Volunteer @ CIE
About the Program
Whether you are a domestic or international student, the Centre for International Experience's Volunteer Program is designed to give you the opportunity to contribute to the international community at the University of Toronto and to assist CIE in providing the best services, support and social opportunities for international students during their stay in Canada.
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Applications for orientation volunteers is now closed.
As a CIE Orientation Volunteer, you will be responsible for making new international and exchange students feel welcome and comfortable. You may be the first friendly, smiling face a new student will encounter, which can set the right tone for the rest of that student's time at the University of Toronto. Volunteers greet students as they arrive at the CIE, answer questions, and provide information about our various orientation sessions, activities and other services. You might also lead an activity, neighbourhood walking tour or day trip to Niagara Falls and assist at the CIE Welcome Reception barbeque.
Cultural/ Social Events Volunteering
Volunteer recruitment for cultural and social events is ongoing throughout the year. Keep checking CIE's website for recruitment sessions or email Marco Adamovic for more information.
What is the English Communication Program (ECP)?
- The ECP is designed for international students in credit courses at U of T who speak English as a second language. These are students who already have strong language skills, but would benefit from more conversation, writing or pronunciation practice. Classes are small and relaxed. The objectives are to enhance the participants’ understanding of Canadian culture and of life in Toronto and to get them more comfortable speaking, writing or pronouncing English.
How long is the program?
- ECP courses are ten weeks long. Students meet once a week for two hours with their facilitator.
When does the next session begin?
- There are three ECP sessions throughout the year: fall, winter and spring. Classes are normally scheduled to begin the week following the start of regular academic classes.
Can I choose what days and times I want to volunteer?
- Yes! We build the schedule to suit our volunteers’ timetables. The only day we don’t hold classes is Sunday. Courses can begin as early as 9:30 a.m. and run as late as 7:30 p.m.
What are you looking for in a volunteer?
- ECP Facilitators are volunteers who have teaching, cross-cultural, and/ or international experience.
Do I need to be a native speaker of English?
- No. You need only be a fluent speaker of idiomatic English.
Will I get any training or help with preparation?
- All ECP volunteers are given a course outline. However, this is only a guideline and facilitators are welcome to apply their creativity and imagination to modify the course; even to design new and unique conversation courses. Your students will also have a great influence on course content. A small resource centre is available on-site, as well as a photocopying machine, CD player, TV and VCR/ DVD-player.
What do I gain by volunteering for ECP?
- While helping someone new to Canada better understand Canadian culture and feel more at ease speaking English, you will be broadening your own knowledge of other cultures and languages from around the world, as well as gaining valuable experience to put down on your résumé.
Who should I contact if I’m interested?
- For more information, please email Alleen Mirakian or call (416) 946-8509.
- create a dynamic learning community that fosters global citizenship;
- reflect on your own cultural identity and expand your global perspective;
- assist newly arrived international students in their academic and cultural transition to University, to Toronto and to Canada; and
- develop your cross-cultural communication and competency, and your leadership and mentoring skills.
The program runs from July to March each year and the time commitment ranges between 6 to 12 hours per month.
Volunteers in the iConnect program can be involved in two ways. Mentors directly support new U of T international students in their transition to Canada. Leaders provide support to Mentors and their Mentees, while fulfilling an essential programming role. Leaders receive an honorarium.
In March and April of every year, CIE assists first year international students in completing their Income Tax Returns. Volunteers who perform this task are usually upper year students and are required to have experience with the Canadian Income Tax system and to have taken courses in Income Tax to qualify.
Volunteer recruitment is done during February of each year. The mandatory volunteer training takes place at the CIE in March of each year.
What do Volunteers enjoy most about volunteering with CIE?
“Volunteering at CIE provides a nice platform to interact with people from diverse cultures and nationalities. This feeling of internationalism, together with an opportunity to welcome newcomers gives me a sense of satisfaction and joy.”
“It gives me an opportunity to socialize.”
“It’s a break from studies, learn something new, meeting people, and having fun.”
“I like feeling that I’m contributing to a community.”
“I can contact with people from diverse background and I can help them more easily settle down with U of T.”
“Fun activities, learn about other cultures, helping others.”