Support for International Students
The Office of Intercultural Affairs
The Office of Intercultural Affairs (OIA) in Student Life offers 1-to-1 advising, free skill-building and intercultural competency workshops, volunteer opportunities, cultural excursions, and community-building events throughout the year. We also have mentorship and social programs for new international students that last a semester or longer to help with cultural, academic, and language transition and make meaningful connections along the way.
There are four areas within OIA that support the grown, development, and learning needs of students from racialized background, undergraduate and graduate international and aboriginal students, and students from various faith perspectives:
- International Programming and Advising (UC 3rd Floor South)
- Diversity and Cultural Programming and Advising (UC 3rd Floor South)
- The Multi-Faith Resource Team (Raithby House)
- The Aboriginal Resource Centre (Federal Building, 620 Gordon Street)
You have a strong team from the Office of Intercultural Affairs and our associates in other departments that work hard to ensure your success at Guelph.
Matthew Keefe and Yassin Sagnia are the International Student Advisors (ISA) and should be the first people you meet when you arrive. They are the people to talk to about campus resources; UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan); academic, financial, and housing issues; university rules and policies; immigration questions relating to your study permit and visa; upcoming workshops and events; getting involved on campus and connecting with other students; and any personal matters or concerns you may face. They are here to help ensure that your transition to Guelph and to Canada is as smooth as possible.
You can find their offices on the 3rd Floor of the University Centre (Student Experience) or by telephone or email: Matthew: 519-824-4120 x 58698; firstname.lastname@example.org and Yassin: 519-824-4120 x 58686; email@example.com
Students can find the ISA drop-in schedule for the current semester in the weekly OIA Newsletter, or stop by Student Life
The Multi-Faith Resource Team are a representatives from various faith backgrounds on campus to support students who practice a particular faith tradition, and they do programming together for students to explore and learn about various faith traditions.
If you are looking for spiritual support, drop in to Raithby House or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected to a particular faith community. Find out more on their website.
The LINK Program connects new international students (including graduate) with current Guelph students to help ease the transition into Canadian culture and life at the University of Guelph. Find out more.
Every year the OIA works with Co-operative Education and Career Services to bring you programs to support you as you work towards your career. Included in these is the International Student Career day which happens in the winter semester. Find out more.
In collaboration with the Library Learning Commons and Open Learning and Educational Support, the OIA offers an international student academic transition program. This series of workshops are for students new to Canada, ESL students and students who have concerns about succeeding in the new academic environment. Topics range from effective note-taking to delivering presentations. In addition to these, the library offers unique workshops for graduate students around topics such as thesis writing. For more information on this and other programs, visit the OIA website or the Library website.
If English is not your first language and you wish to improve your spoke English, consider joining the conversation partners program. More information here.
Join us for weekly informal discussions in the library where we share culture and improve conversational English skills. More information here.
Are you looking to meet other international students? Join this weekly lunchtime hangout in the international student lounge (UC 535). It’s a chance to meet with international students like you over a cup of coffee or tea and talk about some of the shared experiences you have. Light refreshments will be served. iChat meets every week alternating between Wednesdays and Thursdays Find out more.
If you are looking for a way to get involved on campus, consider being a peer helper with our office. Peer helpers support our programs and activities in a variety of ways, ranging from event planning and implementation to one-on-one support for international students. We are always looking to recruit graduate students. Find out more about the program.