Adjusting and Making Friends
You will likely find that some things in Canada and in Guelph are quite different than you are used to, even if you're from a similar culture. Living and studying in a different country can be challenging at times, and sometimes it may even feel overwhelming. It is very normal for exchange and international students to have ups and downs while adjusting to the Canadian culture and academic system. If you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, homesick or experiencing any problems that seem unmanageable during your time at the University of Guelph, please feel welcome to speak with your Education Abroad Advisor or the International Student Advisor who can offer support and resources to help you. They have all lived in other countries before too and know what it's like to go through a cultural adjustment. For some basic advice, you can also read the 'Tips for Dealing with Cultural Adjustment' attachment at the bottom of this page.
The Centre for New Students
The Centre for New Students helps all new students make a successful transition to the University of Guelph. They offer a range of specialized programs and services, resource materials, one-on-one support, and campus-wide events. Some of the programs they organize include Orientation Week, www.STARTonline.ca - an online summer orientation program designed to help new students prepare for their first year at the University of Guelph, and social resources for students living off-campus.
The LINK Program
Are you feeling a bit nervous about your upcoming exchange in Canada? Don’t worry, as there are some students from the University of Guelph who would like to be your friend, welcome you and show you around. The LINK program matches exchange students with a returning UofGuelph student who will introduce you to university life and to some aspects of Canadian culture. A LINK partner can help to ease your transition by connecting you with services and opportunities on campus and in the city, and by helping you with day-to-day questions like where to find the grocery store or buy used textbooks. To sign up for the LINK program - just fill in the online application form.
Throughout the year, the LINK program also organizes fun trips for international and exchange students such as a day at Niagara Falls and a ski trip. If you have any questions about the LINK programs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The International Students’ Association
The International Student Organization (ISO) voices the concerns of international students and also organizes events that promote diversity and multiculturalism on campus. It is a good way to meet other international students from around the world. To find out more about the club, e-mail email@example.com
Clubs and Societies
There are many different clubs and societies organized by students with similar interests. Joining one or two of these groups is a great way to meet students who are interested in the same things you are or to try something new. The clubs range in diversity from the Chess Club, to the Ski and Snowboard Club, to the Muslim Students Association and even the Harry Potter Alliance. You can see a full list of the various clubs on the CSA website - click on "Club Contact List”.
The university organizes sports competitions called 'intramurals' which aim to create a comfortable and fun atmosphere for students of all backgrounds and skill levels to get involved. Students make up their own teams and sign up to play, and exchange students have often formed teams together. Different residences also often form teams and play against each other. Or you can also just make up a team with some friends. To find out how to join a team, just ask your Residence Manager or drop by the Athletic Centre.