UCalgary Rolls Out Welcome Mat For International Students

by Mark Witten

Magazine  |  Fall/Winter 2018  |  International  |  Welcome International Students

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With a federal goal of doubling the number of Canada’s international students by 2022, most universities are trying to match their recruiting efforts with robust programs to help students settle. Here are a few of UCalgary’s most popular and practical resources:

  • Global Friendship Program International and Canadian students meet twice a month from September to April for activities such as learning to skate at the Olympic Oval, going to a Flames hockey game, potluck dinners and more. The kickoff day trip to Banff and Lake Louise in September is always a big draw, attracting busloads of students.
  • Global Families Program This family-friendly program for international students offers fun stuff ranging from laser tag and trampoline parties to Minds in Motion science labs for kids. The staff have childcare training, so parents can socialize and get to know each other during conversation cafés while their kids play.
  • Welcome Centre This summer service from late July to early September supports international and other new-to-Calgary students with issues like housing, setting up a phone plan and navigating the city, as well as social events. More than 3,000 students from at least 60 countries used this service last year.
  • Camp LEAD A two-night trip during which international and Canadian students can learn leadership skills, meet new friends and enjoy outdoor adventure activities.
  • UCalgary Meetup The International Student Services (ISS) office organizes volunteer-led Meetup groups of eight to 10 students for fun activities ranging from escape rooms to summer festivals and soccer.
  • USpeak Global International and Canadian students meet once a week to learn or practice a language with a first-language speaker and teach their own language.
  • International Mentorship Program This mentoring program connects new international students with current UCalgary students who provide peer advice about adapting to Calgary and the university. 
  • Peer Helper Program Students build up skills and work experience as part of a team of Peer Helpers, volunteering in one of the many programs offered by the Centre for International Students and Study Abroad.
  • Career Workshops for International Students UCalgary’s Career Services runs specialized career workshops for international students at all levels.
  • One-on-one support The Wellness Centre provides dedicated counselling and support staff for international students.

Magazine  |  Fall/Winter 2018  |  International  |  Welcome International Students

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