Coming to UAlberta: What to expect in your first few months


Before classes start UAlberta hosts an orientation program specifically for international students called “Transitions”. Through a series of workshops and tours, international students learn about UAlberta’s academic environment and get tips on adjusting to life in Canada. Advisors are on-hand to answer all your questions and Transitions also includes several social activities, so it’s a great way to meet students from other countries, make friends, and have fun! 

International Centre & International Student Services

Both of these services are located right on UAlberta’s North Campus and are here to help you adjust to all aspects of life in Canada and at UAlberta. The International Centre is a supportive and friendly environment that can help you comfortably transition into life at UAlberta. They also have a lot of workshops and fun activities to help you learn about Canadian culture, improve your English and meet new friends!

international students

Settling into residence

First year international students have multiple options for residence. Living on campus in residence is a great way to make friends and get to know Canadian culture while attending UAlberta. Regardless of which residence you choose to live in, make it your own! We suggest decorating and making it feel as comfortable as possible. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to your neighbours. Remember, you’re all going through the same exciting transition!

Read about your options


Week of Welcome Activities

During the first week of classes on campus UAlberta’s main campus has a lot of fun activities, free food, concerts and more!

Making Friends

One of the best parts of university, is making new friends! Even if you are a shy person, there are lots of easy ways to meet people. Introduce yourself and talk to the people sitting beside you in class-Canadians are generally fairly open and friendly. Becoming a volunteer is another great way to meet new people while building important, professional skills. There are so many different services and activities!

Finding your way around

Orientation is the best way to learn where everything is on campus, but if you forget where some things are, or need any information, you can visit an InfoLink booth. These booths are located all over campus and have helpful staff who can answer all kinds of questions. If you need to know how to get to certain building or where to find a specific service, they can tell you!

You can also download the UAlberta campus map. Keep it on your smart-phone or use the printed map located in your student planner you received during orientation week!

Getting used to your classes and course-work

If you are coming to UAlberta straight from high school the structure and types of courses may be a little bit different from what you are used to. If you need help learning how to write essays, good studying tips or just general advice there are a lot of free services on campus that are here to help you succeed!

Your first winter break in Edmonton

After your first semester is complete, you will have a 1-2 week break from classes before the next semester starts. This is a great time to explore Edmonton or get out of the city and see other parts of Alberta! Check out our list of the really fun things you can do here in the winter >



Article by Alyssa Ott


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