A Helpful Guide to University Resources for International Students
When you enroll in a Canadian college or university, you'll get plenty of supports, from admission to graduation and beyond.
Travelling to a new country, starting your studies, and getting involved might seem intimidating at first, but don't worry — there are plenty of resources available to make your transition to university as easy as possible.
Transitioning into university life
Your experience in university will likely begin with an orientation event near the start of your first term to welcome you to campus and help you adjust to your new life. It's a great chance to familiarize yourself with your new home, connect with classmates, and make some fun memories before your classes start.
At Waterloo's fall Orientation, there are activities and events to help you connect to the University of Waterloo community and get comfortable in Canada. We want you to feel right at home as you connect with new classmates, explore the unique traditions of your faculty, and learn what it means to be a Waterloo Warrior!
Some schools might have programs in place over the summer leading up to the start of your first year to help you prepare for the start of your studies. At Waterloo we have our Waterloo Ready program to help you successfully navigate your first year, give you the opportunity to connect virtually with other students, learn helpful tips on navigating first year, and access resources before you even start at Waterloo!
Setting you up for success
It's important to make your wellbeing a priority and take care of both your physical and mental health:
- When it comes to medical care and support, many universities have nurses, counsellors, and therapists on campus to help you.
- Whether you're interested in fitness classes, sports, or working out at the gym, it's easy to fit some exercise into your schedule!
- Joining a club is a great way to connect with other students with similar passions and interests! Among the 200+ clubs at Waterloo, we have some cultural clubs, such as the Chinese Students Association, Culture and Language Exchange Club, Indian Cultural Association, and lots more!
- At Waterloo, one way to familiarize yourself is through the International and Canadian Student Network. They strive to make everyone feel welcome in the community by holding several events each term for local, international, and exchange students. These events can be a fun new experience, let you meet other students, and give you a chance to explore the area and other cultures.
Accessing academic supports and resources
There's no doubt that academic success is a top priority at university, and support is always accessible if you need it. Your professors and teaching assistants are available during their office hours to help answer any questions and keep you on track.
If you need some extra help or just want to improve your skills beyond the classroom, there's lots of great resources available. Student or Academic Success offices are the place to go for academic development through online learning tools, workshops, and learning strategies. For assistance with picking courses, swapping programs, or planning your degree, make sure to check in with your academic advisor(s).
If you have a disability and need accommodation, look for the Accessibility Office at your school.
At Waterloo, there are many English language supports in place as well such as our English Language Institute at Renison University College, the Writing and Communication Centre, and our Bridge to Academic Success in English (BASE) pathway program.
There are many amazing resources in place at university designed to help you. From your first year to your last, you have access to support for all your academic, physical, and emotional needs.
Discover lots of ways you can get involved at university