A huge THANK YOU to everyone involved in making International Orientation 2023 an unforgettable experience! Your enthusiasm, support, and boundless excitement transformed this event into a cherished memory.
As everyone settles into their new home here in Waterloo, remember to be kind and support one another to create a campus environment that fosters growth and excellence.
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I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of IO, but without a doubt, the bonfire stood out as the pinnacle! Engaging in captivating conversations and forming connections with students from diverse cultural backgrounds was an absolute blast!
Day 1: Basic Needs
Get set up for success with a variety of events that will help you:
Learn how to use public transit
Set up a Canadian bank account
Find a phone plan that's right for you
Get connected with services on campus
Make new friends through a variety of fun activities across campus
Day 2: Information Sessions
Attend a variety of sessions on topics such as:
Canadian classroom experience
Co-op and working in Canada
International Student Experience
Followed by an International Student Welcome reception with senior leaders.
Day 3: Getting Settled
Connect with new students at the Warriors Picnic or Activities with Athletics. Students who missed the first day of International Orientation will also be able to set up a Canadian bank account and purchase necessities. Following that, join Waterloo Orientation in the afternoon!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I need to register/ sign up for International Orientation?
Yes, you will need to register for International Orientation. Keep an eye on your UWaterloo email for more information on how to register.
Do I have to go to International Orientation and Waterloo Orientation?
We strongly encourage you to attend both International Orientation and Waterloo Orientation. International Orientation will get you set up for life in Canada with activities and sessions planned specifically for your needs; while Waterloo Orientation will help you get connected with your faculty and the greater Waterloo campus. Both orientations have some once-in-a-lifetime events that you don't want to miss!
Do I have to pay for International Orientation?
No, there is no additional fee associated with International Orientation.
How do I know if I am eligible for International Orientation?
If you identify as an International Student beginning your undergraduate studies at UWaterloo, then you are eligible for International Orientation! This includes students who:
Are Canadian Citizens but spent most of their life outside of Canada
Completed high school in Canada but hold citizenship from another country
Completed high school outside of Canada
Are completing a BASE or iBASE program.
Students who are studying at the University of Waterloo on an International Exchange/Study Abroad term and have completed one or more years at an institution in another country are not eligible for International Orientation and should register for Exchange Orientation.
International students in graduate programs (Master's, PhD or other) should register for Grad Orientation.
If I register for International Orientation, do I have to attend every event?
You don't have to attend every event, but we strongly encourage that you attend as many as you can! These events are carefully planned with the needs of international students in mind to make sure that you have a seamless transition and set yourself up for success at Waterloo!
I won't be able to attend International Orientation due to Visa/Study Permit delays. Is there a way that I can still get this information?
We will be hosting a Late Arrival Welcome in late September for students who are unable to attend International Orientation. Keep an eye on your UWaterloo email for details once you arrive or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for details in September.
When should I arrive in Canada for International Orientation?
We recommend arriving on or before August 31, however if you arrive on September 1 or 2, you will be able to join in on the fun and attend Waterloo Orientation. Before you plan your flight, make sure that you can move into your accommodation when you arrive. Most leases begin on September 1, so you may need to book a short-term accommodation if you arrive before this. If you are living on-campus, connect with Campus Housing to secure your move-in time slot.