Peer Guide Program Volunteer Opportunities

30 years of the international peer guide program with a cutout of 30 with a background full of peer guide photo memories

Thank you to all of our amazing Peer Guides and program participants throughout the years, we were able to celebrate our 30th anniversary of the International Peer Guide program! Visit our 30th anniversary site to hear from past participants, flip through our photo gallery and share your memories of being in the program on our memory board.

Position Description


100 Peer Guide positions available


To mentor, guide and 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 International Orientation Week and the month of September (approximately 10 hours/week).

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


Approximately 3.5 days (see below for details). Volunteers must attend all training dates.
Team meetings: Weekly 1 hour team meetings on Thursdays during the fall term.


  1. Welcome, assist and mentor 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 and the Welcome Centre from August 26 - September 8 (dates subject to change).
  3. Act as a guide, mentor, 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. Communicate regularly with assigned international students via social media, email, and/or text prior to their arrival at Western University once matched, as well as throughout their first term. Peer Guides are expected to contact students at least once a week and meet with them in person several times throughout the term to ensure they are transitioning well and encouraging them to be involved in activities.
  5. Facilitate access to programs, services and resources by providing international students with information on Western and London resources, student activities, services, etc. in a timely manner. Peer Guides will encourage the use of campus services and involvement in activities.
  6. International Peer Guides may encounter situations where Peer Guides will be approached by international students who may have experienced challenges or exhibit high-risk behaviours such as thoughts of suicide, sexual assaults, domestic violence, mental health concerns, and/or self-harm. International Peer Guides are responsible for listening and providing resources to students; they do not provide counselling.Appropriate support and training will be provided for International Peer Guides to ensure their health and wellness is a priority.
  7. Attend events organized for all Peer Guide groups. (There are several events throughout September and 2 - 4 events per month for the remainder of the term.)
  8. Organize regular monthly activities/meetings with your own peers on an individual basis and as a group.
  9. Represents Western International, Western University and the London community as a positive role model and active member of the community.
  10. Create an inclusive atmosphere and promote a sense of belonging to all students at Western University
  11. Value differences in gender identity, culture, sexual identity, religion, spirituality, and race, amongst others and demonstrate a willingness to create fair and accessible environments.
  12. Complete and attend all mandatory training sessions, attend weekly staff meetings on Thursdays and 1:1 midterm progress review.
  13. Discuss any questions, difficulties or concerns with your supervisor and/or Team Leader.
  14. Complete Western's Online Health and Safety training courses (see below for details).
  15. Complete and submit Peer Guide log forms on a weekly basis and a year-end program evaluation.

Desired Qualifications:

The International Peer Guide position is open to undergraduate and graduate students (international and domestic students) registered at Western for the 2024-25 academic year.

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

  • Strong cross-cultural communication, interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Empathy and helping skills
  • Cross-cultural awareness, understanding and sensitivity to the concerns of international students regardless of their gender, culture, sexual orientation, race, faith-based tradition, abilities, or any other identity unique to the Western community
  • 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 (must be in good academic standing and have a minimum 65% average)
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Initiative, enthusiasm and dependability
  • Willingness to devote considerable time to helps students in their transition to Western
  • Familiarity with the Western and London community and available resources
  • Current student at Western University for the 2024-2025 academic year in good academic, disciplinary, and financial standing with the University.
    • Note: Students in HBA1, law, medicine or dentistry programs or those who are participating in an exchange or internship during the Fall 2024 academic
      year may not be eligible for this position
    • Graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply!


  • Involvement in internationalization at Western
  • Contribute to building a caring and welcoming community at Western and enhancing intercultural understanding at Western
  • Develop and enhance skills such as cross-cultural communication, leadership, mentorship skills and more. 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!
  • A more in-depth understanding of on campus services and resources
  • Grow your network! Make friends with students from around the world and build a strong global community
  • Recognition through the Co-Curricular Record and the Global and Intercultural Engagement Honour
  • Letter of recommendation available upon request

Mandatory Training:

Peer Guides must be able to attend all training sessions. Peer Guides who are not able to complete and attend all required training sessions by September 1, 2024 will not be able to assume their role. Please note some training dates are subject to change.

  • Peer Guide Spring Training (1 day in person)
    • Saturday, April 6, 2024 - 9am - 4pm
  • Peer Guide Fall Training (2 days in person)
    • Day 1: Monday, August 26, 2024 - 9am - 4pm
    • Day 2: Tuesday, August 27, 2024 - 9am - 4pm
  • Required online asynchronous training through Human Resources and Student Experience at Western for all volunteers to be completed during the summer months. (Details to be announced at the Spring Training).
    • WHIMIS, Work Safely at Western, Safe Campus Community, Accessibility in Service, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Gender Based Violence Prevention
  • Additional training as required throughout the Summer and Fall terms.
  • Complete Confidentiality Agreement

How to Apply:

The application deadline is Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 11:59pm.

Due to the large number of applications received, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by telephone or email by March 25, 2024.


Application for
NEW Peer Guides

(Never volunteered as a Peer Guide)


Application for

(Previously volunteered as a Peer Guide)


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

Peer Guides Share their Experience

“The Peer Guide program creates a wonderful community of volunteers that work together to facilitate the difficult transition international students face when joining Western. I have had many great experiences in the Peer Guide Program over the past few years, even when the program went fully virtual. Through my participation in the program, I was able to develop my helping and communication skills as I worked with other Peer Guides to make international graduate and undergraduate students feel welcome at Western and in London.” 
Faraj H.,  PhD in Neuroscience

" The Peer Guide Program was a valuable experience. I was able to meet Western students from around the world and make strong connections with them. I had the opportunity to gain cross-cultural knowledge and develop my communication and listening skills. Being online allowed me to use new digital platforms and become more experienced with them.  Most of all, I had the chance to help a fellow student adjust to life in Canada and contribute to the Western community.  I would recommend this program to all FIMS students who are looking to expand their communication skills and global network!"
Maya D.,  Media Information and Technoculture

"It's been an amazing journey for me as an international student myself to be able to share my own experience with my peers in the same shoes. It's like a family ,everyone in the team has been so friendly and helpful. Definitely check it out if you are looking for a warm community at Western!"
Vivian C.

"Being an International Peer Guide has been an amazing experience. It has allowed me to connect with students from all over the world, providing friendship and support through the challenges of transitioning that I myself faced as an international student. It has also allowed me to create lasting connections and awesome memories with my peer guide team."
Andaiye B., Honours Specialization in Actuarial Science

"Volunteering as a Peer Guide during my Ph.D. studies was the best experience ever! I learned a lot about Canadian culture, how to be a better listener and a good support for our newly arrived international students. This is a great volunteering experience to be part of!"
Sandra L.Z., PhD in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering