Tea and Information Sessions for Spouses

Moving to a new country can be exciting but challenging for family members of international students. Spouses and partners of international students are invited to join our weekly Tea and Information Sessions, where they can find support as they settle into their new lives in Canada. 

These drop-in sessions are informal gatherings where participants can connect with fellow newcomers, practice their English and learn from each other and from Western International staff about Canadian culture. 

Who should join?

Spouses and partners of international students interested in opportunities to make connections and learn from each other.  

Group of people smiling

Where and when should I be there? 

Sessions take place every Friday from 1:30-2:30 pm in the Chu Centre in the International and Graduate Affairs Building (IGAB). 

Do I need to register?

No registration is required for these drop-in sessions!

What can I expect?

Participants will:

  • Meet other partners of international students
  • Meet Western International staff
  • Learn about Canadian culture
  • Share their own culture and knowledge
  • Practice English (if applicable)
  • Discuss topics related to international families and living in Canada

Q&A with Program Participant Luis Ramon Tejero Vallenas

Luis Ramon

How did you learn about the program? 
In 2019, my wife was working in a postdoctoral position at Western and received an email with information about the program.

What made you want to join the program?
I had plenty of free time and I was trying to get more integrated into this new country and society that I had landed in. To become integrated into a society is very complex and takes time.  

At the beginning, some of my key reasons for attending were: 

  • to practice my English 
  • to meet and talk to people that, like me, were spouses of a temporary international employee or student at Western 
  • to discover more about Western and its activities

After attending a few meetings, it switched to more joyful reasons, like: 

  • to spend time with people who now were friends 
  • to have potluck parties and be able to not only to show the food from my country/culture but also to discover new flavors from the others' food, culture and stories 
  • to learn more about the previous attendees that were successful in starting a new career in Canada – to hear about their experiences, including their frustrations and successes 

Can you describe why the program was valuable for you?
Every meeting, I learned something about Canadian society and Western. There is no syllabus about learning about a new society; I needed to live in it and experience it. At the same time, I could see how others in the group had similar challenges depending on the country or culture they were from. 
I have great memories and friends from this program. We laughed and discussed our challenges to be in a different country. These meetings kept my mood at a good level. I was not working and I was in a stressful routine reading, listening, watching about immigration, waiting for the answers about Visa applications and searching for a job.
What would you tell others about why they should join the program? 
I absolutely recommend spouses and partners to attend these meetings. You will learn not only about Western, but about Canada too. It is not a support group, but it is support that you will internally develop in yourself. You will start having the feeling of belonging. During the week, when something extraordinary or new happens, you will think "I need to tell the others at the Friday meeting.” This is the moment you realize you've started to be integrated in society.