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 one academic term. Mentors complete training to support mentees during their transition to university. Mentors benefit from the program as well, by developing leadership skills and gaining recognition on their Co-Curricular record.

    All domestic and international students are encouraged to apply. 

  • 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 ArmahMaster’s student, College of Nursing

Welcome Mentors Application

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

Information for Welcome Mentors (Volunteers)


All domestic and international students, undergraduate or graduate are encouraged to apply. Student mentors must be:

  • enrolled at the UM for at least one year
  • registered full-time
  • be in good academic standing
  • have completed the mandatory training for mentors


Being a Welcome Mentor is a great way to enhance your leadership, communication, and cross-cultural skills. Mentors help new students adjust to life in Winnipeg and at UM, and learn about their mentee's culture and country of origin. Being involved in the program is also a great way to get involved on campus, and meet other members of the UM community.


Mentors will meet and communicate virtually with their mentees for 15 hours over the course of an entire academic term (approximately January - April 2023).


A Welcome Mentor will provide support for common tasks, create a safe and open environment that encourages mentees to discuss their concerns and ask questions, make referrals to student services on campus if needed, and create a supportive environment for their mentee during their transition to the UM. Mentors will also be asked to provide feedback to the Program Coordinator about their experience.


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


We are now accepting Welcome Mentor applications for the Winter 2023 term! Deadline for applications is December 2, 2022.
Welcome Mentors Application Form

Information for Welcome Mentees (New students)

Who can be a mentee?

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 the be matched with a Mentor.

The Welcome Mentors 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 January 2023 (Winter 2023).

New students (mentees) are paired with a an experienced UM student (Mentor) for one academic term 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

Mentee Responsibilities

Many new students are eager to participate as a mentee; however, spots are limited to ensure the best experience for both mentors and mentees. We require all mentees to fully engage in the program by:

  • attending a virtual orientation session
  • regularly checking your email for messages from your mentor and maintaining regular contact
  • committing to meet with your mentor at least once per week virtually
  • submitting feedback to the Intercultural Program Coordinator when requested


We are now accepting applications for new students to receive a Welcome Mentor for the Winter 2023 term!
Deadline for applications is December 16, 2022.
Welcome Mentee 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 Nwabuisistudent

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.

Deadline to apply is January 11!


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 MontalvoInternational 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

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