Five Ways Canadian Universities Keep You Safe and Healthy While Studying Abroad

Find out how Laurier helps you stay safe and healthy.

 Five Ways Canadian Universities Keep You Safe and Healthy While Studying Abroad

Making the decision to travel to another country for university is a big step but it’s also an exciting time as you prepare for this next part of your education. As you think about what to pack and prepare for your first day of classes, you also want to be sure you’ll feel safe and welcome at your new school and new community.

Canada is a safe, welcoming, diverse country and in 2021 was ranked #1 in the world for quality of life by the U.S. News and World Report. Here are 5 different ways that universities in Canada prioritize your safety, health, and well-being.

1. On-campus safety and security specialists

Universities have departments dedicated to your on-campus safety and security, often called special constables or campus security services. Many of these departments will run programs and events focused on student safety education.

At Wilfrid Laurier University the Special Constable Service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to your needs, concerns and emergencies, and act as the liaison between the university and other emergency services. They also operate the SAFEHawk app, through which you can call Special Constables as well as get access to helpful safety tips and support services on any mobile device.

2. Safe-walk programs

In the winter months in Canada, it can get dark as early as 5 p.m. And so much is still happening on campus in the evening: you might still have classes, be meeting up with your study group, joining friends for dinner, getting together for a club meeting and much more. To make sure you feel safe heading home after dark, many universities offer safe-walk programs, available during evening hours, where student volunteers will walk home with you.

For example, at Laurier, we have our Foot Patrol program, where a team of two students will escort you to and from campus, either on foot or by van. All student volunteers have two-way radios, flashlight and first aid kit, and are certified in first aid emergency training.

3. On-campus wellness centres

You can focus on your physical and mental well-being by using services and programs available at on-campus wellness centres or departments. Options will differ depending on the university, but many offer access to medical professionals, as well as support with healthy eating and access to specialized medical services.

Laurier’s Student Wellness Centres offer all these services and more. We have doctors, registered nurses and counsellors, as well as chiropractic, massage and physical therapy services. We also have a registered dietitian to help you build healthy eating habits and will work with your dietary preferences.

4. Athletics facilities

Whether you like to lift weights, attend exercise classes, or do laps in a swimming pool, there’s a good chance you’ll find these options — and more! — at on-campus athletics facilities. Using the athletics facilities is a great way to focus on your physical health and well-being.

At Laurier, your student fees provide admission to our athletics facilities, where you can access our state-of-the-art cardio and weight training equipment, Olympic-sized swimming pools and a variety of exercise classes. We also have squash courts, dance studios and even a rock-climbing wall! And if you’re not sure where to start, our staff are available to help you out.

5. Programs focused on safety and wellness education

These programs are great ways to expand your wellness knowledge to be healthy and safe in all areas of your life at university and after graduation.

For example, Laurier offers a variety of programming that focuses on your safety and well-being. You can attend wellness workshops that help you tackle exam stress, build a good relationship with your roommate and more; participate in events during Thrive Week that focus on your mental well-being; and even develop strong financial wellness with our Money Management program. We offer a variety of programs and workshops every semester so there’s always something available to help you out!

At Laurier, your health and safety are important to everyone in our community. We are proud to provide our students with the services and support they need to be safe and healthy, and we hope to see you on our campuses in September!

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