Peer Guide Program

Group of students talking

The International Peer Connection (IPC) program matches new international students with friendly upper-year Western students called Peer Guides. Peer Guides 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:

  • emailing you before you arrive to see if you have questions
  • acting as your guide and cultural interpreter as you transition into your new life at Western
  • connecting you to Western and London activities, services and resources
  • meeting with you in person
  • introducing you to other Peer Guides and students
  • calling or emailing you regularly until the end of the term to see if you have any questions, inform you of events, and arrange to meet with you. We also encourage you to contact your Peer Guide!
  • meeting with you at IESC events and activities for international students

Peer Guides are:

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

When

International students can apply to be macthed 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 international students who are wishing to participate in the program for the first time and have been in Canada for six months or less.
  • After you register, we will 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 iesc@uwo.ca. Please do not submit more than one application form.

 

Apply for a Peer Guide 

 

Interested in becoming a Peer Guide? Apply to be a volunteer.

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.