It’s normal for university students to feel stressed during their studies, let alone international students who have just moved to a completely new environment. But there is one thing that you should never forget: You're not alone!
Now, before I discuss the services offered by the university that you can use to cope with your stress, I want to remind you how important it is to talk to your family and friends. Even though they might be thousands of miles away, they could be your number one go-to resorts. Nevertheless, Ontario Tech University does an amazing job of providing important services for us international students:
International Student Advisor
International Student Advisors have met with hundreds of international students studying here at Ontario Tech, making them very experienced when dealing with any issues that international students come across. It’s good to reach your advisor as they have the best solutions to your problems and worries after moving to Canada.
They are qualified to give you advice regarding immigration and they are in contact with other international students as well! If you're looking for some international students that are also from your home country, advisors can help you connect with them.
They can also connect you with international orientation leaders! I became an international orientation leader last semester and I still keep in touch with many of the students that I met. They usually ask me questions and I'm more than happy to answer them and refer them to other orientation leaders as well!
If you’re feeling stressed or concerned with your studies here, get in touch with an academic advisor! Find your academic advisor and set up an appointment with them. It’s okay if you don’t have any specific questions as they will be happy to guide you on what you should pay attention to as a first-year student.
I met an academic advisor during my first semester in university and they helped me understand how I could meet all my requirements to graduate. I highly recommend that you do the same!
If you're looking for someone to talk to, you can meet with one of the many mental health counsellors we have on campus. You can easily book an appointment to meet with a counsellor online, or simply visit Student Mental Health Services during Drop-in hours. It is their job to help you and student confidentiality is their priority.
If you feel like you need to talk to someone outside of office hours, there are some helplines that you can reach out to!
Find the Campus Connected stickers
If you're walking around campus, you will most likely notice these stickers or pins as pictured above on backpacks, notebooks and even laptops. When a student has this sticker on them, this means that they are open to talking to you if you're feeling lost or alone.
They’re trained to listen to those in distress and they’re willing to help others so you can go ahead and approach them! This is a big part of the movement at Ontario Tech called Campus Connected, which helps all students to stay connected and reach out to help one another.
There are also many support groups that are run by the university. You can register and will be notified when the next session will be. Having conversations with other students might help you connect with them and open up about any concerns you're having.
Those are my suggestions for who to talk to when you're feeling worried or stressed about living in Canada. During my first year I found it difficult to cope as well, but I got out of my comfort zone and attended some events to connect with other people. If you're an introvert like me, you might think that staying in your room all day is the best option, but meeting others is what you need during this phase of your life!
Interested in studying at Ontario Tech? Visit our International website for more information!