Prepare for Your First Year with YU START

Posted by Lauren Dick on May 29, 2018

Enrolment | Get In The Know | New to YU | On-board to York

With thousands of new Lions joining the York University community every year, the #YUBlog is always welcoming new students to the pride. York U provides plenty of valuable resources to help new students transition to university life. The #YUBlog’s “New to YU” series is here to help you along your York U journey, from exploring the many colleges at York University to student services, the best places to eat on campus and more!

Now that you’ve accepted your offer of admission to York University, it’s time to get familiar with YU START! YU START, an online new student transition program unique to York U, helps new students transition to university life and sets them up for success. The YU START program isn’t just for undergraduates either; it’s available for graduate students as well! This platform supports hundreds of incoming students across 150+ programs every year and helps students and their families feel comfortable in the YU community.

Even though YU START was only launched in the past few years, they recently won two national awards for their efforts:

  1. The Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS) Innovation Award; and
  2. The Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) Quality and Productivity Award.
  1. Watch the video below for a brief introduction to YU START!

What is York U’s YU START?

YU START is a new student transition program created to help new students prepare for their first year at York University. University life and everything that comes with it is often new for incoming students. With YU START introducing new Lions to the university environment, you’ll be prepared to put your best foot forward. Some of the areas you’ll learn about are:

Financing Your Education

Activities within this module will help students better understand tuition fees, financial aid, free sources of money and tips about saving and budgeting.


Get familiar with York University’s Career Centre by completing some of the activities generated by their team of professionals. Gaining experience can start as early as your admittance to York University!

Academic Success

This module offers helpful and specific tips about reading, writing and more in the postsecondary setting.


This module provides information about commuting to or parking on the Keele and Glendon campuses, no matter where students are coming from in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Campus maps and commuter spaces are also featured. The #YUBlog’s previous post, “Know Where to Go on Keele Campus” is also a great resource for finding campus transit locations.

Your First Day

You’ll find frequently asked questions and answers about classes, the campus and how to navigate daily life at York U through the activities in this module.

Get Involved

This module goes over the ways in which students can get involved on campus and how participating in extracurricular activities contributes to a valuable university experience. Ways of getting involved can range from recreational sports (i.e. intramurals) to professional engagements (i.e. student governments).

Safety and Inclusion

Contributing to and maintaining a safer community is integral as a citizen and member of York University. This module contains resources, services and learning tools highlighting consent, diversity and overall human rights.


Resources and services for mental and physical health are provided to support students during a time of change.

Screenshot of the YU START homepage featuring the nine modules and checklist.
Visit the YU START homepage to get started.

In addition to these modules, YU START provides a “Pre-Arrival Checklist” on the bottom right corner of the page to serve as a progress meter for participants.

Success Tip: Speaking from experience, checklists are a fantastic way to keep track of what you’ve accomplished and what still needs to get done. My desk always has a notepad or sticky notes with checklists about my current readings, assignments and exams to keep me on track. Plus, it’s really satisfying when you get to cross an item off your to-do list!

A notebook with a hand writing a checklist. Photograph by York University
Stay organized with a checklist!

Don’t just take my word for it! Learn more about YU START benefits from a former YU START Open Learning Centre volunteer and access YU START today!

How to Access YU START

Ready to begin? To access YU START, new students must first accept their offer of admission. After you officially become a York U student, there are two ways to begin using YU START:

  1. You will receive an email notification from York U containing a link to the platform; or
  2. Log into your MyFile account and select “Book/Manage my enrolment appointment”.

If you pick the second option, you might see a section labelled “Learn When your Online Course Enrolment Begins” on the Course Enrolment Information page. If you see this option, your program participates in YU START and you are ready to begin your online academic orientation!

Screenshot of "Course Enrolment Information" page where we point out where you will see the button if your program is eligible for YU START.
In this scenario, a Bachelor of Honours in Disaster and Emergency Management is eligible for YU START.

However, if you see “Book/Manage” in the “Advising” column instead, that means that your program doesn’t participate in YU START yet and you are required to book an enrolment/course selection appointment. Find your program on the following list to learn whether or not your course has a YU START Online Enrolment Tutorial option.

YU START also offers a Parent & Family login! By selecting the “Add a Parent/Family Member” link in the “Pre-Arrival Checklist for New Students”, you’ll be able to share your progress with your guardians.

The homepage picture from the YU START website with the "Parents & Family Login" highlighted in yellow. By York University
Invite your family or guardian to YU START today!

I’ve Finished YU START – Now What?

Find your next steps on the road to first year using the York U Future Students Next Steps page! After completing these steps, including the nine modules on the YU START homepage, you’re ready to sign up for York Orientation Day or Glendon Orientation Day!

Success Tip: Don’t forget to check the weather report, because Orientation Day goes on rain or shine!

YU START is a wonderful tool that supports students transitioning into the York U community and offers you the skills you need for success. Whenever you’re ready to begin, YU START is waiting for you!

Lauren Dick
Lauren Dick

Lauren Dick graduated in Spring 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Professional Writing and a Professional Certificate in Marketing. She loves to curl up with a good story and a warm cup of tea (only English Breakfast, mind you), and she hopes her blog posts will continue to encourage current and incoming students to learn more about York U and its community.

See other posts by Lauren Dick

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