Fostering social connections in the virtual world

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A message from Campus Life & Engagement, the one office dedicated to new McGill students. 


Hey Campus Life & Engage,


Good morning from the Campus Life & Engagement team! We hope that you are all staying safe and gearing up for an exciting first semester at McGill. This semester poses new challenges for all of us in the McGill community—and our incoming students are no exception! We recognize that and want to assure you that you will not be left alone in your journey.


We, along with the departments, services, and student groups at McGill, are committed to bridging these gaps to connect our incoming students. No matter where you may find yourself come September, you will be a part of the McGill community. And there’s no better time than now—scroll through to see what programs McGill has in store to build connections!



Make a New Friend


It’s always best to have someone by your side as you embark on the next major milestone in your life. There’s no reason to start the Fall semester alone: the First Friend Program can connect you with a fellow incoming McGill student before the semester even begins!


First Friend is a peer-to-peer program run by International Student Services (ISS) and CL&E, where you’ll be matched with a fellow new McGill student based in your time zone. We know that the Fall 2020 semester is going to be a little different and that’s why we want to help you connect with your peers as early as possible.



Once we match you with your First Friend, you will receive an email with your friend’s contact information and you can keep in touch throughout the semester! It’s that simple. If you have any questions, please contact



Get Guidance from Upper-Years 


One of the best resources to help guide you through your first year are returning McGill students. Upper-year students have experienced the highs and lows of university life and are willing to share their wisdom with you, whether you’re in Montreal or studying remotely.  


For Canadian students, check out CL&E’s Student Life Ambassador Program! This program connects incoming students with returning students who can offer advice on academics, or even just someone to grab a coffee with (in-person or virtually!).


For international students, ISS facilitates the International Buddy Program, which connects new international student with returning upper-years. Returning students can also offer linguistic support, cultural guidance, and information about life at McGill and in Montreal.


There are so many more peer programs at McGill! Don’t miss out on these opportunities, so check out the full list on the Students Helping Students website.



Stay Connected Online


Webinar: Social Connections – Monday, August 10

This interactive webinar will cover tips on making connections during the online semester and give you a chance to connect with one another virtually. We'll also talk about some self-care strategies for when you start feeling Zoom fatigue!




CL&E to Success: Showcasing McGill's Services is a series of short, interview-style videos that introduces you to all the wonderful support and resources available to you as a new student. The title functions as a play on words with the French “clé” for key. We will be releasing videos every day over the next few weeks! Watch here.



That’s it from us! If you ever have any questions about student life, contact We either know the answer or know someone who does.


See you next week,


Gilbert Lin

Manager, Orientation & Student Engagement, Campus Life & Engagement | McGill Student Services


If you think you’ve missed any of our messages or want to re-read any, check out CL&E’s First-Year Email archive.




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McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours, recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet today.


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Campus Life & Engagement

3600 McTavish Street, Suite 4100, Montreal, QC H3A 0G3