International mentors

International Mentoring Centre

We offer a variety of valuable services to all University of Ottawa international and exchange students.

Attend a weekly mentoring drop-in session

Can't find the time to book an individual meeting with an international mentor? Did you know we offer virtual mentoring drop-in sessions each week (no appointment required)?

Learn more
Student sitting at a desk with her laptop
  • You are missing home and want to talk to someone who can relate to that experience 

  • You are new to Canada or Ottawa and want to know more about the country or the city 

  • You are experiencing some culture shock and want to learn how to cope 

  • You want to learn more about Canadian culture 

  • You want to discover tips and tricks to help you succeed academically in a new country 

  • You have questions about course enrolment

If any of these situations apply to you, or if you want to learn more about this mentoring program, the international mentors are here for you!

Meet our international mentors

Luana Ntegure

Luana Ntegure

Country: Rwanda 
Languages spoken: French (advanced), English (advanced), Kinyarwanda (native), German (Intermediate)
Faculty: Health Sciences 
Program: Honours Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Sciences 

"As an international student, arriving in an unfamiliar environment can be a nerve-wracking experience. For me, this experience was made a lot easier thanks to the help of many people who helped me adapt and provided me with the support and resources for me to thrive in my university life. Joining uOInternational was a way for me to give back and help others with challenges, questions and anything that would facilitate their experience at the University of Ottawa." 

Jyanvi Devi Carma

Jyanvi Devi Carma

Country: Mauritius
Languages spoken: English (advanced), French (advanced), Hindi (advanced), Mauritian Creole (native)
Faculty: Arts
Program: Honours B.A in Geography with a Minor in Sociology - French Immersion Stream

"Coming to an unfamiliar country is already a daunting experience and adaptation can be a nerve-wracking adventure. Thankfully, uOInternational gave me the guidance and resources to navigate these challenges. This is why, to give back to the community I gained a lot from, I decided to join the team and help others facing the same obstacles. Thanks to uOInternational, I could balance my academic life, and wish the same for all incoming students. As such, I am determined to assist international students from all over the world to achieve their goals by making their university life smoother."

Suzan Kadri

Suzan Kadri

Country: Syria
Languages spoken: Arabic (native), English (native)
Faculty: Science
Program: Honours Bachelor of Science in Mathematics

"I was born in and spent my childhood in Canada, but I grew up in Qatar. I then moved back to Canada for my last years of high school and for university. With all the travelling and moving I’ve done, I can definitely understand the culture shock and the sense of loss and confusion that international students face when first coming to Canada. Those feelings and challenges can definitely be overcome, though. As an international mentor, I hope to ease that shock and confusion for you and to share the perspective I have gained. I also hope to be a friendly face and make your journey at uOttawa a comfortable one."

Shiyun Wang

Shiyun Wang

Country: China
Languages spoken: English (advanced), French (advanced), Mandarin (native)
Faculty: Health Sciences
Program: Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences

"Stepping into my second year here, I can't help but reflect on those early, anxiety-filled days. The fear of change was daunting as I embarked on a solitary adventure in a foreign land, learning to manage my daily life independently for the first time. The flexible class schedules brought both excitement and trepidation, especially when tackling third-language classes. I found myself in uncharted territory, surrounded by peers who didn't share my foreign background. I worried about staying within my comfort zone and never breaking free from it.

Yet, here I stand today, looking back on this journey. Despite the inevitable bumps and setbacks, I've forged lifelong friendships through class discussions, group assignments, volunteering with like-minded students, and participating in exciting club activities and school events.

So, what drove me to become an international mentor? Simple – I want newcomers to understand that their emotions are entirely natural and unique. I'm here to lend an ear and a hand, confident that they have what it takes to conquer this journey!"

Sarah Ouangre

Sarah Ouangre

Country: Burkina Faso
Languages spoken: English (advanced), French (advanced), Mooré (native)
Faculty: Science
Program: Honours Bachelor of Environmental Science, Global Change Option, French Immersion Stream

"I attended an international school where I have witnessed people from different backgrounds work together to create a positive atmosphere for everyone. I benefited from a strong support system that allowed me to thrive. As an international student in Canada, I have experienced multiple challenges. My transition into this new environment was made easy by the International Mentoring Center, and that set me up for a successful first academic year. Knowing the struggles of international students and the advantages of having a supportive community, I would like to help them make their journey through university more enjoyable and successful."

Estefania Palafox Balderas

Estefania Palafox Balderas

Country: Mexico
Languages spoken: English (advanced), French (advanced), Spanish (native), German (intermediate)
Faculty: Social Sciences
Program: Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in International Studies and Modern Languages

"It was a warm April day. I was struggling with my two giant suitcases and my cat as I arrived at my new home. “This is it, we made it,” I murmured. The panorama was undeniably different from home—everything seemed a little sadder. In an attempt to settle into the house I proceeded to try to set up my cat's water fountain. I failed and tried again but wasn’t able to do it. It occurred to me that back home, my dad (an engineer) took care of all those technicalities that were difficult for me. That’s when I realized that my dad was no longer around to help me, nor would he be anytime soon. I found myself crying uncontrollably in an empty apartment with no one to reach out to. Although today, almost a year later, I can say that even though moving has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life, I would have liked to know a couple of things beforehand. Life in Canada as an international student is often bumpy and having someone to reach out to is vital—which is why I am determined to ease your transition so as to give you the best possible experience."

Nishad Patel

Nishad Patel

Country: Canada, India
Languages spoken: English (advanced), French (intermediate), Gujarati (native), Hindi (native)
Faculty: Science
Program: Honours Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences specializing in Cellular and Molecular Medicine

"As a second-generation immigrant, I grew up watching my family and friends adapt to an unknown environment. I have seen firsthand the culture clash and confusion faced when coming to a new country such as Canada, and how to adapt to find a home away from home. Having grown up in an Indian household, I am fortunate to have stayed connected to my roots and heritage while also getting accustomed to a Canadian environment in which I completed my schooling. I want to use this experience of mine to help others, which is why I chose to become an international mentor. I aim to help international students at uOttawa find any necessary resources and navigate them on the right path to have a wonderful student experience."

Massika Djarmouni

Massika Djarmouni

Country: Algeria
Languages spoken: French (advanced), English (advanced), Arabic (native)
Faculty: Telfer School of Management
Program: BCom Bachelor of Commerce

"Hello my name is Massika, and I'm majoring in Business Management. My journey as an international mentor is deeply personal, rooted in my own experience that started two years ago. When I made the life-changing decision of moving from Algeria to Canada, leaving behind family and friends. I vividly remember the overwhelming sense of loneliness and confusion, not knowing where to start. I can genuinely relate to these feelings and understand the ache of missing home and the need to connect with someone who's been there. I can guide you through the process of settling into life in Canada, by offering insights and resources that I wish I had known at those difficult times. My main purpose would be to help you immerse in the Canadian culture by providing valuable tips and strategies to excel academically in this new environment, and assist you with any questions or concerns."

Contact us

International Mentoring Center

[email protected]  

You can drop by the International Mentoring Center (Tabaret Hall, Room M390).

Book a virtual appointment with us (on MS Teams)!

Note: All students have access to Microsoft Teams through You can download the Microsoft Teams app to Apple, Android, or Windows mobile devices and to your personal computer. Simply log in using your uOttawa student email address and uoZone password. 

Hours of operation

September 1 to May 31:
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding Thursdays from 2:30p.m. to 3:30p.m.).

June 1 to August 31:
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Exam periods 
By appointment only (international mentors are also writing exams).

For more information on exam periods and other dates, please check the list of important academic dates and deadlines.