Peer Guide Program Volunteer Opportunities

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Position Description 2019-2020


90 Peer Guide positions available


To assist newly arrived international students in their orientation and adjustment to the Canadian culture and the university community.

Time Commitment:

5 hours/week on average; heavier time demands during Orientation Week and the month of September (approximately 10 hours/week).

The program runs from the end of August (Orientation Week) to December, with the opportunity to continue in the winter and summer terms.


Approximately 3 days (see below for details). Volunteers must attend all of the training dates.
Team meetings: 7 hours approximately during the fall term.


  1. Welcome and assist new international (Undergraduate and Graduate) and exchange students in their adjustment, orientation and transition to Western and the Canadian way of life.
  2. Actively participate in and assist with International Student Orientation Events.
  3. Act as a guide, resource person and peer support to a group of 6 - 8 international students. (Peer Guides in a graduate program will be matched with 3 - 4 international students.)
  4. Meet and maintain regular contact (i.e., at least once a week in September) with individuals in your peer group to ensure they are transitioning well and to facilitate connection and belonging.
  5. Facilitate access to programs, services and resources by providing international peers with information on campus and city resources, student activities, services, etc. Encourage use of services and involvement in activities.
  6. Attend functions organized for all groups. (There are several events throughout September and 2 - 4 events per month for the remainder of the term.)
  7. Organize regular monthly activities/meetings with your own peers on an individual basis and as a group.
  8. Assist in staffing the International and Exchange Student Centre "Help Desk" during the allocated Peer Drop-In hours (1 hour/week). This entails welcoming and assisting international students who visit the centre.
  9. Attend training, staff meetings and midterm progress review.
  10. Discuss any questions, difficulties or concerns with your supervisor and/or Team Leader.
  11. Complete Western's Online Health and Safety training courses (see below for details).
  12. Complete and submit Peer Guide log forms on a weekly basis and a year-end program evaluation.

Desired Qualifications:

We are looking for responsible, mature individuals who can demonstrate the following:

  • Strong communication, interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Empathy and helping skills
  • Cross-cultural awareness, understanding and sensitivity
  • Flexibility, open-mindedness and cultural curiosity
  • Experience in living, studying or working in a second culture and in the adjustment process
  • Keen interest in enhancing personal intercultural expertise
  • Demonstrated ability to manage academic workload (good academic standing)
  • Good time management skills
  • Initiative, enthusiasm and dependability
  • Willingness to devote considerable time
  • Familiarity with the Western and London community and available resources
  • Current student at Western University for the 2019-2020 academic year


  • Involvement in internationalization at Western
  • Contribute to building a caring community and enhancing intercultural understanding at Western
  • Skill development/enhancement; experience for future employment or professional studies
  • Personal satisfaction of making a positive impact on international students' Western experience and of using your skills, past experience and concern for people by helping other students
  • A great learning experience - enhance your global perspectives at Western through cross-cultural exchange!
  • An opportunity to develop international connections: friendships with international students and other Peer Guides
  • Receive a Certificate of Participation and a small token of appreciation in recognition of your contribution
  • Letter of recommendation available upon request

Mandatory Training:

Volunteers must be able to attend all training sessions.

  • Peer Guide Spring Training (tentative dates) - Saturday, March 30, 2019
    • Students currently on exchange (and out of the country) during the Winter 2018 term will be provided with an alternative training date in late August.
  • Peer Guide Fall Training – August 29 and August 30, 2019
    (2 full days of training on the Thursday and Friday before the Labour Day Weekend)
  • Required online training through Human Resources at Western for all volunteers, including WHIMIS, Work Safely at Western, Safe Campus Community and Accessibility in Service (Details to be announced at the Spring Training). Online training modules to be completed during the summer months.

How to Apply:

Application Deadlinefor the 2019-2020 academic year has now passed! Please check again in January 2020.

Even though the Peer Guide application has now closed, we have many other student leadership positions available like our Welcome Team and English Conversation Leader positions which we hope you will consider!

Application for NEW volunteers

(Never volunteered as a Peer Guide)


Application for RETURNING Peer Guides

(Previously volunteered as a Peer Guide)



Note: Peer Guide interviews will be scheduled from February 11 to March 22, 2019. Due to the large number of applications received, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by telephone by Friday, March 20, 2019 to schedule an interview. Final selections will be based on applications and interviews.

Questions? Contact us at 519-661-2111 ext. 89309 or send an email to for further information.