Summer Buddy Program

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

  • In the Summer Buddy program, mentors provide one-on-one intercultural and personal support and connect their mentees to academic resources for one month.

  • 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

Summer Buddy Application

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

Information for Summer Buddy (New students)

Who can be a paired with a Summer Buddy?

International students studying at the undergraduate or graduate level who are new to life at UM are encouraged to apply. Newly admitted students can apply to be matched with a Buddy.

The Summer Buddy program is a great way to meet other students, get accustomed to the UM campus, and enhance your intercultural and communication skills.

Eligible students will be starting their studies at UM in May2023 (Spring/Summer 2023).

New students are paired with an experienced UM student (Buddy) for a month who can provide advice and support such as:

  • advice about tasks such as registering for courses, paying fees, etc.
  • connecting with resources offered at the UM (either remotely or in-person)
  • help adjusting to Canadian culture and academic culture at UM

New Student Responsibilities

Many new students are eager to participate as a Summer Buddy however, spots are limited to ensure the best experience for buddies. We require all new students to fully engage in the program by:

  • attending a virtual orientation session
  • regularly checking your email for messages from your Buddy and maintaining contact
  • Commit to asking your Buddy questions for at least a month


Deadline to apply is April 24, 2023.

Application form

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?

Eligible students must be in at least their second year of studies, and 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, every Wednesday from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. from January 25 – March 29 (no session during reading week on February 22).

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

Applications are closed for the Winter 2023 term.

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


Application deadline January 18, 2023.

Contact us for more information
To participate in the Intercultural Leaders, Welcome Mentors, or Language Exchange programs, email the International Centre.