Peer Support and Events

Being part of a global community of McMaster students and alumni means that you have easy access to valuable peer-to-peer support and opportunities to connect. Whether it’s through the International Student Buddy Program, campus clubs and services or international student socials and events, your peers can help you make the most of your time at McMaster as an international student.

Get peer-to-peer support

Whether you’re entering your first year of university or about to graduate, your peers can help you meet your personal, professional and academic goals. Get involved, meet new people and receive valuable guidance and support through these peer-led services and programs.

We hope you’re excited to start your journey at McMaster — we’re glad you’re here with us. However, we know you might feel anxious or have questions about your transition to McMaster and university life in general.

  • How can I do well in my classes?
  • How can I meet new friends?
  • What campus supports are there to help me succeed?

Whether this is your first time in Canada or you completed high school in Canada as an international student, the Buddy Program is a great opportunity to meet your fellow first-year international students. To help you get settled and overcome any barriers in your first-year transition, you’ll be paired with an upper-year mentor who can give you advice and welcome you to McMaster.

Get connected with a buddy

If you’re an incoming first-year student, email to get started with the Buddy Program. If you’re a returning student, visit OSCARplus and search the calendar (under Student Success Centre > Volunteer & Experience Building > Program Registrations) for a registration date.

Become a buddy

Help make a fellow student’s transition to McMaster a memorable one and consider applying for this volunteer position. The program takes place from June to April of the following year and requires a commitment of a few hours per week (not every week). All upper-year buddies are expected to attend an online orientation and complete online training.

Registration opens in May. Visit OSCARplus and search the calendar (under Student Success Centre > Volunteer & Experience Building > Program Registrations) for a registration date.

A student-led organization, the McMaster Students Union (MSU) operates more than 30 businesses and services to meet undergraduate student needs and interests. If you want to meet new people and get support from your peers, an MSU service or program is a great place to start. Here are some valuable services to help you get involved.


Get involved with spark if you need support adjusting to life in your first year at McMaster. Services include a weekly mentorship program, social events, workshops and online resources.

Pride Community Centre (PCC)

The Pride Community Centre is a support system for McMaster students who identify with the 2SLGBTQ+ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer) community. This organization provides a safe space and challenges oppressive attitudes through peer support, advocacy, education and awareness.

Diversity Services

A celebration of race, ethnicity, culture, faith and indigenous identities, this MSU organization plans on-campus events that showcase the diversity of the McMaster community.

Clubs are a great way to get involved and build a support system of peers. There are over 300 social, cultural, academic, recreational and religious clubs on campus that can meet your needs and interests. As an international student, the following clubs may be suited to your interests and needs.

McMaster International and Exchange (M.I.X.) Club

M.I.X. is a non-profit, student-led organization made up of recently returned and outgoing McMaster exchange students, members of the larger McMaster community and international students. Get connected, share your experiences and learn about internationally-focused events.

If you are a new international graduate student joining us for your master’s, PhD or graduate diploma, we’re happy to match you with an experienced international graduate student to help you adjust to your new life at McMaster.

International grad navigators are current international graduate students who’ve “been there, done that.” They are eager to help new international graduate students navigate their first-term experience by providing support from the perspective of a shared cultural background. Learn more about the grad navigators.

If you’re a graduate student, the IGSA is a great way to get involved and work to improve the McMaster graduate student experience. Build a support network by connecting with other McMaster graduate students to meet shared goals. Learn more about the IGSA.

Get connected at events, socials and workshops

Meeting new people is an important part of your university experience. To help you build your McMaster community, we organize and promote various signature events throughout the year so you can get involved and stay connected to your peers. We also offer workshops so you can learn about various topics to support your journey at McMaster.

Join us for our summer webinar series to learn everything you need to know about getting ready for university life in Canada. All webinars will provide you with the opportunity to get answers to your questions about studying with McMaster.

Learn more about the webinar series.

Throughout the year, we host different socials and online events so you can meet your fellow international students, share your experiences, take a break and de-stress. Some of our socials include:

  • Cooking with Friends
  • Cultural Night
  • Hot Drinks and Heart-to-Hearts
  • Speed Meeting
  • Buddy Program events
  • McMaster’s Got Talent: International Students Edition
  • And more!

We’re planning new events all the time, so check OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Events often to learn about opportunities to get social and connect with your peers.

We offer workshops on various topics to help you thrive as a McMaster student and make the most of your time in Canada. International student workshop topics include:

  • Working in Canada (post-graduation work permit)
  • Social insurance number (SIN)
  • Work opportunities
  • Program decisions
  • Study permits, TRVs and eTAs
  • Express entry
  • Living off campus
  • Working in groups
  • And more

To view workshops designed specifically for you as an international student, go to OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Events and use the “toggle filters” feature.

You have access to all of our workshops as well. Explore workshops offered by Academic Skills, Careers and Employment, Global Opportunities and Mac’s Money Centre to increase your involvement and promote your success at McMaster.