Virtual Events for International Students

How to make the most of virtual events at Canadian Universities.

 Virtual Events for International Students

The move to virtual and online learning has led to university events and information sessions being hosted online as well. With so much happening virtually, Zoom fatigue has become more common. But if you’re able to spend a bit more time online, attending virtual events hosted by Canadian universities can be really helpful.

Through virtual events, you can learn more about different universities, ask questions directly to staff and faculty, connect with current students, and even take virtual tours to explore the campuses, all from the comfort of home. These tips will help you make the most of virtual events at universities.

What kind of virtual events do universities host?

Many universities host on-going virtual events, like webinars, information sessions and even virtual campus tours. Because these events happen regularly, you’ll likely have different days and times to choose from, so you can choose what works best for you. Universities will also host seasonal events, like open houses. An open house is a type of in-person event where institutions invite interested students and their families to visit their campuses, learn more about the institution and explore classrooms, residences, and other campus buildings. Virtual open house events offer the same thing but it’s all online, so you don’t have to travel to campus to participate.

You can attend virtual Spring Open House events at Wilfrid Laurier University on March 12 and March 19. There will be virtual sessions hosted by staff and professors from each of Laurier’s faculties, as well as information sessions about co-op, experiential learning, career services, health and wellness, and more. There will also be virtual tours of our campuses in Waterloo and Brantford. We hope you can join us!

What should you expect from virtual events?

The main goal of virtual events is to give you more information about the university. The different events will often include a presentation or topic overview followed by a question-and-answer session. Some events may allow you to ask questions throughout the presentation, while others might just be question-and-answer sessions where you can ask about anything you’d like to know.

The event descriptions will tell you more about what to expect. And it’s a good idea to ask questions related to the event topic. Someone hosting an event about admissions might not be able to answer your questions about residence; instead, be sure to look for a virtual event about residence!

What platforms are used for virtual events?

Zoom has become a popular platform and many universities will use it to host their events. And chances are you’ve already used Zoom for an event or even for school, so you’ll know how it works. Social media is also a popular place to host events, with sessions happening on Facebook Live and Instagram Live. Messaging and chat platforms, like Discord, are also becoming popular places to connect with other students at universities.

Laurier uses Zoom to host weekly webinars just for international students. Some of the topics we cover in our webinars include admissions processes, student support services and career services, and we’ve had international students join our webinars to share their experiences. Laurier also has a Future Students Hub on Discord that you’re welcome to join.

What is the best way to participate?

You can choose how you want to participate in virtual events. You might want to listen to the presentation and take some notes or you might want to start asking questions as soon as you can. Perhaps you want to include your family or friends so you can learn together, or you want to be on your own so you can focus. You can participate in the way that’s best for you.

And if an event requires you to register and you’re not sure if you’ll be available for the event, it’s still okay to register. Event hosts know that everyone who registers might not be able to attend, and it’s always a good idea to have the option to attend.

Take advantage of recordings.

Did you miss a virtual event you wanted to attend? That’s okay! Often, recordings of the event will be available for you to watch on your own schedule. This is an advantage over live events, since it’s not always easy to record live events! Check the university’s website to see if they post event recordings or to see how you can contact them to ask for the recording.

At Laurier, we post recordings of our webinars online for you to watch anytime. The recordings of our international student webinars are also hosted on Zoom to make them accessible from wherever you happen to be.

Whether you’re looking to learn more about a university, curious about the admissions process, or want to connect with other students, virtual events can help you with all these things and so much more, so be sure you check out what’s being offered at universities across Canada.

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