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#tourguidethoughts: Renee

Posted: Monday, March 12, 2018 - 08:00

ReneeName: Renée Benczik

Program: MSc Animal Nutrition

Tour Guide Year: 2










Coolest thing about your program?

I get to do hands-on research with animals! In my Masters, I’ve gotten to conduct my own nutritional trial with rainbow trout, and during my BSc. In Animal Biology at U of G prior to my Masters, I worked directly with horses, pigs, chickens, and cows.

What prompted you to become a tour guide?

I have a love for the U of G school community, the people, and the academic supports. Sharing the knowledge I’ve gained with visiting students is such a pleasure because I know exactly how nerve-racking it can be to find a university to call home for the next 4 years of your life!

What is the best thing you’ve experienced while being a tour guide? Or, what is your favourite thing about being a tour guide?

The best thing for me about being a tour guide is when families and students tell me how informative and helpful my tour has been. I especially love when I can add personal stories and tips that I think will help students looking into particular programs, clubs, and athletics. Providing a sense of ease and relief in the decision-making process is really rewarding.

BEST spot on campus? Why?

Pages Coffee House/Tim Hortons in the MacNaughton building is where I love to go grab a coffee and catch up on some homework. It’s central on campus so it’s very close to most lecture halls and the university centre. It’s also a really nice place to hang out with my friends in between classes during the week.

Why should students come for a tour?

Every tour guide goes through extensive training to be able to give you detailed information on so many things U of G has to offer, including residence, academic schedules, personal and academic support services, athletics, and much more. We all love adding personal stories about U of G to our tours as well, and we’re happy to answer any academic questions you have based on the programs we’re in.

Any advice to incoming students (or their families)?

Come on as many tours as you like and ask all the questions you have! Even if you’re not sure of what to ask on a tour, listening to the tour guide’s information and responses to other people’s questions can be immensely helpful.

Fact Fridays – Episode 13: Admission Offers Round Two

Posted: Friday, March 9, 2018 - 07:00

We are just beginning to send out our second round of offers Future Gryphons!

Wondering what this means for you? You’re in luck! Today we’re telling you what to expect in our second round of admission offers.

Fact #1: Round Two has officially begun

Our second round of offers typically begin going out in early March and continue going out until mid-April. The third and final round of offers will begin in late April.

NOTE: If you don’t receive an offer in this second round, MAKE SURE you complete a Student Profile Form by May 1, 2018.

Fact #2: We’re looking at Required Subjects

In this round we use your top six completed 4U or 4M courses, including required subjects to calculate your admission average. Where needed, we use a combination of the top six completed or in-progress 4U/M and completed 3U/M courses, including required subjects.

Estimated cut-off ranges are based on the admission averages from the previous three years of admitted students. They are a point of reference so you have an estimate of where your admission average needs to be to receive an offer. Exact cutoff’s for the current admission cycle are determined by the quantity and quality of applicants AND the number of spaces available in each program.

Fact #3: Check your OUAC account for an offer

We don’t send offers by email so be sure to check your OUAC account! Offers will show up there first, and then you can expect a congratulations package from us in the mail – yes, we still use snail mail.

Fact #4: You may receive an Alternate Offer

If you are not currently admissible to the major you applied to, there are a few programs where we will automatically consider you for an alternate program. We will reconsider you for your first choice program in the third and final round of offers so don’t get discouraged if you receive an alternate offer in this round.

You may receive an Alternate Offer if you applied to the following programs:

  • Biomedical Science – your alternate offer will be to the Biological Science major
  • Human Kinetics – your alternate offer will also be to the Biological Science major
  • Criminal Justice and Public Policy – your alternate offer will be to our Bachelor of Arts, General major
  • Co-op – your alternate offer will be to the non-co-op stream of the program you applied to

When you receive an alternate offer, you have the following choices:

  1. You can wait for the final round of offers and see if you get admitted to your first choice program.
  2. If you are not admitted to your first choice you can accept your alternate offer and then work with your program counsellor once you are a student here (in the fall) to switch to another major or apply to the co-op stream for the Winter Semester.

Note: Changing your major in the fall will not affect how you choose your courses (Course Selection begins in May). Most of our programs offer a common first-year, so you’d take similar courses regardless of your major within the program. That sums up our second round of offers Future Gryphons! Be sure to check your OUAC account over the next few weeks and get your SPF forms submitted by May 1st if you haven’t received an offer.

If you’re looking for something to do on March Break, check out our recent article to learn why you should join us for a tour!

Tips Tuesdays – Episode 6: Visit U of G on your March Break!

Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 07:00

March Break is coming up quickly and we’re giving you a BIG tip on how to spend your holidays – visiting the U of G and exploring campus on a March Break Tour!

Tip #1: Experience the Atmosphere

We firmly believe that visiting a university campus is the best way to figure out if that school is a good fit for you. Many of our Gryphons say that after their campus visit, they knew that the U of G was the perfect fit for them.

Meet the people, eat the food, checkout the residences, visit some lecture halls and witness what U of G means to its students – we know you won’t be let down.

Tip #2: Check out the Athletic Centre

It’s here. It’s live. It’s ready for you to sweat in it… okay maybe save the sweat for September but the Athletic Centre is yours to explore on our March Break Tours. Don’t be afraid to ask questions on the tour to learn more about membership prices, what’s covered in your tuition, fitness classes and more.

Tip #3: Take advantage of small tour group sizes

Because there are quite a few of you who will be coming to campus on March Break, we’ve brought on extra tour guides.

What does this mean?

More tour guides = smaller groups and more interaction. You’ll have more one-on-one time with your guide, and have lots of time to get your questions answered.

Tip #4: Observe our Gryphons in their natural habitat

It’s awesome that March Break gives you the opportunity to tour campus during the week. You get to see U of G’s students in their natural habitat: attending class, studying in the library, running to hand in an assignment, enjoying coffee with friends and living the “typical” student life.

Stick around after your tour, grab some lunch at an on-campus eatery and picture yourself here!

Tip #5: Take it all in!

As with our regular tours, you’ll visit residence, lecture halls, the library, the University Centre, and other academic areas.

You’ll also interact with our passionate tour guides who are here to share their experiences and tell you a bit about what to expect in your years at U of G.

Our tours are your chance to step into a Gryphon’s shoes for a day, so come take it all in and use this experience to make the best decision for your future.

What are you waiting for Future Gryphons? Take the first step in making U of G part of your 2018 and register for a March Break Tour. See you soon!

#tourguidethoughts: Katie

Posted: Monday, March 5, 2018 - 15:14

Katherine Lewis with GryphName: Katie Lewis

Program: Bachelor of Science, Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Minoring in Math

Tour Guide Year: 1st






Coolest thing about your program?

Coolest thing about my program is that in the winter of your third-year, you can spend one semester at Seneca College, taking lab focused courses in their laboratory technician program. It also offers co-op, which is awesome!

What prompted you to become a tour guide?

I just really love the vibe of this campus and wanted to share that with incoming students. The goal of this year is to influence at least one person to come to U of G.

What is the best thing you’ve experienced while being a tour guide? Or, what is your favourite thing about being a tour guide?

I love giving incoming students/athletes tours because I work in the athletics department, and I try to stay as involved with athletics as possible. I also love parents who try really hard to embarrass their kids while on the tour because it reminds me of when I did my campus tour with my own parents.

BEST spot on campus? Why?

Super nerdy, but there’s this one room in the Summerlee Science Complex that has a couple NMR’s in it (cool chemistry instruments) and it was really exciting when I was trained on them; so I hold that close to my heart. Or, the student lounge in the Athletic Centre!

Why should students come for a tour?

Students should come for a tour because you absolutely cannot understand the vibe and energy of U of G just from online. We have a campus that’s really special to be on and I find students always see that when they come for a tour!

Any advice to incoming students (or their families)?

Look at every school because you are going to have to live in that city/attend that school for the next four years and it’s important to find somewhere that really fits. Also, don’t be shy to ask questions on your tour! Good luck Future Gryphons!

Fact Fridays – Episode 12: Experiential Learning at U of G

Posted: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 08:41

We believe there is no single way to learn and not everything can be taught in a classroom. This is why U of G offers MANY experiential learning opportunities for you to apply your classroom knowledge, network within your industry, and be prepared to work in your field after graduation.

Today we’re breaking down the many experiential learning prospects offered here at U of G.

Fact #1: We offer Co-operative Education

Not only are co-ops a great way to gain work experience, they also introduce you to others in your industry and allow you to build your professional network.

Not sure if an industry is right for you? Completing a co-op placement can be a great way to see if you can picture yourself working in that field after graduation. If you try something that isn’t right for you, choose to do your next placement somewhere that may be a better fit.

At U of G, each co-op student will have exceptional support from co-op coordinators, advisors, peer helper students and a student advisory committee!

Fact #2: Learn Internationally

Did you know that you have the option to study almost anywhere in the world WHILE gaining credits to your degree?

U of G offers:

  • 78 exchange programs
  • 6 different semester abroad opportunities
  • International co-op work terms
  • International research opportunities
  • Courses with international field trips

We believe the entire planet is your classroom, so if you’ve always wanted to see the world, take advantage of these opportunities Future Gryphons!

Fact #3: Internships, Practicums and Placements – we’ve got ‘em all

Some of our programs require students to complete an internship, practicum or placement – more great ways to gain industry experience and apply what you are learning in class to the real world.

Programs offering Practicums and Placements:

Programs offering Internships:

Fact #4: Learn outside the classroom in Field Courses

This is where you put classroom theories into practice; often in a natural setting. These courses typically involve collecting data using methods learned in class.

Select programs offer field courses including:

Fact #5: Design solutions to real life problems

In the Engineering and Computing programs, students have the chance to complete design projects where classroom lessons are put to the test.

Engineering at U of G is very design based, meaning many of the courses offered involve designing a solution to a problem.

Computing students will get the chance to compete in a 24 hour Hackathon where they are challenged to develop software solutions to contribute to a global issue.

Both programs give students the opportunity to work individually and collaboratively and engage in some friendly competition – sometimes with prizes up for grabs!

Fact #6: Top off your degree with Capstone Courses

These are typically completed during your final year. Most capstone courses involve long-term projects encouraging critical thinking and problem solving. These projects are meant to help you apply what you’ve learned throughout your degree and develop important skills like communication, planning and teamwork.

The skills you learn in a capstone course will help you succeed in the workplace, in grad school and life in general. Think of these courses as the cherry on top of your degree – not mandatory, but they make your experience a little sweeter.

Fact #7: We offer additional experiential learning opportunities

At the U of G, we view experiential learning as anything that enriches your undergraduate education. This includes anything from volunteering to work-study jobs to continuing your education through grad studies.

Learn how else you can Improve Life at U of G by checking out these opportunities:

Campus Services offered at U of G

Posted: Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 13:23

At the University of Guelph, we know that even the most well-rounded students sometimes need a little support, whether that be academically, physically, mentally, or emotionally. We’ve got a service to meet each of these needs, and some services you may not even know you need!

Student Support Network

The Student Support Network is a community offering non-judgmental drop-in peer support. Our student volunteers are trained to deliver this service. You can drop-in during their hours, or chat with them after-hours via their phone support or crisis line (crisis services: 1-844-437-3247 or Good2Talk: 1-866-925-5454).

Connect with SSN:

  • Like SSN on Facebook
  • Follow SSN on Twitter (@SSN_UoGuelph)

Student Wellness

Our student wellness services provide a holistic approach to well-being and academic success. Whether you are a varsity athlete or a student in need of a relaxing massage, these services are available for all Gryphons!

  • Accessibility Services is committed to creating a barrier-free environment so you can thrive at university!
  • Counselling Services is here if you ever need to chat. They offer individual counselling sessions to support you through personal challenges.
  • Health Services is our on-campus clinic offering physician and nursing services to full and part-time students.
  • Health & Performance Centre provides various physical/athletic related services such as:
    • Sports Medicine
    • Nutrition
    • Physiotherapy
    • Chiropractic
    • Massage
    • Osteopathy
    • Pedorthics
    • Athletic Therapy
  • Wellness Education & Promotion offers health and wellbeing programming, resources, and peer-to-peer support

Sexual Assault Support and Information

This service offers resources and support for yourself, or a friend, who might be in need.

Student Life

Students are at the heart of what Student Life does. Their programs, services and spaces are available to everybody and fall into 4 categories:

  1. Information
  2. Guidance
  3. Community
  4. Experiences

Check out their list of programs to see all that Student Life offers students.

Aboriginal Resource Centre

The Aboriginal Resource Centre provides a home away from home for all First Nations, Metis and Inuit students. Think of it as an inclusive community for people from a variety of Indigenous cultures meant to help you connect with each other through Student Advising, an Aboriginal Student Association, student support and STARTAboriginal (meant for first year students).


OUTline offers services for the LGBTQ2IA+ community. They are your go-to if you have questions related to sexual orientation and gender identity, or are seeking support.

Diversity & Human Rights

U of G is a diverse and inclusive community. The Office of Diversity and Human Rights helps to promote a study, work and living environment free of harassment and discrimination.

Services they offer include:

  • Training and awareness on inclusion, equity and accessibility
  • Advocating on behalf of diversity concerns
  • Connecting you with human rights personnel
  • Monitoring university’s policies and flagging any that may be discriminatory

Other Clubs and Organizations

In addition to these on-campus services, U of G also houses 250+ clubs and organizations! These span cultural and religious interests, media and arts, sports and academics, community services and student governments.

There are so many ways to get involved, and we’re here to support you throughout your university journey Future Gryphons!

March 1st Deadlines

Posted: Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 12:10


The application deadline for undergraduate students is March 1st, 2018. That’s next week!

Why apply? Here are just a few reasons:

  • U of G students are happy here. We’ve been ranked as one of the top universities for student satisfaction.
  • We offer you amazing scholarship opportunities. Last year, we gave out $20.5 million in merit- and needs-based awards.
  • U of G offers you various experiential learning opportunities, including: co-op, extra-curriculars, study abroad programs, independent research, placements, field courses and more.
  • We have been one of Canada’s top comprehensive research universities for 15 years. We think that’s pretty IMPORTANT!
  • 91.4% of our grads are employed within 6 months of graduation. We have an impact!

Apply to the University of Guelph today via OUAC.


The Background Information Form (BIF) is vital for your application to our Landscape Architecture Program. This is where you tell us about yourself, describe your interest in the program and provide other details that help the BLA Admissions Committee make admission decisions.

The deadline for high school students to submit the Background Information Form is March 1st, 2018. Once you complete the form, you must submit it as an attachment to, with the subject line: lastname_firstname_BLABIF.

Offers to the BLA program will be made in early May for currently enrolled high school students.

Note: The deadline for Transfer students isn’t until May 1, 2018. Your admission decisions will be made in early June.

Fact Fridays – Episode 11: DVM FAQs

Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 - 15:34

Happy Friday Future Gryphons! Today we’re answering the most frequently asked questions about our DVM program.

Let’s get started…

Q: What courses should I take in high school?

A: You should take courses that will prepare and admit you to the degree program of your choice. You will need to complete 8 required courses while in this program. Visit the Ontario Veterinary College website for more information on admission requirements.


Q: Do you have a better chance of getting into OVC if you do your undergrad at the U of G?

A: Before applying to DVM, you can study at any accredited university or degree program at an accredited College as long as you complete the 8 prerequisite courses and meet the additional admission requirements.

Work to complete the requirements and your application will be of equal value to anyone else, at any other school, in any other program.


Q: Do you need to take Animal Biology or an Animal related major to be eligible to apply to DVM?

A: There is no specific program or major required to apply to DVM.

It’s all about getting those prerequisites and admission requirements! Choose a major that allows you to take all of the prerequisites, and you’ll be just fine.


Q: What is the minimum amount of animal/clinical experience needed to apply to DVM?

A: Experience is about QUALITY not QUANTITY.

There is no specific number of hours of animal/clinical experience required to be considered for admission. Just make sure your experience gives you solid exposure to the veterinary field, that you develop strong connections and that you feel confident working in the field.

Quality experience = working with different species, under a vet supervisor, in a lab or government setting.


Q: I’ve had pets all my life, does this count as animal experience?

A: Pet ownership does not count for experience – sorry! We know, we love our pets, too.

Q: Are grades or experience more important for your admission decisions?

A: BOTH grades and the experience/references listed on your Background Information Form (BIF) are used to determine your eligibility.

Your experience will help you nail that interview, which is 35% of your ranking, and your academic performance will determine the other 65%!

Check out the Future Students section of the Ontario Veterinary College website for a better breakdown on the admission process.


Q: Is the MCAT required to apply to DVM at U of G?

A: The MCAT is not required for applicants.


Q: When can I apply to DVM?

A: You can apply after you’ve completed 2 years of your undergrad.

Students typically apply in their 3rd year of undergrad. You may choose to complete your full degree or even go on to do a Master’s degree before applying, but this is not required.


Q: How competitive is it to get in?

A: Competitive? Yes. Impossible? NO!

In total, 120 students are admitted into DVM each year.

Here is the breakdown:

  • 100 Canadian Undergraduate
  • 15 International Undergraduate
  • 5 Graduate


Q: What specializations can I pursue?

A: The DVM program prepares you to work with a diverse range of animals (including exotics!).

You will decide which “stream” you want to pursue in your third year of the DVM program. Stream options include Small Animal, Large Animal, Food Animals and more!

In 4th year you’ll complete clinical rotations, so you can schedule rotations based on your interests.


Q: What are my options after I graduate?

A: After graduating, you will write your Licensing Exam which will ‘declare’ you a fully licensed vet, and from there you can pursue a wide variety of options, such as:

  • Clinical Practice
  • The Public Sector
  • Complete a Residency for further specialization
  • Further your education (Master’s, PhD)


Q: Are there any clubs or student organizations related to the DVM program?

A: There sure are! Check out the ‘Future Vets Club’ when you get to Guelph! They support and guide undergraduate students intending to apply to vet school by hosting information sessions, helping students find volunteer placements and providing a glimpse into the veterinary profession. Checkout their Facebook page now, #futuregryphons!


Q: Are there places in Guelph that students can volunteer at?

A: There are many opportunities to volunteer at the OVC and in the Guelph area during your undergrad and even before you start university! Check out the OVC website for information on current volunteer positions.


Q: How many times can I apply?

A: In total, 4 applications for admission to the DVM program will be considered from an individual. This includes applications in either the undergraduate cohort or the graduate cohort.


Q: When will I find out if I got an interview?

A: The OVC admissions committee will review the top applicants to verify that they are suitable for interviews. Candidates who are invited for an interview will typically receive an email the last week of April.


Q: When will I find out my interview score?

A: All interviewed candidates will be sent their interview score in June. This score is an average score across the 8 stations scored out of 100.


Visit the Ontario Veterinary College website for more frequently asked questions and more information on the DVM program.

International Application Deadline

Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 09:40

Attention Future Gryphons: This Thursday, February 15, 2018 is the deadline for students studying outside of Canada to submit an application to the University of Guelph. Visit the Admission Services website for details on how to apply and check our calendar for additional information on upcoming deadlines.

Tips Tuesdays - Episode 5: Beating Winter at U of G

Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 09:33

Sometimes winter feels like the never-ending season. Luckily, our Gryphons have a ton of ways to make the most of it both on- and off-campus! Today, we’re sharing the best ways to experience winter at the U of G and around the city.


Skating, swimming and rock climbing are always on the menu at U of G, thanks to our amazing athletic facilities. Are you more the competitive type? Join one of the many intramural sports available on campus!

If you are itching to do some outdoor skating, head to the Market Square in downtown Guelph. The splash pad outside of city hall doubles as an outdoor rink in the winter.


Coffee, tea, hot cocoa – our various campus coffee houses offer all of these and more, plus some really cozy nooks to curl up in.

If you are looking for a place to hang with friends, study, or warm up off-campus try the Red Brick Café or Planet Bean Coffee downtown.

Sometimes, the best way to deal with the frigid temps and blustery weather is just to ignore it completely for a little while. Cuddle up, #futuregryphons!


The U of G greenhouses provide the ultimate escape from the cold. Spend some time relaxing, reading or studying in the Conservatory Greenhouse, or wander over to the Bovey Greenhouse to admire some beautiful tropical plants. If you spend enough time there, you just might convince yourself that you’re in the tropics.


Step into a winter wonderland and explore the U of G’s Arboretum! There’s over 165 hectares (over 400 acres!) of beautiful scenery and walking trails to discover.

Consider bringing some snowshoes or cross-country skis to explore the Arboretum in your own way.

Your hikes aren’t limited to the U of G campus. From Starkey Hill Conservation Area to the Hanlon Creek Park, the city of Guelph has some great trails to explore.


Something you might not know about the U of G is that we have an AWESOME toboggan hill behind Lennox/Addington Residence Hall. It’s short, it’s steep, and it has enough space for a safe stop. This hill has seen every type of ‘sled’ imaginable, so get creative!


Yes, Guelph keeps their Farmer’s Market going year-round! This market is completely indoors and makes a great Saturday morning outing. You can buy local meats, cheeses, breads, vegetables, honey, doughnuts and more!


From basketball to hockey, there are many winter opportunities to cheer on the Gryphons at a varsity game!

Whether you are an OHL fan or just looking for a fun night out, you can always head to the Sleeman Centre downtown to watch a Guelph Storm game… we hear they’re pretty good!

These are just SOME of the fun ways Gryphons experience winter in Guelph. We can’t wait for you to join us next year and share how you enjoy winter at the U of G. For now, add these to your bucket list and stay warm Future Gryphons!


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University of Guelph
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Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1