Supporting your student

Adjusting to your new role


Your students' privacy

The information that Dalhousie University can provide to family & friends is restricted due to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This restricted information includes, but is not limited to: grades and transcripts, medical information, financial information, daily schedule and location of classes, and personal information.

As your student adjusts to university, your role will change, but they still need you. It’s often a challenge to strike the right balance between being supportive and letting them figure things out for themselves. You'll find resources to help you support them below.

Adjusting to university

Your students' role will change, too. Here are a few things that they can expect to change as they begin their first semester at Dalhousie. There may also be a few new academic terms and "Dal speak" for them to learn. 

Are they the first in your family to attend?

Many students are the first in their family to attend university and may need some help navigating different systems and support services. Encourage them to connect with an academic advisor and to explore our On Track programs.

Resources to support students

From academic advising and part-time employment to extracurricular activities, safety, and mental health, explore the resources available to them on campus. 

Communities on campus

While our diverse and inclusive campuses are welcoming to everyone, your student can also find resources and support services tailored to specific communities at Dal. Encourage them to reach out and get involved. 

Communicating with your student

Keep in mind that not hearing from them for several days can be a good sign, especially in the first few weeks. They will be busy meeting new people and acclimating to their new environment. While there's no rule-of-thumb about how often you should be connecting, you may consider pre-arranging a once-a-week call before they set off for university.

Encourage them to get involved

There are plenty of ways for students to get involved, no matter what their interest. Encourage them to take part in social events across campus (Halifax or Truro). From student societies to intramurals (Halifax or Truro) or First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs), there are countless opportunities for your student to connect with other students and enjoy their experience.

All Dalhousie students also join a diverse global family of over 135,000 Dalhousie graduates (Dal Alumni). Encourage your student to keep an eye on alumni events and seek out opportunities to network, volunteer, and learn from these graduates. 

Are they struggling? Homesick? Not coping well?

It's not uncommon for students to find the transition to university difficult at times. Many students experience homesickness during the first year. Be aware of these signs of distress and learn what you can do to help.

Send them a package

Everyone loves getting packages in the mail, especially from home. Send your student a care package. They'll appreciate the pick-me-up.

Planning for the holidays

For students who live in residence, they are required to leave residence within 24 hours of their last exam each semester. Residence buildings close for winter break at noon the day after the last exam scheduled in the Undergraduate Calendar. Please don't make travel arrangements until they have their own personal exam schedule!