International Student Guide, Part 2: Arrival and Local Support

Posted by York & U on May 2, 2019


York University recognizes that international students have many things to keep in mind when they arrive in Canada and at York University. The University and York International, your home away from home during your time here, are here to help you! They have all the resources you need, and they have created an orientation catered specifically to international students as well as additional support for your first few months in your new home.

Make sure you get involved in all the different New Student Transition Programs, including the New International Student Orientation sessions and YU START!


York International hosts new international student orientation sessions that help international students understand and adjust to living in Canada, as well as address questions and situations that international students may experience. The orientation sessions allow students to:

  • Learn where to access essential information about immigration requirements for international students.
  • Learn about social and cultural transition and ways to adapt to the new Canadian academic environment.
  • Have the opportunity to develop lasting friendships with fellow students and international student peers.
  • Learn how to enrol in the mandatory University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP).
  • Learn key information about life on campus including safety and security at York University.
Join all new York Students at Orientation 2019!


In addition to York International’s international student orientation sessions, York U also has an award-winning orientation program for all new students called YU START. It is a New Student Transition Program designed to support you as you make your way into and through your first year at York U. During this transitional program, you’ll enrol in courses, connect with fellow classmates, student leaders, faculty members and student services staff, and become more familiar with campus life, supports and resources available to you.

International students are encouraged to also actively engage in campus-wide orientation sessions. This helps students get their bearings around campus and to learn various requirements and expectations of all students. Note that certain faculties such as Glendon and Schulich also have mandatory orientation sessions – please contact your faculties for information.

If you are a new international student, you probably have many questions about life at York. Fortunately, our team of Global Liaisons is here to help you!

Global Peer Program

York International’s Global Peer Program is designed to help new international students during their transition to life in Toronto by connecting them with upper-year students called Peer Supporters.

Peer Supporters have first-hand international experience with the adjustments that most new international student have to make when they first arrive. They offer support and information about student life at York University. All the students involved with the Global Peer Program will have the chance to participate in events and fun activities organized by York International.

Coffee Break at the Global Cafe happens every Tuesday and Thursday and is a great way to get to know the community!

Global Connections and Global Liaisons

Global Liaisons are senior students who study in different programs and can speak many different languages. During the Summer months, they host a series of online information sessions on topics that matter most to a new international student. Also they organize coffee breaks for students throughout the academic year and summer. Stay tuned for their pre-arrival online workshops for the 2019-2020 Fall/Winter Term!

At York U, we are a diverse and supportive community that supports and empowers students as they transition into and through their university experience. Consider us your home away from home. If you have any more questions, reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook. We look forward to seeing you on campus!