The little things can add up to big headaches if you don't understand them. Be sure to also check out our list of definitions to common university terms.

What’s the difference between a course and a credit?

A course is just another term for a class you’re taking (for example, Intro to Business). You’ll usually take up to five courses at a time. Each course is worth credits, which can also be referred to as units or credit hours.

As you work toward your degree, you’ll earn credits in various subjects. The focus of your degree (the “major”) will be where you earn most of your credits. Once you meet all the credit requirements for your degree, you can graduate. For more information about credits and requirements, check your school’s academic calendar — it’s usually available online or at the registrar’s office.

What is a students’ union? Do I have to join?

When you go to university, some of your student fees will go toward a students’ union or association. As a student, you’ll automatically become a part of the students’ union at your school. You’ll get to elect leaders (e.g., president and vice-president) who will represent your interests to the school administration. They will also organize events and provide services on campus to give you a positive and fun student experience.