Application and fees
Are the program fees refundable?
We understand that sometimes due to unforeseeable circumstances, plans change. If you need to withdraw from the program, please let us know immediately by emailing email@example.com. If you withdraw before May 15th, we will refund you the fees you have paid minus a $500 cancellation fee. Unfortunately, we cannot refund any fees after May 15th.
When will I hear back about my application?
You will hear back regarding a decision on your application within a month. If you do not hear back within a month, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
With the right mindset, it is possible to change the world.2017 IDEAS participant
Do I need a visa?
This entirely depends on your country of origin and which passport you hold. For more information, please visit www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp. If you require a visa, a visitor’s visa is sufficient. You do not need a study visa to attend the IDEAS Summer Experience.
Will the University help me get a visa?
If you require a visa, once you have made the payment of your first instalment of the program fee, we will send you a Letter of Invitation that can be used in your visa application.
What does a typical day look like at IDEAS?
A typical day at IDEAS starts with a session with a communications professor, where you are taught presentation skills and how to prepare for your “BIG Idea” presentation. You will also gain knowledge and enhance skills that will be extremely valuable when you go on to future university studies.
After lunch, you take part in an academic session taught by a professor from one of our 6 faculties, where you learn various skills through lectures or hands-on activities. Most afternoons also involve a social activity where you can meet current Waterloo students, develop friendships and have some fun. Examples of past activities have included, wheelchair basketball, canoeing, bowling, baseball, etc. After dinner, you work together in groups on your “BIG Idea” presentations and listen to guest speakers.
What is the "BIG Idea"?
During your time at IDEAS, you are given the opportunity to work in groups to contribute to solving one of the world’s biggest problems. In past years, students attempted to find solutions to poverty, lack of renewable energy, obesity, and water pollution.
You use the knowledge and skills learned during your academic sessions to suggest possible solutions. Our professors and mentors will also be there to guide you so that you can arrive at possible solutions that you will want to work on and share with others when you go home.
Is participating in all activities mandatory?
It is mandatory to attend all academic sessions. If there is a social activity that you do not wish to participate in, you may sit out. However, you will not be permitted to leave the group.
What are mentors?
Mentors are upper-year University of Waterloo students who are with you for the duration of the program. They stay in residence with you and attend your sessions and activities. They help you with your “BIG Idea”, answer questions you might have, and make IDEAS a fun and experience.
What level of English do I need for IDEAS?
To ensure a successful and enjoyable experience for everyone, you must have a strong understanding of oral English since all lectures and activities are taught in English. We also expect that you'll speak English the entire time you are with us.
When you speak a language other than English it creates a non-inclusive environment and does not foster the amazing friendships that occur as part of IDEAS. Our former IDEAS students have shared with us that speaking English the entire time you are a part of IDEAS is one of the best ways to strengthen language competencies if English is not your first language.
Do I have to speak English at all times?
Yes. You must speak in English for the entire duration of your stay at IDEAS. Participants from many different backgrounds attend IDEAS. We enforce a strict English only rule in order to ensure an inclusive environment.
Will I have Internet access while at IDEAS?
Yes. You will be provided with a username and password once you arrive on campus for access to Internet throughout your stay. You will have Internet access anywhere on campus, including your residence and lecture halls.
Who will my roommate be?
You will be assigned a roommate of the same gender during your stay at IDEAS. The selection of roommates is done based on similarities in your application form. We try to room participants from the same geographical location together. If you are attending IDEAS with a friend and you wish to be roommates, please send us an email letting us know.
Am I allowed to switch roommates?
Generally speaking, there will be no switching of roommates. If an emergency comes up during the program, please advise the IDEAS Coordinator and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Will I be able to do laundry while I'm at IDEAS?
You should bring enough clothes for 2 weeks. However, you will be able to do laundry once during the 2 weeks.
Is there a curfew?
Most nights, we will finish up all activities around 10 pm after which students are free to hang out in the common areas. Students are NOT permitted to leave the premises without a mentor at any time.
What happens if I get sick? Do I have medical care/insurance?
You will be provided with Guard.Me insurance in case of emergencies. We also have a doctor’s office (Health Services) and pharmacy located right on campus. We recommend you bring medication with you in case you need them, as our pharmacies might not have the medications you are used to.
It was very exciting to see the dramatic changes that participants underwent. Watching the presentations on the last day was a huge validation of the growth they experienced throughout the 2 weeks.2017 IDEAS mentor