Student Refugee Program

St. Jacob sparkles


The World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Program (SRP) is the only one of its kind to combine resettlement with opportunities for higher education. The program supports over 130 refugee students per year through active partnerships with over 80 Canadian campuses. Since 1978, the SRP program has empowered over 1,800 young refugees from 39 countries of origin to continue their education in safe and supportive environments in Canada.

Crucial to the program’s success is its unique youth-to-youth sponsorship model which empowers young Canadian students to play an active role in the sponsorship of refugee students. Our campus-based Local Committees raise funds and awareness for the program on their campus and in their community. They also play a critical role in offering day-to-day social and academic support to SRP students.

Everyday students like us play a vital role in the success of the program across Canadian universities. Our contributions to the SRP fee help to cover refugee students’ tuition and living expenses–ensuring that every student, regardless of background, can participate in the incredible UWaterloo experience.

All University of Waterloo students contribute toward this program through a voluntary levy of $4.95/term. Students at affiliated colleges provide additional funding to help cover living costs.

St. Paul's was the first residence on campus to partner with the University of Waterloo Student Refugee Program, administered by World University Service of Canada (WUSC). WUSC is a Canadian international development non-profit organization dedicated to improving education, employment and empowerment opportunities for youth, women and refugees in more than 25 countries around the world. To find out more, please visit


Through the hard work and contributions of UWaterloo stakeholders, the Federated & Affiliated Colleges, staff and students the SRP has been able to change the lives of refugees, welcoming 17 SRP students to the university since 2006. Being a refugee comes with a handful of personal struggles–everything from adapting to a foreign culture, to living thousands of miles away from friends and family back home. Access to education should not be one of those struggles, and that’s what the Student Refugee Program aims to achieve.

Through student life at UWaterloo the SRP gives sponsored students a chance to make lifelong friends, develop their talents and personalities, and gain life-enriching knowledge at one of the best institutions out there! UWaterloo students are also made better because of the SRP. Sponsored students, with their insight and knowledge, can enrich student life as much as student life enriches them.


Read Deema's story                                    Read Leonard's story                                



Read Gloire's story                                         Read Awer's story


 Read Yueu's story                                      Read Aliny's story    

Get Involved

Local Committees

Local Committees are collaborative, campus-based groups of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who share our vision of a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world. Local Committees make up the largest network of student groups of its kind in Canada. They provide students with the resources, trainings, and experience to contribute to sustainable global development. With the right tools, youth can make a difference today and for years to come.

What do Local Committees Do?


  • Foster global citizenship and leadership by educating their peers and raising awareness on a range of development issues, reaching tens of thousands of people every year.
  • Provide post secondary education opportunities for refugee students on Canadian campuses through the Student Refugee Program.
  • Connect fellow youth on campus and in their communities with development and international volunteer cooperation opportunities.
  • Local Committee Pamphlet

Join the Local Committee at University of Waterloo!