Welcome Mentors

Moving to a new country to study can bring many uncertainties. That's why the Welcome Mentors program pairs new international students with experienced UM students, allowing both to develop skills and meaningful relationships.

  • In the Welcome Mentors program, mentors provide one-on-one intercultural and personal support and connect their mentees to academic resources for your first term on campus!

  • An international graduate student chats with a mentor in a UM hallway.
Signing up to be a welcome mentor is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had throughout my education at the University of Manitoba.
Naomi Armah Master’s student, College of Nursing

Welcome Mentor Applications

Thank you for your interest in the Welcome Mentors Program! Please review the position requirements before applying to participate.

Welcome Mentor Volunteers (2nd year+ UM students)

Who can be a Welcome Mentor?

All UM students are encouraged to apply. Student mentors must be:

  • Enrolled at UM for at least one year
  • Registered full-time
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Have completed the mandatory training for mentors

Why be a Welcome Mentor?

Volunteering as a Summer Buddy is a great way to enhance your leadership, communication and cross-cultural skills. Buddies help a new international students adjust to life in Winnipeg and at UM. 

Time Commitment

Mentors meet virtually and communicate with their student before they arrive in Canada, and then meet in-person.  Student must meet their student a minimum of 15 hours by the end of the Fall term, program closes Friday, December 6, 2024. 

Mentor Responsibilities

A Welcome Mentor will:

  • provide information and support for common adjustment tasks for their mentee/new student
  • create a safe and open environment that encourages mentees to discuss their concerns and ask questions
  • make appropriate referrals to their mentee for campus student services
  • create a supportive environment to help their mentee transition to UM
  • provide check-ins and feedback to the Program Coordinator about their progress and experience
  • new onboarded mentors must complete 1.5 hour training
  • all mentors must attend at least one IC event and the Mentor/Mentee Meet & Greet

Mentor Recognition

Upon successful completion of the program, Welcome Mentor will be eligible to receive recognition on their Experience Record.

Applications now closed.

 

 

Welcome Mentor - New Student Application (Mentees)

Who can apply to receive a Welcome Mentor?

New international UM students are encouraged to apply. New students (called mentees) must be:

  • Enrolled at UM for the Fall 2024 term in their undergraduate or graduate program.

How can a Welcome Mentor help me?

A Welcome Mentor will:

  • provide information and support as you prepare to leave your home country and arrive in Canada. Your mentor would start contacting you by email and you can meet virtually to ask questions
  • create a safe and open environment that encourages you to discuss any concerns and ask questions
  • make appropriate referrals for supports and resources, both on and off-campus
  • create a supportive environment to help you transition to UM

Time Commitment

Mentors begin meeting virtually (by email and video chat) before you leave your home country, then meet in-person once you arrive on campus.  Mentors are volunteers and can receive recognition if they complete the program, therefore must complete at least 15 hours or more of meetings with you by the end of the Fall term (hours must be completed by December 6, 2024. 

Applications extended to Friday July 19, 12:00 pm CST.

Apply here

 

Intercultural Leaders

This free program aims to help students enhance their cultural awareness and develop intercultural skills for a variety of settings, both in and out of the classroom.

  • Available to all UM students, the Intercultural Leaders program enhances students’ public speaking, leadership, cultural awareness and communication skills during eight interactive group sessions and workshops.

    All students are encouraged to apply. Co-Curricular Recognition is provided to participants who complete and meet all of the requirements of the program. 

     

  • Three international students in parkas chat outside in winter.
As a student, I have benefited enormously from the opportunity to learn in detail about different cultures and leadership styles.
Victoria Nwabuisi student

Intercultural Leaders - Application

Who can apply?
  • Enrolled at UM for at least one year
  • Registered full-time
  • Be in good academic standing

Canadian, International, and Permanent Residents studying at the undergraduate, graduate level, or in Extended Education are welcome to apply. Participants will attend 8 sessions with topics and speakers chosen to enhance the following skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Adaptability
  • Relationship-building
  • Communication
  • Influence
  • Cultural Intelligence

Must be available to attend all 8 sessions, held in-person each week, from 2:30-4:00 pm.

Upon successful completion of the program, Intercultural Leaders will be eligible to receive recognition on their Co-Curricular Record.

Applications reopening Fall 2024.

Language Exchange

Learning a language can be intimidating, but a good conversation partner can make it much less daunting!

  • The Language Exchange program connects people who speak different languages but share similar interests. The partners then meet each week to practice each other’s languages and learn about each other’s cultures in a friendly, relaxed environment.

    Co-Curricular Recognition (CCR) is provided to students who complete and meet all of the requirements of the program. 

  • Two international students sit at a table, chatting and reviewing printed material.
We talked to each other with no pressure—it’s easier to learn the language that way. We were able to spend time together while learning at the same time.
Cesar Gabriel Marzoa Montalvo International graduate student

Language Exchange Application

Who can apply?

The Language Exchange program is open to:

  • Canadian, Permanent Resident, and International students (studying either remotely or in person)
  • Spouses of current students
  • Faculty, and Staff

Volunteers should be interested in practicing a language conversationally and/or learning about a different culture. Volunteers should be:

  • friendly
  • open to meeting new people
  • respectful of differences in culture and communication style

Time Commitment

Applicants must commit to meeting with their Conversation Partner for 1.5 to 2 hours per week, for a total of 15 or more hours during an academic term (Fall or Winter term).

How are conversation partners matched?

Applicants are matched based on their complementary interests in language and culture. For example, a participant fluent in Spanish interested in practicing their conversational Italian, will be matched with a student fluent in Italian interested in practicing their conversational Spanish.

Some partners are interested in practicing their conversational English, and others are interested in learning any language, or simply find an interest in sharing cultural similarities and differences with others.

In some cases, we are unable to match volunteers if their preferred language is unavailable.

What languages can I practice?

The languages available vary each term depending on the applicants who apply. Applicants are most likely to be matched when they are open to learning more than one language. Some common languages that our applicants are fluent in include:

  • English
  • French
  • Farsi
  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese
  • Spanish
  • Arabic
  • Hindi
  • Punjabi
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Ukrainian
  • and more!

How can I find formal language classes on campus?

Although the Language Exchange Program is not meant to be a formal language class or tutor program, those interested in formal classes can refer to these resources:

The English Language Centre

Faculty of Arts Language Centre

Applications reopening Fall 2024.

 

 

Volunteer with the International Centre! Volunteer Opportunities