International Student Orientation

The UCalgary International Student Services team looks forward to welcoming new international students each fall and winter term.

Students at Orientation

Winter (January) 2021

All international student orientation programming will take place remotely. Please stay informed on Covid-related updates:

Important Dates:

  • Winter Break: University & International Student Services closed Dec. 23, 2020- Jan. 3, 2021
  • Virtual Orientation Events: Jan. 6-8, 2021 scroll down for specific information
  • Block Week Classes: Jan.4- Jan.8, 2021. You only need to attend if you're registered in a "block week course". 
  • First Day of Winter Term Classes: Monday, January 11, 2021. Check your start date and course schedule through your Student Centre (

New International Student Orientation Programming

International Student Services (ISS) provides orientation programming for international students to help provide a smooth transition to the start of your studies at the University of Calgary. For winter 2021, there are several important components for students starting their studies in Calgary or remotely.

All newly-admitted students will receive an email from International Student Services (ISS) when registration for the live panels opens.

ISS provides several helpful information sessions (webinars) to help as you prepare to start your studies at UCalgary. Check back for new updates. Please note you must register for each session you are interested in attending remotely in order to receive the access link. All times are listed in MST (local Calgary time). 

  • How to Prepare for Your Arrival in Calgary during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Tuesday, Nov.17 (9 am MST) and Tuesday, Dec. 8 (9 am MST)
    • Review the slides here (updated Feb 22, 2021).
  • International Student Mentorship Program: Information Session for New International Students: Monday, Nov. 23 (9 am MST)
    • Review the slides here
  • Resources for Students with Families: Monday, Nov. 30 (9 am MST)
    • Review the slides here.
  • Finances and Planning for the Year Ahead: Monday, Dec. 7 & Monday, Jan.18 (9 am MST)
    • Review the slides from Jan. 2021 here
  • Finding Off-Campus Accommodation: Monday, Dec. 14 (9 am MST) & Friday, Jan. 15 (10 am MST)
    • Review the slides from Jan 2021 here
  • Healthcare & Insurance in Alberta: Tuesday, Dec. 15 & Jan. 19 (9 am MST)
    • Review the slides from Jan 2021 here
  • Navigating Culture Shock: Tuesday, Jan. 26 (10 - 11:30 am MST)

Please note registration for each session is mandatory using UCalgary student email addresses. Slides from upcoming presentations will be posted 48 hours after the sessions if you're unable to attend. 

International Student Services (ISS) has compiled some orientation materials and resources specifically for new international students starting in 2020 and 2021. These materials include helpful resources and short videos related to:

  • Canadian Immigration & Working in Canada
  • Staying Healthy & Safe
  • Navigating a New Culture
  • Meeting Other Students & Finding Community
  • Getting Settled in Calgary
  • And more!

We recommend you take some time to review these materials before attending our live panel sessions on January 7 & 8.

Whether you’re planning to study in Calgary or from another location, International Student Services (ISS) has an orientation session for you!

Meet UCalgary advisors and staff and get to know the student support available to you remotely and in-person. We'll answer questions about Canadian immigration, travel restrictions, work regulations for employment, Canadian classroom culture, living in Calgary, studying remotely, wellness supports, and social activities for students. Panelists include: 

  • Regulated Canadian Immigration Advisors, ISS
  • Intercultural Programs Advisor, ISS
  • Transition Support Advisor, ISS
  • Career Development Specialist, Career Services
  • Academic Development Specialist, Student Success Centre
  • Student Support Advisor or Counsellor, Wellness Services
  • Student Life VP, Graduate Student Association

You can submit questions in advance when you register and ask questions during the virtual session. Recordings will be posted on the ISS website if you’re unable to attend remotely. 

For New International Students Studying from outside Canada

  • Date: Thursday, January 7, 2021
  • Time: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST)
  • Location: Remote session through Zoom

New International Students Studying in Calgary

  • Date: Thursday, January 7, 2021
  • Time: 11 a.m.- 12 noon Mountain Standard Time (MST)
  • Location: Remote session through Zoom


International Student Orientation Panel

Want to hear from someone who's already been there?

In this panel, you can meet current students and get advice on things like how to make friends, ways to stay involved on and off-campus and how to navigate life as a UCalgary student. Panelists are current undergraduate and graduate students including:

  • Graduate International Student from the Newcomers and International Students Committee, GSA
  • Student Life VP and Undergraduate Student, SU
  • Date: Friday, January 8, 2021
  • Time: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST)
  • Location: Remote session through Zoom

Check here to find out how MST time compares to your timezone if outside Calgary!

 Once you register, you will receive the access link on Monday, January 4, 2021. 

Did you miss Winter 2021 International Student Orientation? Or, want to review important updates? Check out the information below.

Click the "CC" button when watching the recording to follow along with closed captions. You can also view helpful web links in the comments feature as you watch along. 

New International Students Studying from outside Canada (Jan 7, 2021) 

New International Students Studying in Calgary (Jan 7, 2021)

International Student Orientation Panel (Jan 8, 2021) 

Connecting with other new international students is an important component of starting your studies at UCalgary! ISS is hosting remote Welcome Social Events—these will provide an opportunity to meet others, socialize, and start building community regardless of where you are located! You’ll also get a chance to learn more about different social events through other UCalgary offices.

Sign-up for one, two, or all three, based on your availability. 

  • Wednesday, January 6, 2021: 9-10 a.m. MST
  • Wednesday, January 6, 2021: 4-5 p.m. MST
  • Thursday, January 7, 2021: 4-5 p.m. MST


Frequently Asked Questions

ISS recommends that all new international students

  1. Review the Welcome Webinars available throughout November and December, to determine which topics may be relevant to you. You register for each session you're interested in directly through the ISS Events Calendar (see above). 
  2. Review the On-Demand Orientation content on this site, with more updates to be added in December 2020 (see above). 

Are you a graduate student? 

Register to attend the Graduate Student Orientation on Wednesday January 6, 2021. Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for more details about graduate level programming:

Are you an exchange student? 

In addition to the international orientation panel sessions, visit the Study Abroad website for more details about exchange student specific programming and resources:

  1. International Students starting their studies remotely (outside Calgary)


    1. International Student Orientation: Students Studying outside Canada (Thursday, Jan, 7, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. MST)
    2. International Student Orientation Panel (Friday, January 8, 10:30 a.m. MST)
    3. Welcome Social Events
    4. Any relevant faculty/departmental orientations
  2. International Students starting their studies while in Calgary


    • International Student Orientation: Students Studying in Calgary (Thursday, Jan, 7, 2021, at 11 a.m. MST)
    • International Student Orientation Panel (Friday, January 8, 10:30 a.m. MST)
    • Welcome Social Events
    • Any relevant faculty/departmental orientations

If you can’t attend any of the Live Remote Panel events, we’ll post a recording on this page for you to review. You’ll also be able to set up a meeting with an International Student Services advisor if needed to help answer questions about adapting to life as a UCalgary student.

Contact our friendly team at