Student smiling beside his bike on campus.

International Centre Orientation and Welcome

We want to help you prepare to start your studies, which is why we’ve designed International Student Orientation and Welcome sessions specifically for international students.

  1. Start with your online pre-arrival training to learn what you need to know before you arrive.

  2. Next, register and attend International Centre's Orientation & Welcome events for both in-person and live virtual offerings. 

  3. Use our checklists to make sure you're prepared before and after your travel.

  4. Don't forget to attend your program-specific orientation programs as well! 

Complete your UM Essentials online training

Undergraduate students are automatically registered for UM Essentials. You will receive an email when you have been enrolled.

UM Essentials Online Orientation (undergraduate students)

UM Essentials is intended to help you prepare for your studies at the University of Manitoba. After you complete UM Essentials you will be able to:
  • Explain your rights and responsibilities as a new student joining the University of Manitoba community.
  • Locate resources for navigating all areas of life as a new student.
  • Identify and implement strategies for effective online learning.
  • Summarize expectations for academic work.
  • Recognize opportunities for personal skill development and community engagement.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in using UM Learn.

All first year undergraduate students must complete UM Essentials.  

You will receive an email to your account with instructions on how to access UM Essentials, once you have been enrolled in the course. 
To access the course, log in to UM Learn using your UM Email. 


All first year undergraduate students must complete UM Essentials.  

Graduate students are not able to access the UM Essentials course. Instead, plan your success with #UMGradGoals.


Attend International Student Orientation

International Student Orientation & Welcome events were organized to help you prepare for life as an international student. The sessions will help you be informed, healthy, and successful as you transition to the University of Manitoba.

Fall 2022 International Student Orientation Schedule

To see event details and registration info, please click the plus sign (+) to expand.

Registration is mandatory to attend the sessions. Registration deadline for August 23 & 24 Welcome Day is August 15! All other events must register no later than 48 hours prior to the event.
To register, you need to sign up with your University of Manitoba email account.

International Student Welcome, August 23 and 24, 2022 (in-person)

August 23 and 24, 2022; start time 8:30 am (sign in), end time 3:00 pm. In-person location: 210 UMSU University Centre

In this two-day, in-person session is highly interactive and a great opportunity to get off the right start!


  • Meet other students from around the world
  • Learn about Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba (UM)
  • Learn about accessing Manitoba healthcare and your health plan
  • Learn about Canadian culture and cultural differences both in and out of the classroom setting
  • Understand UM’s expectations for completing academic work and completing your studies with integrity
  • Hear from an experienced UM student who will share their tips for student success
  • Get to know our beautiful campus and the facilities available to you
  • Have fun!

Lunch is included.

Register now


Getting Involved on Campus, August 25, 2022 (in-person)

August 25, 2022; 10:00-11:00 am; Location: in-person, on campus

Learn how participating in on-campus programs and volunteer opportunities can enrich your student experience, gain skills and increase your employability for looking for part-time work.

Register now

Meet your UM International Community, August 25, 2022 (in-person)

August 25, 2022; 11:00-12:00 pm; Location: in-person, on campus

Come meet the International Centre, University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU), Spiritual Care and International Students’ Organization to identify ways that they can help you find your international community, connect you with support and meet other international students.

Register now

Meet the IC for Coffee & Tea (& Campus tours!), August 25, 2022

August 25, 2022; 12:00- 3:00m; Location: 543-44 UMSU University Centre

Come visit with International Centre staff to ask questions, get information on our programs, see our winter clothing display and go on group campus tours! Snacks and coffee & tea will be offered. 

Registration is not required - stop by anytime! 

Renting Housing in Manitoba, August 26, 2022 (virtual)

August 26, 2022; 9:00-10:30 am; Location: virtual live session

This session is designed to educate students on how and where to find safe housing in the city and tips to avoid rental advertisement fraud. This session is open to all UM students. 

Register now

Writing Essentials for New International Students, August 26, 2022 (virtual)

August 26, 2022; 11:00-12:00 pm. Location: virtual live session

Learn about specific study skills, practice with some writing examples and find out where to get academic writing support.

Register now

Money Basics for Newcomers, August 26, 2022 (virtual)

August 26, 2022; 1:00-3:00 pm. Location: virtual live session

This session will teach students about the banking and credit system in Canada, and practical tips on how to manage money as newcomers to Canada.

Register now

Indigenous History in Canada, (in-person and virtual), August 29, 2022

August 29, 2022; 11:00-12:30 pm. Location: in-person session with live streaming option.

Learn about Indigenous history in Canada and reconciliation in the Canadian context.

Register now

Get your SIN on campus, (in-person)

September 8 and 9, 2022 9:00 am - 3:00 pm; Location: in-person, to be announced.

Service Canada will be coming to the U of M’s Fort Garry campus to issue Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) to qualifying U of M international students.  Saves you a trip to their office!

Students will be seen on a drop-in basis (first come, first served).  We anticipate that waiting times could be long and we cannot guarantee that all students will be able to receive their Social Insurance Numbers on September 8 or 9, 2022. 

Students coming to the SIN card sessions must bring the following documents:

If you DO NOT have a valid Work Permit:

  • U of M student card
  • Original Study Permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that states the permit holder “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada.  
  • Passport

NOTE:  If your Study Permit does not contain either of these statements, you must bring a study permit and a “confirmation to work off-campus” letter issued by IRCC (previously called Citizenship and Immigration Canada - CIC) prior to February 6, 2015.


If you have a valid Work Permit:

  • Original Work Permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
  • U of M student card (if you are a student)
  • Passport

 There is no fee to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Registration is not required. Drop in; be prepared to wait as it's first-come, first-served.

Scams and Fraud, September 8, 2022 (virtual)

September 8, 2022; 3:30-5:30 pm. Location: live virtual session.

Participants will learn ways to avoid the most common scams and fraud in Canada and what to do if they become a victim of identity theft.

Register now

Small Talk Strategies for the Classroom, September 8 or 9, 2022 (in-person and virtual)

Both sessions are the same, and students only need to attend one. For your convenience, we've included both a virtual and in-person offering. Space is limited.

This workshop will support new UM students for whom English is not a first language.  Students entering degree study in a Canadian university commonly express a strong desire to connect with classmates.  Many students, however, are held back in this regard because they lack confidence and are unsure of the norms of small talk in this context. They lack the confidence for initiating and sustaining an informal conversation with their peers.  This interactive workshop will focus on cultural norms and expectations around small talk, along with providing and practicing specific strategies and phrases for effectively connecting with classmates.  The primary goals of the workshop are to increase students’ cultural knowledge and their confidence in engaging in small talk/informal conversation. 

September 8, 2022; 6:00-7:30 pm. Location: live virtual session.

Register now


September 9, 2022; 2:30-4:00 pm. Location: in-person, Room TBA

Register now

International Health Plan Session, September 12 or 15, 2022 (virtual)

This session is designed for students who did not attend International Student Welcome day on August 23 & 24, where this content will be covered. 

Both session offerings will cover the same content, you only need to register for one.

This session is facilitated by the Student Care Office and will explain how to access medical care in Manitoba as well as learn about aspects of the Manitoba International Student Health Plan (MISHIP) including the primary health coverage covers and how to expense claims. 

September 12, 2022; 12:00-1:00 pm. Location: live virtual session.

Register now


September 15, 2022; 3:00-4:00 pm. Location: live virtual session.

Register now

Working and Study Permit Session, September 14, 2022 (virtual)

September 14, 2022; 10:00-12:00 pm. Location: live virtual session.

For current UM international students on the subject of study permit conditions and working while you study. Learn about important considerations connected to your study permit and working once you’re in Canada. Topics will include the rules you need to follow to meet the conditions of your study permit; how ‘actively pursuing studies’ is defined; the requirements to work both on and off campus in Canada; how many hours you can work; and when you need to stop working. 

This session will be conducted by Jacques Therrien, an accredited member with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council and member of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants.

Register now

Dating and Consent in Canada: What do I need to know? September 16, 2022 (virtual)

September 16, 2022; 3:00-4:30 pm. Location: live virtual session.

Dating and meeting new people can be an exciting and sometimes intimidating part of the university experience. This session will explore the components that are essential to have in a healthy relationship, including respectful communication, consent, and acknowledging the other person’s boundaries. The workshop will also provide an overview of university policies and Canadian laws related to consent and relationships. This is designed to be a safe and relaxing space for students to ask questions and learn more about dating in the Canadian context.

Register now


Orientation & Welcome Session Recordings

Please select the topics below to access the recordings for past offerings.

Writing Essentials for International Students

Learn about specific study skills, practice with some writing examples and find out where to get academic writing support. This session is open to all international students.

Click here for recording.

Renting Housing in Manitoba

Learn about how and where to find safe housing in the city and tips to avoid rental advertisement fraud.

This session is open to all UM students.

Click here for recording.

Taking Care of Your Health and Wellness

Learn about how to take care of your health & wellness as an international student at the University of Manitoba.

Click here for the recordings

Indigenous History and Reconciliation in Canada

Learn about the Indigenous history in Canada and reconciliation in the Canadian context.
Click here for the recording 

Things to do

Select the plus sign (+) to expand the checklists below

Before you leave checklist

  • As an international student at the University of Manitoba, you will be a part of our mandatory health coverage plan with our local provider, Blue Cross and Student Care. Newly enrolled international students have emergency-only coverage for one month before their first term at the University of Manitoba.
    • Review the Manitoba International Student Health Plan (MISHP) coverage and effective dates. 
    • For this reason, it is always smart to purchase travel insurance before leaving your home country, to ensure that you have medical coverage from the date you leave your home country until after you have arrived in Manitoba. 
    • Confirm with the insurance provider if your coverage will include any medical costs related to COVID-19. Not all insurance providers cover these costs.
    • It is important to know that your student health coverage will not be effective elsewhere in Canada, and cannot be used until you first arrive in Manitoba.  
  • Review Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for important information to consider before making a final decision to leave your home country. Please review the checklist that applies to you to verify that you meet any testing and quarantine requirements when coming to Canada.
  • All international students under the age of 18, who are not fully vaccinated and intend to travel to Canada and study at UM MUST also complete and submit the UM Quarantine Readiness Plan Form at least two weeks prior to their arrival. 
  • Make a photocopy of or scan your airline tickets and important documents in case the originals are lost or stolen. Keep the photocopies in a safe place, but not in the same place that you keep the originals (for example, save photos in your email account).
  • Keep emergency phone numbers with you at all times. The following phone numbers are recommended: 
    • your country's embassy, consulate or high commission located in each country through which you travel 
    • Security Services at the UM (204-474-9341, collect) 
  • Confirm the baggage restrictions for each airline you will use.
  • Confirm the time that you should arrive at the airport and ensure to arrive in plenty of time to check in. Many international flights require passengers to arrive two to three hours before the scheduled departure time. 
  • Pack your own baggage and never leave your bags unattended. 
  • Label all luggage clearly. Try to use luggage tags with flaps to hide your name and deter theft. 
  • Keep a small amount of local currency so you can pay departure taxes and purchase snacks during stop-overs. Contact the airline(s) or your travel agency in advance to find out how much the airport tax will be and how you can pay it at each airport you will use. 
  • Carry a credit card or small amount of Canadian dollars so you can pay for a taxi, if necessary, upon your arrival in Winnipeg. 
  • Make sure you have all of your important documents in your carry-on bag (NOT your checked luggage, in case it gets lost or you require them after you have checked your luggage). Examples include:
  • If you will arrive in Canada between October and April, bring an appropriate jacket to wear upon arrival. Learn more about preparing for winter on our resource page.

Before classes start checklist

  • Make sure that you review the important dates and deadlines page to know when you can view the course calendar, when you can find out your registration access time and when registration opens
  • Claim your University of Manitoba UM Net ID in signUM
  • Activate your U of M email account
  • Review our Immigration information to help you understand your responsibilities as an international student before you arrive
  • Familiarize yourself with UMLearn
    • Self-enroll in Sexual Violence Awareness course in UMLearn (found under Self-Registration tab on the UMLearn home page)
  • Undergraduate students: Complete your UM Essentials online training (log in to UM Learn using your UMnetID) before attending one of our Welcome Sessions (you are automatically enrolled).
  • Graduate students are not able to access the UM Essentials course. Instead, plan your success with #UMGradGoals
  • Undergraduate students: To start preparing for university, check out the First Year Planning Guide. This online document has essential information on how to select and register for your courses, and it’s your best resource for planning your first year.
    • Email to an Academic Advisor in your Faculty if you have questions about course selection and registering for courses
  • Graduate students: contact your department/unit for information on how to register for your courses
  • Request your Photo Identification (ID) card if you are in Canada
  • For current access to library materials or research support from one of our library staff, visit the Libraries page for updates
  • Order your textbooks from the UM BookStore
  • Review information on International student health coverage 
  • Download your FREE copy of Office 365, with the newest version of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote

Additional orientation resources

Volunteer with the International Centre Orientation & Welcome Events! Volunteer Opportunity

Help new international students get familiarized with their new country and university!

Group of students posing for photo wearing yellow volunteer t-shirts

Fall 2022 Orientation & Welcoming Events volunteer

Are you friendly, engaging and eager to help? Apply now!
Students must be entering at least their second year at the UM.

Join our events

Check back often for events hosted by the International Centre!

Contact us

Crystal Stewart
International Transitions Coordinator
541 UMSU University Centre
75A Chancellors Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada