Eight Months in BASE: What is it like?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

This story was written by BASE student volunteers from the BASE Newswriting Team, a group of dedicated student leaders who wrote articles each week about their UWaterloo student experience for a weekly newsletter publication distributed to their peers.

By Alejandro Haro Munoz, Zayana Garcia Almeida, Christian Alvarez, Gabriel Robles, Bolivar Villamarin
The BASE program has helped me to improve my communication skills as I have gained confidence with both speaking and writing in English. This eight-month experience will ensure our success in our future years of study due to the fact that we would have already experienced the university lifestyle for a year before our incoming 1A classmates.
The BASE program has provided us the opportunity to get more involved in different activities that happen on campus. For instance, BASE students had the opportunity to join several teams to gain volunteering experience such as the BASE Rep Team as well as the BASE Newswriting team.
Throughout these eight months, students were able to interact with their peers, who were from different backgrounds and nationalities, and have provided the support needed to successfully complete the term. Overall, the BASE program has been a good experience because of the skills that this program has helped us to develop and the preparation we received for the upcoming year.
- Alejandro Haro Munoz

Life at Renison

RenisonWhile partaking in the BASE Program, some of the students lived in Renison University College. I was one of these students. I personally enjoyed my time living in Renison because it is a calm environment with no more than 250 people, which allows you to get to know most of the other residents and create bonds with people for the rest of your life.
All the staff  in Renison (which includes the residence  dons, student life coordinators, cafeteria staff, and caretakers, etc.) are willing to offer a respectful and fun place for living where students from different places in the world can feel valued and accepted.
I am happy I chose Renison as my residence during the BASE Program due to the numerous experiences I had to practice my English skills while having fun and making new friends.
- Christian Alvarez

The Newswriting Team Experience

Newswriting teamIt is important for every student at the University to be involved in extracurricular activities. The BASE Newswriting team was an amazing extracurricular activity to take part in as we could both learn and have fun at the same time.
It was amazing to go to a restaurant with friends, take photos, share stories, and then write about our experience to be published. Writing about our experiences improved our vocabulary and we practiced another form of writing that wasn’t the conventional style that we use frequently in BASE.
Another interesting thing about the Newswriting team was the publication of our articles on the board at Renison. Personally, I loved the idea to post the articles on the board because it could be read by more people.
I enjoyed every single activity on the Newswriting team, being able to discover new places and building new friendships; the Newswriting Team made me realize how advantageous it can be more involved in extracurricular activities.
- Zayana Garcia Almeida

Get involved in BASE events

CrystalThroughout the term there were many activities to enjoy, relax, learn, discover, and exercise. These activities encouraged students from the BASE program to get involved, practice spoken English and de-stress from assignments at the same time. Some examples of these activities were practicing a sport, in many cases being the first time to play it for many BASE students.
Other kinds of activities took place outside of the campus, which encouraged us to discover other cities in the province of Ontario such as skating in Cambridge Mall, visiting Niagara Falls, exploring the vast urban scene of Toronto, and screaming while zooming at lightning speeds at Canada’s Wonderland.
In order to get involved and participate in different activities in main campus, the peer leaders supported us to check out different events such as Clubs Day, Entrepreneurship Day, Meet & Greet sessions, Student Leadership Program workshops, among many others.
All these activities promoted a good physical and mental health along with connecting BASE students with the rest of the UWaterloo community. On top of that, they were a lot of fun!
The last activity is happening on April 8 to 9 which is a camping trip, so come and join us in this awesome activity. Registration is still open until April 5!
- Gabriel Robles

Building English while competing for a goose

The BASE program also encourages their students to actively participate in social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This is done because an essential component of learning a new language is to practice it all the time. For this reason, the BASE Social Media Championship was introduced at the beginning of the Fall 2016 term for the students that are members of the Facebook group.
Every week a set of prizes is announced to the students. In order to win it, all they have to do is comment and post in the group. For every time a student participates with a post, they receive a point, and at the end of the week, the student with the most points wins the prizes. This is an interesting way to improve our English skills and at the same time win some cool swag.
Sometimes, there was a low level of participation and it is possible to win the championship with just a few comments. However, when a goose plush is presented as part of the prize, everyone becomes crazy and tries to win it by commenting and posting as much as they can.
I think that the Social Media Championship is a great idea to encourage students to get involved and get confidence to participate in social networks.
- Bolivar Villamarin
You can read the six editions of the BASE News publication that was published by our BASE Newswriting team members below: