were extremely similar to something you have done before, you probably needed some time to understand the expectations. By participating multiple times, learning the specific language of the game, clarifying expectations, and asking questions, the game became more natural.

If you don’t get it right away, it does not mean you lack knowledge or competency. It may just mean taking more time, asking more questions, and getting support is necessary.


Integrate your Identity

Build upon the foundation of academic knowledge and skills you already have while learning new academic expectations! Think about how can you use your background to integrate new knowledge and adjust your academic practices.

*Do some reflecting and learn about academic expectations at Queen’s

*Sign up for QUIC’s Intercultural Awareness Certificate to develop your intercultural competence skills


Ask Questions, Seek Support, and Build Skills

If you are experiencing stress because of your academics, the best place to start is to ask for help!

  • Asking questions if you don’t understand something is seen positively within Canadian academic culture.
  • Seeking support does not mean you have failed as a student. Rather it shows that you are open to developing your skills through practice and expert support.
  • The academic support you receive is confidential and will not go on your transcript.
  • Academic and other types of supports available at Queen’s are funded through your student fees and are intended for all students to use.
  • It may feel like accessing support takes up some of your studying time, but it will make you a better student, so invest the time!
  • Not sure where to start? Get in touch with one of QUIC’s International Student Advisors for connections to services and resources on campus


Check out these Resources