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?
Current students will reach out to you
Each week, you'll hear from current Waterloo students. You'll receive emails with tips and checklists. 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.
We'll match you with an upper-year student
In early 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 the first weeks of classes in September. 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 29.
You can take part in weekly virtual meet-ups
Each week, your peer mentor will host live sessions 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 live session, you can chat with your peer mentor online using Microsoft Teams.
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. These activities are a great way to meet other students and start to build friendships before classes begin in September.
Attend Faculty Live Chats
You'll also meet your future classmates in your faculty Live Chat in July. These Live Chats will feature a panel of upper-year students and will include chats to connect with other first-year students.
Chat on discussion boards
LEARN is the University's online learning system. You'll have access to Waterloo Ready LEARN modules from your faculty to help you prepare for your first year. The LEARN modules will include discussions led by upper-year peer success coaches. In these discussions, you'll also get to chat with other new students about preparing for Waterloo. The LEARN Help site provides resources to help you get started with the software including the discussion tool.
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 throughout July and August and into the first weeks of classes.
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.
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.