Welcoming students from around the world

International Outreach

Welcoming students from around the world

Queen’s is busy connecting with incoming undergraduate students from more than 50 countries and creating new ways to support their transition to life in Canada.

August 1, 2023


Photograph of box with Queen's-branded items
Queen's is sending boxes to new international students full of items that will be helpful for their upcoming move.

Each application cycle, Queen’s works to enhance the diversity of the incoming undergraduate class by actively recruiting international students from around the world. This year, the university is enhancing its coordinated efforts to showcase all that Queen’s has to offer and to welcome new students to the community in advance of their arrival on campus.

“Our campus is enriched and enhanced by a breadth of diverse perspectives and experiences as we work to develop a global mindset and an inclusive culture,” says Allison Yokom, Senior Director, International Undergraduate Enrolment in Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment (UAR). “This recruitment cycle, we received more than 9,000 applications from international students to direct-entry undergraduate programs, and we made more than 5,000 offers. From the first connection with Queen’s, through to when they arrive on campus, we are in close contact with students, ensuring they are aware of new financial aid opportunities, as well as the breadth of academic and community supports available.”

Among these new opportunities, Queen’s has created a suite of International Admission Awards to help make an education at the university more affordable for high achieving international students. These awards are available on a competitive basis and range from $40,000-$100,000 over their four years of study, depending on the program. They join other admission awards specifically for international students, including the Principal’s International Scholarship-India and the International Admission Scholarship.

Countdown to Queen’s, a new international engagement pilot program, is also helping welcome new international students before they arrive in Kingston. Through this pilot program, UAR is sending out packages of useful items for students’ upcoming move to Canada, including luggage tags, passport holders, universal chargers, and toques. All these items feature Queen’s branding to encourage students to feel part of the campus community as they prepare for their move.

These boxes are just one touchpoint with admitted international students throughout the summer. Other outreach efforts include connecting new and current students through the new International Ambassador Program, sharing the International Student Guidebook, and engaging them with posts and videos on the Queen's UAR social media channels.

Supports for the transition to Queen’s, Canada, and beyond

Communication and assistance from the university doesn’t end once international students enrol. International students who say yes to Queen’s are provided with additional and ongoing supports for their transition to a new country and community through the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC).

“Attending university abroad is a significant change, and we are here to support students every step of the way, through their study permit process to settling in Kingston,” says Sultan Almajil, Director, QUIC. “We have expanded many of the services we offer in the past several years, and we have tailored programs that help ensure they are well prepared to arrive in Canada and start their studies. We then continue to provide services and opportunities for all international students to connect with peers, learn new skills, and build their community on campus and in Kingston.”

Through the iCent app, QUIC helps students make travel arrangements, plan for Canadian entry requirements, and more. All incoming international students are required to download the app so QUIC can ensure that they are prepared for their journey to Canada. QUIC began using the app during the pandemic to help students navigate travel restrictions and has expanded its use this year. QUIC is also hosting more than 30 tailored orientation and pre-arrival sessions for international students that started in May.

QUIC is also teaming up with Residence Life and Services to offer a new program that gives undergraduate students a bit more time to settle in before the start of the fall term. Through the pilot, incoming international students have the option to apply to move into their residence room several days earlier than the rest of the class. After their early arrival, the students will connect with QUIC as part of the centre’s annual Welcome Week programming to learn about life on campus, in Kingston and Canada, and set up services they will need, such as banking and cell phone plans.

This year, Queen’s is partnering with the City of Kingston and Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP) for a new initiative that helps all incoming international students adjust to life in their new town. When they arrive, new international students and their dependents will receive a welcome gift, including a free bus pass, tickets to Kingston museums, up to four tickets to the Grand Theatre, and a 30-day Fit Pass for access to city-run facilities such as Artillery Park, the INVISTA Centre, and Culligan Water Park.

Every year, QUIC serves more than 4,000 students across undergraduate and graduate studies from 120 countries around the world, delivering more than 400 programs, activities and sessions for current international students. Learn more about other new and existing supports for international students on the QUIC website.

Supporting international students is just one of the ways in which Queen's is working to build a global campus. Learn more about the university's Global Engagement Strategy and its wide-ranging international efforts on the Global Engagement website

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