International Peer Guide Program

Group of students talking

The International Peer Guide program matches new international students with friendly upper-year Western students called Peer Guides. Peer Guides are peer mentors who will connect new students to the Western community, answer questions and provide support throughout the program.

How It Works

Peer Guides are upper-year (undergraduate and graduate) students who have already experienced the transition to University life. Peer Guides help international students get settled and adjusted by:

  • acting as your guide and cultural interpreter as you transition into your new life at Western
  • connecting you to Western and London online activities, services and resources
  • planning and hosting online events and activities so that you can meet other Peer Guides and international students
  • emailing or messaging you weekly until the end of the term to check-in and get to know you, see if you have any questions, inform you of upcoming events, and arrange to meet with you virtually. We also encourage you to contact your Peer Guide and get to know them better or ask them any questions you may have!

Please note that for Fall 2021, 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.

Peer Guides are:

  • familiar with the Western campus and resources
  • interested in cultural exchange and wanting to learn about you and your cultural background
  • dedicated volunteers who are carefully selected and trained
  • ready to help with your transition at Western!

When

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

  • 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. During the Summer term, students who started their program prior to September 2021 and are traveling to Canada for the first time are welcome to apply for a Peer Guide.
  • 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.

 

Apply for a Peer Guide!

 

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 the IPC program helped them.

  • "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.