Starting a new adventure – International Orientation welcomes students to Canada

By Greg Duck Posted: September 10, 2018 4:00 p.m.

Close to 600 International students packed the main gym for the U of R Welcome Ceremony to kickoff Orientation Day.
Close to 600 International students packed the main gym for the U of R Welcome Ceremony to kickoff Orientation Day. UR External Relations

“Today is a celebration – the start of a journey,” said Livia Castellanos, Associate Vice-President & Chief International Officer of UR International as she addressed new International students. “Enjoy it. Take it all in. This is a new adventure you are about to start!”

Orientation for all new students took place on Tuesday as a way for students to acclimate to University life, and better adapt before the start of classes. Knowing that International students have unique needs, a separate orientation for International students was created. It’s designed to be less intimidating for students experiencing life in a new country to meet and a great way to learn together. It provides a fun atmosphere with food, music, prizes, and some friendly competition.

“I didn’t think there would be a party to start the semester, but it was a big party!” said Qifan Wu, a student from Beijing attending the U of R for Petroleum Engineering.


Qifan Wu, a student from China,
chose the U of R for its highly
regarded engineering program.

International Orientation included a welcome breakfast, campus tour, activities, faculty seminars, and sessions specific to helping International students transition to their first semester at the U of R.

“I met students from India, Bangladesh, and the Middle East. I never felt alone, but part of a group,” said Wu.

For those students adjusting to life not only as a University student, but to life in Canada, getting information about pertinent documentation, social opportunities, and academic and non-academic support services is crucial to ensuring they feel supported and valued, and that the U of R is their home away from home.


Amitpal Kaur, a student from
India, chose the U of R for her
business education to help
establish her professional
career in Canada.

 Amitpal Kaur, an international student from India, arrived in Regina on September 1. She noted that the services of UR International have made her feel welcomed, and excited to start the semester.

“After flying from New Dehli, to London, to Calgary, to Regina – I was exhausted. But my spirits were instantly lifted when I was greeted at the airport,” said Kaur. UR International staff greet new students from their booth at the airport.

With such a short time between arrival and beginning classes, it is important for students to be able to just focus on being students. “I received so much information about things I hadn’t considered. The support for students from other countries is really inspiring. I’m so excited to start classes!” said Kaur.

photo photo photo
International students had the
chance to show off their moves
in a dance competition to win a
cell phone or tablet.
The day started with a welcome
breakfast and a demonstration by
the Chinese Dragon Dance Team
from the Confucius Institute
Making quite the entrance, the
Punjabi Drum Group led Interna-
tional students into the main gym
for the U of R Welcome Ceremony.