iConnect International Mentorship Program
iConnect is an intercultural mentorship program. This means that you will be matched (where possible) with a student who is from a different cultural background.
As an iConnect member, you will have opportunities to reflect on your own cultural identity and strengthen your global fluency skills. As a mentee, you will connect not only with your mentor, but with others in the community and with valuable resources on and off-campus. 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 and sang karaoke! All activities focus on intercultural conversations and experiences to help you connect with others and valuable resources in the U of T community and Toronto.
Read about the value of joining a mentorship program on the Life at U of T Blog from students who have participated in the program.
For new undergraduate and graduate international students attending the St. George campus. Incoming international students are invited to join iConnect in the summer before their arrival.
iConnect mentors are undergraduate and graduate Canadian and international students on the St. George campus. Undergraduate applicants must be entering their 2nd year of study or higher.
iConnect leaders are undergraduate and graduate Canadian and international students on the St. George campus with previous mentorship and leadership experience. Undergraduate applicants must be entering their 3rd year of study or higher.
Note: If you are a student at UTM or UTSC, please see other international mentorship programs below.
How to apply to be a Mentor or Leader
Applications to become a Mentor or Leader normally open in the Winter term. You will be asked to submit a cover letter, resume and may be invited to a group interview.
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 the CLNx CCR Overview. If you have questions on how on iConnect can be on your CCR please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become an iConnect Mentee
The 2019-2020 program is now full.
Please check back on this website in the summer of 2020 when mentee applications may re-open.
Moving to a new university, city and country are exciting changes! If you’re an undergraduate or graduate international student starting at U of T on the St. George campus 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 outings, and larger social events from September to January.
Note: Incoming exchange students who are not seeking a degree from U of T (that is, have come to take a few courses) are not eligible for this program. If you are an exchange student interested in mentorship opportunities, please visit the Mentorship and Peer Programs website or the Mentorship Database on CLNx.
What is iConnect?
iConnect is a mentorship program that will support you as an international student 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 months here. iConnect is an intercultural mentorship program. This means that you will be matched (where possible) with a mentor who is from a different cultural background.
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 and sang karaoke. All activities focus on intercultural conversations and experiences to help you connect with others and valuable resources in the U of T community and Toronto.
What students have to say about iConnect ...
"I love my experience with iConnect. It helps me settle in a new environment and makes me feel welcomed as an international student.”
"I found it easy to make friends with people from my same country, and I wanted to also make friends with people from different countries too! iConnect helped me meet and become friends with such people and it broadened my ideas on culture.”
What will I do as a mentee?
As a mentee, you can reach out to your mentor online and make time for in-person meetings with them. You can attend and be actively involved in 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 ask questions and learn from. In return, we hope you will share your experiences and global perspectives with your mentor and others in the community.
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 February, you can attend iConnect events, gatherings and outings at U of T and in Toronto.
How much time is required?
As a mentee, you may spend approximately 2-4 hours each month socializing and learning with fellow iConnect members at events and outings and meeting with your mentor. If you participate actively in the program, you can receive a CCR notation to recognize your involvement in the iConnect Mentorship Program.
Become an iConnect mentor
- An upper-year international or domestic undergraduate or graduate student at the St. George campus?
- Entering your 2nd year of study or higher (undergraduate or graduate) at U of T in the upcoming September term?
- Interested in making a positive impact on international students’ first-year experiences?
- Looking to develop mentorship, leadership and valuable intercultural communication skills?
- Curious to meet people from around the world?
- Keen on sharing your insights on U of T, Toronto and Canada?
As a mentor, you will support newly arrived students during their cultural transitions. You will enhance your global fluency, 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.
Mentor recruitment is closed for 2019-2020. Check back in Winter 2020 for new opportunities.
Become an iConnect Leader
- An international or domestic undergraduate or graduate student at the St. George campus?
- Entering an upper year of study at U of T St. George in the upcoming September?
- Someone with previous leadership experience, on or off campus?
- Looking to support small global learning communities of domestic and international students?
- Interested in further developing your mentorship, leadership and intercultural 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. All leaders will work together and with the iConnect staff in regular meetings and through close communication with each other. Leaders receive a $1000 honorarium and CCR recognition for their contributions to the program. Positions are available in the areas of communication, recruitment, event planning and reporting.
Leader recruitment is closed for 2019-2020. Check back in Winter 2020 for new opportunities.
The iConnect program runs from July until the end of January.
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 or coming to Toronto.
- Mentees and mentors meet in person and are introduced to their Leaders (upper-year mentors).
- The Leaders help run iConnect events on campus.
- Mentors also run smaller group outings for their mentees to learn more about U of T, Toronto and themselves.
Until the end of January:
Mentees, mentors and leaders develop global fluency skills and explore and make valuable connections with each other, the broader community, and to campus resources.
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.