Orientation and Welcome Programs

Studying in a new country can be both exciting and overwhelming. While you are adjusting to a new academic environment and new academic policies, you will also have to adjust to a new culture, new customs, new foods, a different climate, and to being away from your family and friends.

To help international students with their transition to Canada and the U of M, the International Centre offers orientation programs at the beginning of each term. Our programs are an effective and efficient way to get the information you need in a short amount of time.

To register for any of the orientation programs listed below, complete the Program Registration Form and return it to the International Centre office by fax (204-474-7562) or E-mail (international@umanitoba.ca). Register early to avoid disappointment.


Exchange Students coming to the U of M for 1 or 2 terms from a partner institution should contact their U of M Exchange Coordinator for information on how to register for International Centre Orientation Programs.  


Fall Orientation for New International Students

Attending Fall Orientation will help you get your term off to a great start.  The orientation has been designed specifically for international students and will help to ensure you have a successful transition to life in Winnipeg and to your studies at the U of M.  All new international students are strongly encouraged to attend this important orientation event. Lunch will be provided on both days for all registered participants.  

At Orientation you can expect to:

  • Meet other new students from Canada and around the world.
  • Get information to help you get settled in Winnipeg.
  • Learn about cultural differences in educational settings. 
  • Get to know your academic rights and responsibilities.
  • Learn about the services available to you on campus.

Fall 2017:
Date:  Fall 2017 Tuesday, August 29 and Wednesday, August 30th 2017
Time:  9:15am – 2:05pm
Cost:   FREE
Registration:   Registration starts July 18th 2017

Coffee & Tea at the IC!

As part of orientation activities we welcome you to join us for a meet and greet at the International Centre between the hours of 10:00am and 1:00pm. Come for 5 minutes or 30 minutes, it’s a chance for you to drop by and:

  • Chat with other new international students
  • Meet the staff at the International Centre
  • Get advice on winter clothing, dressing for winter and see our winter clothing display
  • Take part in a mini tour of the student services located in University Centre
  • And enjoy a cup of coffee or tea 

We look forward to seeing you at the IC!

Date: Thursday August 31, 2017
Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm
Location: IC Lounge – 541 University Centre 

Taking the Bus in Winnipeg Workshop

Winnipeg’s bus transit system is an affordable and convenient transportation option, but it can be confusing when you first start to use it. This half-day session will teach you everything you need to know about taking the bus in Winnipeg. Join us to learn about transit fares and payment procedures, route planning, how to get on and off the bus, signaling your stop, bus etiquette, and more. The session ends with a private transit bus tour to help you practice what you’ve learned while seeing parts of our city.

Date & Time: Friday, September 1st 2017 1pm-3pm
Cost:   FREE
Registration:  Registration starts July 18th 2017

Housing Workshop (Tenant Rights and Responsibilities)

If you plan to rent accommodation off-campus when you arrive in Canada, or in the future, this workshop is for you. Learn about your rights as a tenant, learn how to protect yourself from eviction, and find out how to give notice and get security deposits back. Get practical advice for living off-campus and find out where to go for help if a problem happens.

Date:    Friday, September 22, 2017
Time:   10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cost:    FREE 

Registration: Advance registration is not required. Please bring your student card with you and arrive 10 minutes early to sign-in. Spaces are limited and are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Get Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) On Campus

Date:  Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 & Thursday September 7th, 2017
Time:  9:00 am – 3:30 pm (both days)
Location:  Room 543/544 University Centre (both days)

Service Canada will be coming to the U of M’s Fort Garry campus to issue Social Insurance Numbers to qualifying 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 6th and September 7th.

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).

If you have additional questions please contact:

International Centre
541 University Centre
Email: international@umanitoba.ca
Phone: 204-474-8501

Banking, Budgeting, and Taxes in Canada Workshop

A big part of getting settled in a new country is setting up an appropriate and realistic budget. This workshop will teach you about banking in Canada (including how to set up a bank account), using credit cards wisely, tracking your spending, establishing a personal budget, and managing your money effectively. Whether this is your first time managing money or simply your first time managing money in Canada, you’re sure to find this workshop helpful. 

Date & Time: Fall 2017 Friday, September 15th 2017 10am-11:30am
Cost:   FREE 
Registration:  Registration starts July 18th 2017

International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

Through the ISMP you can request to be partnered with an experienced U of M student who will serve as a point of contact and support during your transition to the U of M and Winnipeg.  All Mentors in our program have been trained on how to provide peer-to-peer personal, academic, and intercultural support for new international students.

You and your Mentor will arrange weekly meetings and your Mentor is also expected to communicate via e-mail or text as needed.  You and your Mentor will be partnered for the entire academic term.  The time commitment for this program is 18-20 hours throughout the term.  

Cost:   FREE
Detailed Program Information: ISMP Information Sheet
Registration:  Contact Sibeso.Maswenyeho@umanitoba.ca to obtain an ISMP Application Form.
Fall Application: Registration starts July 18th 2017
Winter Application Deadline:  Fall 2017

Summer Orientation Programs

Summer Orientation Sessions

Starting your classes in the summer?  Our Summer Orientation Sessions are a great way to get the information you need in a format that accommodates busy summer schedules.  Participants will learn about IC programs, get information about U of M policies, become familiar with student services on campus, and more.  Each session will cover the same information, so it is only necessary to register for one.  Students are encouraged to register for the session closest to their arrival date in Winnipeg. 

Dates & Times: 

  • Dates and times TBA

Cost:   FREE

Registration:  Arrival Program Registration Form - Fall 2017 (pdf)

Summer Buddy Program

The Summer Buddy Program helps international students adjust to their new environment by matching them with experienced U of M students who can provide friendly support and an orientation to the campus.

       Cost:  FREE 
       Registration:  Registration for the 2018 Summer Buddy Program starts in Spring 2018

Welcome to the U of M!

Check out our Welcome Video to hear what current international students have to say about the U of M and adjusting to life in Winnipeg! 

Resources for New International Students:

If you are new to Winnipeg, the following resources can help you get settled and familiar with your new city:

Getting Settled in Winnipeg

Shopping:  The Essentials (food, clothing, household items, mobile phones, internet, etc.)

Shopping:  Specialty Food Stores in Winnipeg

Shopping: Where to Buy Winter Clothes

Banking in Winnipeg 

After You Arrive

More resources coming soon!

Past Orientation Presentations:

IC:  What We Do

Navigating the U of M

International Student Success

Academic Success:  Academic Learning Centre

Academic Success:  Academic Integrity

Your Money in Canada Workshop