International Student Advising

International Student Advisors

Hi everyone! My name is Pugaleni Iynkaran and I am one of the International Student Advisors in Student Experience. I support full-degree undergraduate and graduate international students. You can talk to me about topics related to moving to Guelph, cultural adjustment, financial support, and health insurance. I can also help students to get involved on campus, connect with other students, and talk through any personal concerns. I know that being an international student brings its own set of unique challenges, but rest assured that we have a network of resources on-campus to support your succeed. I will be able to connect you with those services as well.

Hey everyone!  My name is Matthew Keefe and I am one of your International Student Advisors in Student Experience. I’m here to help you navigate the relationship Immigration has with your academics, making sure that you are setting yourself up for success not only during your studies but once you graduate as well.  My role also includes providing support throughout your time at the University of Guelph, from the transition to life on campus and here in Canada, to helping you build your community in a new place.  I also work with all stakeholders on campus from your faculty members to Coordinators and Counselors to better the understanding of the path an International Student goes through and how we can all work together to better your experience.

Our roles provides guidance for full-degree undergraduate and graduate students, whether you have a study permit, you’re a Canadian who’s been living abroad and now you’re here for school, you are a permanent resident, or you identify as a newcomer to Canada.

Here are some of the ways we can assist:

  • Help to connect with others on campus
  • Feeling homesick, lonely or isolated
  • How to look for work on or off campus
  • Information on how to get your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Health Insurance questions
  • How to get more involved on campus (volunteering, joining extracurricular activities)
  • Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and/or depressed
  • Coping with the winter blues

Immigration related:

  • How to extend your Study Permit
  • Change of conditions
  • Work eligibility for both on and off-campus
  • What to expect after graduation, applying for your Post-Graduate Work Permit
  • Implications of dropping to part-time status
  • Scheduled and Unscheduled breaks
  • Spousal permits
  • Temporary Resident Visas (TRV)

Come by with your questions, or just to chat – we look forward to meeting with you!

We are located in Student Experience, 3rd floor of the University Centre.  Contact Pugaleni at 519-824-4120 Ext. 53636 or by email at iynkaran@uoguelph.ca or Matt at 519-824-4120 Ext. 58698 or by email at mkeefe@uoguelph.ca to ask a question or make an appointment.  We also have drop-in hours each semester for those that want to come by without an appointment.  Check out our International Student Connections newsletter for more updated information each semester or drop by Student Experience.

What is an Advisor?

Wondering what the difference is between the International Student Advisor and the Counsellors in Counselling Services?

An Advisor is a staff member that provides information about the many supports and resources available to students. An Advisor can guide and assist you in navigating the university system, explaining and clarifying institutional policies, describing the overarching expectations of students, and facilitating connections with other campus or community supports, resources or services.

Students can also access Counselling Services in the Vaccarino Centre for Student Wellness.