WinterlooAfter the fall term exams most students head home for the holidays to spend time with family. But for some students, especially international students, a visit home may be out of reach.

Winterloo, a two-week holiday experience organized by the International Student Experience (ISE) team, offers an opportunity for students to experience elements of Canadian culture unique to this time of year, and connect with other international and domestic students.

Between December 22 and January 5 students can participate in activities including a Christmas play, Wonders of Winter in Waterloo Park, Boxing Day shopping, winter tubing and a New Year’s Eve party. Bowling, rock climbing and a games and movie afternoon offer students a chance to foster friendships and build a sense of community during the holiday season. Activities are offered at low-cost, and some are free.

“For many students, it may be their first time away from their families, and their first winter in Canada,” said Juno Ye, an international student who helped organize Winterloo. “For those students who are far away from their home country, I think the best way to get rid of homesickness is to plan a good schedule during the holidays with other students.”

Juno and Avin Low, also an international student, worked with the ISE team to organize and promote Winterloo. The two students will lead all the activities. “As international students themselves, they have great ideas and insights into what activities students will enjoy,” said Rebecca Nisbet, coordinator, International Experience Programs.

If you’re in Waterloo over the holidays and you want to join in the fun, see the Winterloo schedule. You don’t have to be an international student and there’s something for everyone.