International Peer Guide Program

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

Thanks to all of our amazing peer guides 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.

Are you a new international undergraduate, graduate or exchange student at Western?
Do you have questions about life as a new Western international student, need help getting support and finding resources and want to meet a diverse group of students?

Then the International Peer Guide program is for you!

Apply for your Peer Guide Now!



How It Works

The International Peer Guide program matches new international students (undergraduate, graduate and exchange students) with an upper-year Western student (undergraduate and graduate) called a Peer Guide. Peer Guides are mentors who will connect new students to the Western community, answer questions, and provide support throughout the program.

Peer Guides help international students get settled and adjusted by:

  • Helping and supporting you in your transition to Western University, London and Canada. They can answer questions you have about Canadian culture and how to navigate the university system
  • Connecting you to Western and London online activities, services and resources
  • Organizing one-on-one meetings and small group events so that you can start to build your community in Canada and meet other Peer Guides and international students
  • Contacting you weekly via email or social media throughout the term to check-in and get to know you, see if you have any questions, inform you of upcoming events, let you know about campus resources, and arrange to meet with you (in person or online). Please reply to your Peer Guide, as they are eager to get to know you and support you!

We also encourage you to contact your Peer Guide and get to know them better or ask them any questions you may have about life at Western and Canada or anything else you may need support with.

Here are some questions you can ask your Peer Guide:

  • Where can I purchase....?
  • How do I access the gym/library/etc.?
  • How can I get involved on campus and meet new friends?
  • What does this word mean?
  • Can we do a tour of campus or downtown London?
  • I am having a hard time adjusting to the Canadian culture and/or feeling homesick. Can we talk?
  • How do you celebate (enter holiday name)? This is how I celebrate a similar a holiday...
  • And much more!

Please note that for the Fall 2022 term, the program will be hybrid. Most communication and events will be done virtually via email, text messages and online platforms. Peer Guides may be able to meet in person with students, as long as Western policies and Public Health guidelines allow for it. Masking will be required for any in person meetings or events.

 

When to Apply

International students can apply to be matched for a Peer Guide during one of the three terms: Fall (September - December), Winter (January - April) and Summer ( May - August) terms. Students will be matched as early as one month prior to the start of the term, pending volunteer availability.

Registration

 

Click Here to Apply for a Peer Guide!

 

Note:

  • Priority will be given to new main campus international students (undergraduate, graduate and exchange students) who wish to participate in the program for the first time and who have lived in Canada for twelve months or less. 
  • After you register, we will match you and connect you to a Peer Guide.  You may receive an email from one of our program coordinators or you may receive an email directly from your Peer Guide. Please make sure that you check your Western email (@uwo.ca) on a regular basis.
  • Given the large number of applications being received during the beginning of each term, this may take several days. If you have not heard from our office after 1-2 weeks, please email us at  peerguide@uwo.ca. Please do not submit more than one application form.

The applications will open up one month before the start of the term. (December for the Winter term, April for the Summer term and August for the Fall term.

Interested in volunteering as a Peer Guide? Click here to find out more! .


Comments from Past Participants

We asked students how the Peer Guide program helped them.

  • "My Peer Guide provided me with really useful information, like how to improve my English skills, where I can buy winter boots, how to download software. She shared many links of different events to me, so I can make more friends."
  • "The program helped me to settle in faster and provided a 'go to' person to ask when in doubt. Very nice program."
  • "I can ask for advice from my Peer Guide and we always motivate each other to do better and stay happy."
  • "Through you I got the chance to learn a lot about Canada and make close friendships. THANK YOU!"
  • "As soon as I have any questions, I knew that someone can help me."
  • "Peer Guides are really friendly and the organizing of trips etc. has made my stay more exciting and fun."
  • "Meeting new individuals from all over the world and learning about their experiences and various cultures and ways of living."
  • "I had my first "real Canadian Thanksgiving" here and had a good time with my Peer Guide. I have some new friends now. And I have gained confidence when speaking English and communicate with people here."

Accessibility

Western is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact us in advance if you have any particular accommodation requirements.