Information about Different SAO Types

SAO is a unique program to help first-year Main Campus students* be prepared for the start of university.

In Person

By attending in-person you will:

  1. Meet with a faculty member or advisor who will counsel you on the appropriate first-year courses for your intended program (or they will review the courses you have already registered in)
  2. Create a personalized timetable, with assistance, and register for your courses
  3. Learn about Western’s services, the campus and university life
  4. Have the opportunity to participate in a full campus tour. Please note: You must select the 1:30pm option in order to attend SAO and this tour. More information about campus tours can be found here.  * At SAO we offer a 45 minute express tour of two residence buildings (Ontario Hall and Essex Hall). You do not need to register in advance for this tour.

SAO is offered to students admitted to all Main Campus first-year undergraduate programs. SAO will last approximately 4-5 hours and you MUST register in advance. Please plan accordingly. In-person SAO 2019 will run from Thursday, June 20th to July 6th. Not all faculties run every day.  

*Coming into first year Engineering? Western Engineering will be hosting academic orientation sessions for first-year students on August 9 and 16, 2019. The Engineering START Workshops will help first-year engineering students prepare for the academic year. Details and registration links will be sent to you by email in July. The START program replaces SAO for our Engineering students.

Parents/guests can attend, please ensure your student registers you for our program.

Please email our SAO Coordinators if you require information in an alternate format, or if any other arrangements can make this event accessible to you -  

Overnight SAO Experience

See for yourself what it’s like to live the RezLife! If you are planning on attending Summer Academic Orientation on Friday July 5th or Saturday July 6th*, you can also stay overnight in residence, meet other incoming first-year students and participate in community-based activities and events.

*The overnight option would take place the night before your SAO appointment. E.G. Stay over Thursday July 4th and attend SAO on Friday July 5th.

You’ll be provided with a one-night stay in Ontario Hall, one of our hybrid-style residences, two meals in our dining hall (dinner before your overnight stay and breakfast in the morning) and will be walked to your SAO session the next morning.

Eligibility is limited to incoming first-year students studying at Western University’s Main Campus. Register for the SAO Overnight Experience here by 11:59 p.m. on June 21. 

Please note, you must also register for your SAO session separately here.

To register for an SAO Overnight Experience session, please click here. 

Phone Appointments

Students will be able to book an one-on-one telephone appointment beginning July 9 and running until August 23*. You can book an appointment through SAO Online Registration ( Appointments are approximately 45 minutes in length. Students can expect to speak with university staff about program requirements, course registration, and life on campus.

Phone Appointment Checklist

Please have the following items ready and with you for your phone appointment:

  1. Review the Academic Calendar (tips for first year can be found here)
  2. Paper/pen to record details from appointment and sitting at a computer if possible
  3. Language Placement Test results (if applicable)
  4. List of required courses, elective courses and modules/programs of interest
  5. List of questions you may have 

E-Advising Appointments

Students will be able to use our e-advising service starting July 5. This is available until August 23. You can sign-up here. After submitting your requests, we will respond within 3-4 business days. University staff will answer questions about program requirements, course registration and life on campus. 

International Students

International students can access a number of supports through SAO. In-person and phone appointments can be booked here (

How to Prepare for SAO

  1. Collect all course outlines/syllabi for secondary or post-secondary school courses that are prerequisites for the required courses of your intended module(s). Note: This is required only of students who did not graduate from a Canadian Secondary School Curriculum.
  2. Review course descriptions and academic information in the Academic Calendar, and prepare a list of courses you are interested in taking. Please read through the following:
    1. Degree Structure
    2. Modules & Required Courses
    3. Course suffixes & breadth requirements
  3. Obtain your 'Western Identity' (e.g. wsmith2 & jfT9R^RB) by visiting Western Technology Services.
  4. Upload a photo of yourself for the Western ONECard (your identification card for exams & Campus Recreation; and your bus pass, library card, & meal plan card).
  5. Submit Advanced Placement (AP) College Board test results or International Baccalaureate (IB) official transcripts (if applicable) to the Undergraduate Admissions Office (Main Campus).

* International and Out of Province Students will be able to book a phone appointment from June 20 to August 9.