Step 4: How to succeed at uOttawa

Meet with a mentor at the International Student Success Centre

The majority of the international mentors who work at the International Student Success Centre are also international students and have gone through experiences similar to yours, and since they can relate to your experience, they can often provide very useful advice during your transition. They are your main resource on campus, linking you to all of the different services offered by the university.  They are available to answer your questions on:

  • Canadian culture
  • Academic life
  • Learning strategies
  • Challenges you could face during your time at university

They also offer Intercultural Communication Workshops where international and Canadian students discuss and learn about their respective cultures in order to acquire intercultural skills. These workshops provide a great opportunity for you to meet other students and facilitate your integration on campus.

Join our Facebook Group

The Bureau International Office Facebook group is a great place to network with other students and to find information our activities.

Academic advising

Meet with an academic advisor

Exchange students who encounter problems when registering for their courses, or in satisfying academic requirements, must contact their faculty as soon as possible to schedule a meeting with an Academic Advisor.

Visit the Academic Writing Help Centre

The Academic Writing Help Centre exists to help students develop strategies and writing skills that will enable them to:

  • Understand the requirements of academic writing
  • Develop their argumentation skills
  • Expand their critical thinking abilities
  • Master the written language of their choice

The Centre can also help you to avoid academic fraud, including plagiarism. Last year, more than 100 University of Ottawa students were accused of plagiarism and received various sanctions, including expulsion from the University. To plagiarize is to borrow someone’s words or ideas without mentioning their name and/or without using quotation marks (“...”).


Download an information booklet on plagiarism to make sure that you do not commit academic fraud, even unintentionally.


Get involved and meet new people

There are many ways to get involved on campus, but here are some that we think might interest you:

  1. Join a cultural club
  2. Participate in a socio-cultural activityorganized by the International Office
  3. Attend an event hosted by the International House(notably the International Gala or International Week)
  4. Learn while helping the community with the Centre for Global and Community Engagement
  5. For all things non-academic, visit the Community Life Service.
  6. Stay active and in good health while at university by taking part in recreational activities or joining a Gee-Gees sports team.
Buddy program

The Buddy Program is a volunteer-based program that fosters one-on-one relationships between Canadian students and international students at the University of Ottawa.

Why participate in the Buddy Program?
  • Gain international experience and contacts
  • Improve your language skills
  • Build new friendships with Canadian students and other international students
  • Participate in fun activities hosted by the International Office
  • Learn more about different cultures
  • Explore and discover the City of Ottawa
How do I register?

To participate in the Buddy Program, simply complete the online application form before August 25th, for the fall session, or December 15th, for the winter session. If you send your application after the deadline, you could be matched in the second round if there are still volunteers left. 

Once the deadline has passed, we try to match all those who have registered with buddies on the basis of their fields of study, interests and other preferences. You will be able to begin communicating with your buddy once you have received the confirmation email with their contact information.

Additional questions

If you have any additional questions about the Buddy Program, or if you are unable to complete the form online, please contact the Buddy Program coordinator.

We encourage you to invite your friends to participate in the Buddy Program!


Student Guide for University of Ottawa exchange students

This guide is for all members of the university community, and will provide with an overview of everything you should know.

Useful contacts on campus

Name of service



University of Ottawa InfoService

Contact InfoService

Tel: 613-562-5800

Health Services Clinic

100 Marie Curie

Tel: 613-564-3950

Campus Pharmacy

100 Marie Curie

Tel: 613-563-4000

Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO)

Contact SFUO

Tel: 613-562-5966

Graduate Students’ Association (GSAÉD)

Contact GSAED

Tel: 613-562-5935

Sports Services

Contact Sports

Tel: 613-562-5789

Student Academic Success Service (SASS)

Contact SASS

Tel: 613-562-5101

Protection Services

141 Louis-Pasteur

Tel: 613-562-5411

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