iConnect International Mentorship Program
iConnect is an intercultural mentorship program. This means that you will be matched (where possible) with a mentor who is from a different country.
As an iConnect member, you will have opportunities to reflect on your own cultural identity and strengthen your intercultural skills. At monthly meetings, you can connect with other students and with helpful U of T offices. Last year, members played board games, learned to ice skate, attended a stress-management workshop, toured the city and U of T campus, shared meals, sang karaoke, and celebrated the year at our fancy party. All activities focus on intercultural conversations and experiences to help you grow comfortable in your new life in Canada and at U of T!
Read about the value of joining a mentorship program at the Life at U of T Blog, as iConnect members Daniel (second year, Cinema Studies & Computer Science) and Brianna (fourth year, Life Science) share briefly about their experience. You can also read more about the lived experience of leadership and mentorship in iConnect on the Living Leadership Blog.
For information about this year's Mentorship Week activities, please visit Mentorship Week.
We are now accepting applications for Mentor and Leader positions on the Career Learning Network’s Volunteer Job Postings for the 2018 to 2019 year. Details about the Mentor and Leader roles are listed below.
For new international students attending the St. George campus. Incoming international students are invited to join iConnect.
Applications to be a mentee become available in late spring or early summer of 2017.
For undergraduate and graduate Canadian and international students on the St. George campus. Undergraduates must be entering their 2nd year of study or higher.
For undergraduate and graduate Canadian and international students on the St. George campus with previous mentorship and leadership experience. Undergraduates must be entering their 3rd year of study or higher.
If you are an exchange student or a student at UTM and UTSC, please see other internatonal mentorship programs below.
How to apply to be a Mentor or Leader
What is the CCR?
The Co-Curricular Record (CCR) provides a centralized database of activities that lets students easily search for opportunities beyond the classroom. Students will be able to find opportunities that suit their needs. iConnect is one of these activities that meets the needs of many international students who are transitioning to U of T. The CCR will also list competencies linked to iConnect activities, e.g. intercultural learning, mentorship, leadership, communication, global engagement, and so on. The record supports students to communicate their experiences to future employers, professional programs, and for awards and scholarships. Students will be able to print an official validated record of their involvement at the University. For more information about the record and benefits of getting a CCR visit www.ccr.utoronto.ca. If you have questions on how on iConnect can be on your CCR please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become an iConnect Mentee
Incoming international students are invited to join iConnect. Applications for mentees for 2018 to 2019 will be available in June 2019.
Moving to a new university, city and country are exciting changes! If you’re an international student starting at U of T in September, you can join iConnect to ease your transition. Over the summer, you'll be connected to a mentor to support you through e-mentorship to learn about U of T culture. You’ll get to meet your mentor for one-on-one, small group meetings, and larger social events in September!
Please note that incoming exchange students who are not seeking a degree from U of T (that is, have come to take a few courses) are referred to the Global Ambassadors Program for a mentorship program in that area.
What is iConnect?
iConnect is a mentorship program that will support you during your first year in Canada and at U of T. We will match you with an upper-year U of T student mentor who will guide and support you during your first year here. iConnect is an intercultural mentorship program. This means that you will be matched (where possible) with a mentor who is from a different country.
What do we do in iConnect?
Last year, members played board games, learned to ice skate, attended a stress-management workshop, toured the city and U of T campus, shared meals, sang karaoke, and celebrated the year at our fancy party. All activities focus on intercultural conversations and experiences to help you grow comfortable in your new life in Canada and at U of T!
What will I do as a mentee?
You are expected to initiate communication (“reach out”) and make time for your in-person meetings with your mentor. You will attend and be actively involved at iConnect events, meeting new people each time. We hope that your mentor will be someone you feel comfortable talking to. They may be someone you can learn from and ask questions. In return, you will be asked to share your experiences and stories.
When does the program start?
iConnect mentors are ready to support you online before you arrive in Toronto – which means at least one friendly U of T student will know you by the time you arrive! Between September and March, you will attend iConnect meetings, events and workshops at U of T and in Toronto.
How much time is required?
As a mentee, you will spend approximately 15 hours each month socializing and learning with fellow iConnect friends at events and workshops, and meeting with your mentor. If you participate actively in the program, you can receive a CCR notation to recognize your involvement with the iConnect Mentorship Program.
Become an iConnect mentor
- An upper-year undergraduate or graduate student at the St. George campus?
- Entering your 2nd year of study or higher (grad or undergrad) at U of T in the upcoming September term?
- Want to make a positive impact on international students’ first-year experiences?
- Wish to develop mentorship, leadership, and valuable cross-cultural communication skills
- Curious to meet people from around the world?
- Desire to impart your insights on Toronto and Canada?
As a mentor, you will support newly arrived students during their unique cultural transitions. You will enhance your international perspectives, intercultural and communication skills, and help promote diversity and inclusion by directly supporting your mentees. You can also receive a CCR notation recognizing your involvement in the program.
Previous mentoring experience is an asset, but not required. Mentors are directly supported by an iConnect leader.
Here's how to apply:
The recruitment for iConnect Mentors occurs in early mid-February to mid-March. The positions are posted on the on the Career Learning Network (CLN) under the Volunteer Job Postings – search “iConnect Mentor.”
Recruitment of mentors is now open for 2018-2019 year on CLN.
Become an iConnect Leader
- An undergraduate or graduate student at the St. George campus?
- Entering your 3rd year or more of study at U of T St. George in the upcoming September?
- Someone with with previous leadership experience, on or off campus?
- Looking to create small global learning communities of domestic and international students?
- Wishing to develop mentorship, leadership, and valuable cross-cultural communication skills?
As a leader, you will enhance your community programming and leadership skills, strengthen your intercultural skills, and provide vital support to iConnect mentors. In addition, all leaders will work closely with the iConnect staff and as a team together through regular meetings and in close communication with one another. Leaders receive an honorarium and CCR recognition for their contributions to the program. Positions are available in the areas of communication, recruitment, events and reporting.
- Communication leader (1 position)
- Recruitment leader (2 positions)
- Event leader (6 positions)
- Report leader (1 position)
- iConnect Leaders are provided a $1000 honourarium for their contributions to the iConnect community.
Here's how to apply:
The recruitment for iConnect Leaders occurs in mid-February to mid-March of the year. The positions are posted on the Career Learning Network (CLN) under the Volunteer Job Postings.
Applications for the 2018-2019 year are now open on CLN.
The iConnect program runs from July to March.
From July to August:
- Mentees apply to the program and get matched with a mentor
- During this period, mentees can seek support and guidance from mentors through "e-mentorship" (electronic mentorship) and can address questions or concerns about U of T
- Mentees and mentors are introduced to their Leaders (upper-year mentors) who help run a small grouping of mentors and mentees.
- The Leaders help run iConnect's welcome events and cultural outing events in the city and on campus.
- Mentors also run smaller group outings for their mentees to learn more about U of T, Toronto and themselves.
Together, we all help to develop intercultural skills and create the foundations for a smaller global community right here on campus.
Other international mentorship programs
New international students at the University of Toronto at Mississauga can contact the UTM International Education Centre for more information about mentorship opportunities.
New international students at the University of Toronto at Scarborough can contact the UTSC International Student Centre for more information about mentorship opportunities.
New exchange students from abroad coming to U of T for short-term schooling can learn about the Global Ambassador Program (formerly Exchange Student Network).