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Graduate Program Orientation


RockVIU: Welcome to Campus is an opportunity for new graduate students to explore the campus, meet their faculty, and make new connections with their peers. This year's orientation will consist of a full week of virtual events aimed to explore the theme of Connect, Engage, Discover.

Thank you to our RockVIU 2020 Presenting Partner: Panago Pizza 

RockVIU 2020 Presenting Partner Panago Pizza

RockVIU 2020: Grad Program Schedule

Week 1: Connect and Onboard - optional sessions to get yourself into the swing of things

RockVIU 2020 will take place over a two-week period starting on Monday August 24, 2020 and ending on Friday September 4, 2020. In week one, students will be invited to connect with their designated RockVIU Leader and Student Peer Mentor in advance of the official RockVIU Welcome to Campus kick off on August 31st. Connections will take place through our new RockVIU onboarding initiative titled, “Beach Fire Chats”. 

These are some highlight events to follow in Week 1.

Beach Fires Chats

  • Enjoy a virtual Vancouver Island beach fire experience as you get to know your RockVIU Peer Mentor, who will also be your main contact throughout the Fall semester. Book your time slot in VIU’s Co-Curricular app to virtually connect with your RockVIU leader and come prepared with all the questions you have about VIU, student life, and more. Oh, and don’t forget the marshmallows!

VIU Scavenger Hunt | A Virtual Campus Excursion:

  • Want to explore VIU’s campus and gain points to win prizes at the same time? Get to know your campus through this interactive virtual scavenger hunt and earn reward points for your engagement. Follow the map’s pathways throughout campus on the VIU Co-Curricular app to collect items and fun facts while you enjoy the short videos and photos featured throughout.

RockVIU 2020 Schedule of Events

Week 2: Engage and Discover - sessions to get you engaged with the graduate student community and discover important resources

RockVIU 2020-Welcome to Campus will officially kick off with the Opening Ceremony on Monday August 31, 2020 featuring Blake Fly.

Date/Time: Monday, Aug 31 @ 10:00am - 12:00pm

Zoom Link: 



Blake Fly is proudly sponsored by VIU Residence, thank you for all of your support for RockVIU 2020.

VIU Residence Logo

RockVIU will commence with an opening ceremony featuring VIU’s Elder, giving a Traditional Coast Salish welcome followed by VIU’s President, Dr. Deborah Saucier giving all new students a welcoming address to launch into their first year at VIU! All students are welcome to enjoy this event, so be sure to register on VIU’s Co-Curricular App to virtually attend this special ceremony.   

Some highlights that are taking place during this years graduate student orientation include:

Ready, Set, Go - Graduate Student Orientation: Join us for this first discussion in the VIU Graduate Student Orientation. We will provide an overview of the Orientation and an introduction to your program leads. Then we’ll review the Orientation schedule and discuss the norms and expectations for online learning.

Date/Time: Monday, Aug 31 @ 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Zoom Link:  https://viu.zoom.us/j/68584711091?pwd=ckV5QXduQWhnWTdGRVpPa3RrSTNJQT09

Finding Your Passion: Join current students and alumni from across the graduate programs in an enthusiastic discussion on all things relating to graduate school. What does it mean to shift from an undergrad to a graduate mindset? How do you find a research topic that doesn’t destroy you? Join us to find out.

Date/Time: Tuesday, Sept 1 @ 7:30am - 9:00am

Zoom Link: 


Make-A-Long: Create your Avatar for the Party: Let’s get digital!! This year we're trying something a little different and at the end of the week we’ll be meeting each other in our own little corner of the internet. Before diving into the festivities you’ll need to create a virtual version of yourself in Second Life. Not sure where to start? Join us for an evening of creativity and socialising where we work with the Firestorm team to learn the ins and outs of this new virtual space.

Date/Time: Tuesday, Sept 1 @ 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Zoom Link: 


Success in Intercultural Classrooms: As a graduate student at VIU you will interact with people from all over the world. Not to mention, VIU is a leader in the Truth and Reconciliation agenda. This session will provide some foundations for engaging successfully in VIU's diverse and multicultural environment. Culture and strategies to deal with culture shock will be discussed.

Date/Time: Wednesday, Sept 2 @ 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Zoom Link:


Connect Fair and Community Corner: The Connect Fair and Community Corner sessions will help you to learn more about the many different services and opportunities available for students. Students will attend virtual sessions and gain points to win prizes!

Wednesday, Sept 2

Academic Success - 11:00am - 12:00pm: 


Community Corner - 12:00pm - 1:00pm: 


VIU Supporting You - 2:00pm - 3:00pm: 


Engage @ VIU - 4:00pm - 5:00pm: 


Thursday, Sept 3

Connect @ Cowichan - 9:00am - 10:00am: 


Technology - 10:00am - 11:00am: 


Connect @ Powell River: 1:00pm - 2:00pm: 


Student Services - 3:00pm - 4:00pm: 


Connect @ VIU - 4:00pm - 5:00pm: 


Study Tips & Tricks: The Peer-Supported Learning (PSL) team will be sharing some of the best studying and time-management skills to help students jumpstart their university careers and tools for success.

Date/Time: Tuesday, Sept 1 @ 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Zoom Link:  https://zoom.us/j/95162026958?pwd=dDZmWjhpaktROTNPczJwRU1BaVBpdz09

RockVIU Talent Showcase: Enjoy an evening event; showcasing diverse performances and local artists from all VIU campus communities. This event will be held live through Zoom. 

Date/Time: Monday, Aug 31 @ 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/96742786447?pwd=RkxUdmJBWTE2R0NUbFE3UWdNWmh5QT09

RockVIU Final Jam presented by Telus: Enjoy an evening event; RockVIU's Final Jam, where artists all across Canada and North America will give you and all VIU students a shout out and share performances in a virtual compilation. 


Q&A Panel Sessions: RockVIU will host a variety of Panel Sessions under the following themes.

Talk to Me: Mental Health sponsored by Telus | Q&A Panel

Wednesday, Sept 2 @ 7:30am - 8:15am

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/96216317349 

  • Come prepared with all your questions regarding mental health services at VIU to ask our friendly staff! Whether you are interested in counselling or ways to better connect with your peers through the Talk to Me Program, this is your opportunity to learn all about the ways VIU is here to support you and your mental well-being.


What’s Up with VIU Grad Programs? | Q&A Panel

Date/Time: Thursday, Sept 3 @ 7:30am - 9:00am

Zoom Link: 


  • Part of being a graduate student is engaging in the exciting challenge of doing research. This session will provide an overview of key considerations and resources that you will want to know about.

Grad School Ask Me Anything | Q&A Panel 

Date/Time: Thursday, Sept 3 @ 7:00pm - 8:20pm

Zoom Link: 


  • By this point, many of your questions will be answered, and you will have new ones! This session is intended to field questions from students and facilitate small group conversations to make sure you get answers or know where to get them.

Block Party Socials - Second Life: It’s time to celebrate the start of your graduate program journey! Join us on our virtual private island in Second Life for a rockin' good time. Enjoy this opportunity to connect with peers in your program and meet faculty members such as your Dean and professors. These socials will be conducted online in Second Life, so be on the lookout for some emails with more information on how to get your computer ready to plug into this virtual world.

Date/Time: Sept 4 @ 7:30am - 9:00am

Zoom Link: 


Week 3: Program Specific - sessions designed to orient you specifically to your program of study

RockVIU 2020: COVID-19 Update: Based on the current circumstances due to COVID-19, you are probably wondering, how will these changes affect RockVIU 2020?

The short answer is that RockVIU 2020 is ready to Rock and Roll! RockVIU 2020 has been reimagined with an approach that supports all VIU students from all campuses (Nanaimo, Powell River, Cowichan) by creating an immersive and inclusive virtual experience with a mix of fun, engaging, service-oriented, and student-focused activities. 

This year’s orientation will be jam packed with exciting activities designed to orient graduate students with VIU campus, resources, and services while connecting faculty members and peers. RockVIU 2020 activities will promote a sense of belonging, self-efficacy, and provide a strong welcoming experience for students at VIU.

RockVIU events will now exist in a virtual format through the application of Zoom and VIU’s new Co-Curricular application. All event sessions will be recorded and uploaded to the Graduate Programs Orientation Guide on VIU’s new Co-Curricular application. More details to follow in August 2020 on VIU’s new Co-Curricular app hosted by the Office of Co-Curricular Engagement & Learning.