Get Involved

During the academic year, the International Office usually organizes two activities per month open to all uOttawa students during the fall and winter terms and one activity per month during the summer term. All enrolled international and exchange students should receive a newsletter via their uOttawa email address to inform them of the activities during the academic year. Furthermore, you can see our current and upcoming events and activities on our Facebook page uOttawa Bureau International Office under the events section.

Here are some examples of events that we have organized in the past and are normally recurring:

Meet & Greet for new students

Early September & January

This social event is a great way for new International and Exchange students to get to know each other. Canadian students who participate in the Buddy Program are present to help welcome the new students to campus by sharing tips for success and enjoyment on campus 

Omega Park

November and March

Experience Canada’s wildlife in a safari visit of the Omega Park reserve. During this guided tour around the park, you will have the opportunity to see many different Canadian animals, with several opportunities to feed them along the way!

Visit of the Parliament of Canada

September and January

Introduce yourself to the Canadian political system through this FREE visit of the Parliament. Enjoy an architectural, historical and political guided tour of the main center of Canada’s executive and legislative decisions during this visit.

Sugar Shack

During the month of March

Come out and satisfy your sweet tooth! Enjoy a traditional Canadian/Québécois sugar shack meal with plenty of maple syrup, maple taffy on snow and a horse-drawn sleigh ride.

More events to follow upon confirmation by the administration.


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 July 31st, for the fall term, or November 15th , for the winter term. 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. 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!

Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement

The Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement promotes lifelong commitment to community engagement and social responsibility among all members of the uOttawa community. To find out more please visit the Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement website.

Many international students do not have any Canadian work experience. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to begin with acquiring volunteering experience in order to kick start your professional development in Canada. Furthermore, this is a great opportunity to connect with locals in the community.

There are various types of placements which can be of your interest and also there are some limited placements available directly from your faculty. You can also determine your involvement such as you may wish to volunteer for 3 hours per week or even just one day, one month or one term. However, all the placements you wish to apply for are not guaranteed.

The o- Curricular record you may request is an official University of Ottawa document which records your volunteer activities carried out on campus and in the community. It is more than just another document — it bolsters students’ resumes and academic records, and shows that students are more than just a diploma, but rather, the product of all of their experiences. Check out how to get your Co- Curricular record.

Clubs registered by the SFUO

The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) is home to over 175 different cultural, religious, political/social justice, philanthropic/humanitarian, recreational and academic clubs. Visit the clubs website for more information.

Cultural Clubs: There are over 25 cultural clubs that bring students together who are from similar backgrounds or who share similar interests. As an international student, you may feel homesick at times. Therefore, these clubs will allow you to find others on campus that may share your language, culture, and customs in order to make you feel at home.

Religious centers

The University of Ottawa promotes diverse cultures and respects everyone’s faith and belief. As a result, the Student Federation of the University (SFUO) accepts registration of religious clubs to guide students on how one may practice one’s faith in Ottawa. For example: the University of Ottawa Muslim Students’ Association registered under SFUO has a Multifaith Room on campus for Muslim students to attend their regular prayers.

The list of all the religious clubs are provided in the following website. Feel free to contact the executive members of the club and join them. Also, if you think the club of your belief and faith is not included in the list you can definitely approach the SFUO and create the club if you have the support of a community of students.

SFUO / GSAED events

The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) is a student association that aims to advance the interests of the undergraduate student population at the University of Ottawa. They provide several services to advocate for the rights of their students in all matters academic, cultural, and social. You can keep up with their events on their Facebook page or consult their website.


The Graduate Students Association (GSAED) is a student association that aims to protect graduate students in all issues be they academic or otherwise. They help their students in academic issues by facilitating academic or human rights appeals. They also organize social events for their students. You can consult their facebook page for their most up to date events:

For more resources, you can also consult the GSAED website.

Student Guide Online

You may consult the student guide online for more ways to have fun, visit places and get involved with the campus.

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