We're happy to welcome you to the University of Waterloo community
Starting something new and unfamiliar can be intimidating. However, when you talk with others who've been through it themselves, it can help to ease those concerns. Knowing what to expect can help you to enjoy the experience even more.
That's why you'll get matched with an upper-year student - called a peer mentor.
With Waterloo Ready, you'll get to connect with current Waterloo students, as well as your future classmates before classes begin!
How will I get to meet upper-year Waterloo students?
We'll match you with an upper-year student
In mid-July, we'll match you with an upper-year student, called a peer mentor, from your faculty. Your peer mentor will support you online throughout the summer and into Orientation. They'll help answer your questions, share their own experiences as a Waterloo student, and give you insights to help you get Waterloo Ready.
Your peer mentor will chat with you, and a virtual community of your peers, using Microsoft Teams. Teams is a tool that you can download for free as part of your Waterloo Office 365 account. Check your Waterloo Ready weekly to-do list for how to access your account the week of June 28.
Current students will reach out to you
Each week, you'll hear from current Waterloo students. You'll receive emails throughout June, July and August with information about tasks to complete before September. You can also chat online or take part in video calls with other students. Follow our @UWaterlooLife social media channels for tips from upper-year students in our Wednesday Takeovers from upper-year students.
International peer mentors can help too
Look out for the international peer mentors who will introduce themself in your virtual community and offer one-on-one support. They can answer your questions about travelling, adapting to Canada, maintaining school/life balance, or any other questions you may have about being an international student.
You can take part in weekly virtual meet-ups
Each week, your peer mentor will host live virtual meet-ups to connect on Teams. You’ll get to chat about topics like how to get involved and University resources you should know about. If you can’t attend the weekly meet-up, you can still chat with your peer mentor online using Microsoft Teams.
What is a peer mentor?
A peer mentor is a current upper-year Waterloo student volunteer. They're dedicated to helping you learn about what to expect in your first year. Peer mentors are knowledgeable about the University and want to ensure you feel welcome.
We'll match you with a peer mentor from your faculty. They'll support you online starting in mid-July throughout Orientation.
How can I meet other first-year students?
Join your virtual community
Your peer mentor will lead a community on Microsoft Teams. In this virtual community, you'll get to chat with your upper-year peer mentor and other first-year students from your faculty and start building your personal network.
Take part in online events
Get to know your future classmates through virtual experiences and events organized by your peer mentor each week. These activities are a great way to meet other students and start to build friendships before classes begin in September.
Attend your faculty Live Session
You'll also meet your future classmates in your faculty Live sessions throughout July and August. These Live Sessions will feature different topics and formats that will give you a chance to connect with both upper-year students as well as other first-year students.
What will my peer mentor and I talk about?
That's up to you! Peer mentors are a resource for you. Whether you have a lot of questions or you don't even know what to ask. Your peer mentor will be there to help you navigate the process of becoming a Waterloo student. They can help you learn more about Waterloo when it comes to things like:
- What to expect from first-year classes
- Tips for online university classes
- How to access support resources
- Balancing school and social
- Ways to get involved
- Getting your books
- The best places to eat on campus
- Things to do in the city of Waterloo and the surrounding area
- And making the most of your UWaterloo experience.
Although your peer mentor may not be able to answer every single one of your questions, they'll know which campus resource can help find the information you're looking for. They've got your back!
What is Microsoft Teams and how will I use it?
Microsoft Teams is an app that you’ll use to connect with your peer mentor and other first-year students. It has features for collaboration and chats through text, video, and audio - all in one place.
Check your Waterloo Ready weekly to-do list for how to access your account the week of June 29. You'll have free access to Teams as part of the Office 365 suite. After you set up your official UWaterloo email address you can download Teams to your computer or phone. Don't worry, we'll send you an email with instructions on how to do this.
How will this help me prepare for Waterloo?
Our goal is to welcome you to the Waterloo community by
- giving you a glimpse of life at Waterloo,
- supporting your shift to university life,
- connecting you to campus resources and supports,
- providing access to tips and advice to help you navigate your first year,
- helping you to make connections with other first-year students, and
- connecting you with upper-year peer mentors.