Peer Helper Program


Peer Helper Program 2019

The Peer Helper Program provides leadership opportunities to Vancouver Island University students who are inspired to volunteer and make positive contributions to our diverse campus community. 

Peer Helpers operate from the Faculty of International Education, and contribute to welcome events and socio-cultural programs that serve to support and connect over 2,000 international students with the campus and the community.

The application period for the Peer Helper Program is January of each year. The program is a one year volunteer commitment from February to January that consists of training sessions, workshops and a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service.

Role of Peer Helpers

Peer Helpers offer a helping hand to new students and provide a warm welcome. Duties include:

  • Actively participate in peer helper training & leadership development sessions.
  • Assist with orientation duties, including new student check-in, ESL testing support, campus tours, ice breaker activities, computer account help & one-on-one support at the Peer Helper Help Desk or upon request.
  • Use skills from Peer Helper training to provide cultural adjustment support to new students.
  • Be knowledgeable about campus and community resources and use this specialized knowledge and training to refer to appropriate resources where needed.
  • Participate in International Education initiatives, including discussion groups, workshops, committees, festivals and events.
  • Partake in campus and community events and encourage involvement of peers.

Rewards of Participating in the Peer Helper Program

  • Receive valuable leadership skills and experiences to build your portfolio.
  • Increase your network of friends and connections on campus.
  • Become eligible for one of two $1,000 Peer Helper Scholarships.
  • Make a difference on campus and in the experience of new students.
  • Receive a Peer Helper T-Shirt, name tag and training package.
  • Earn the Peer Helper Leadership Certificate and referrals / references upon successful completion of the program.

How to Apply

Peer Helper recruitment takes place in the Spring semester and selected students serve a minimum one year term as volunteer campus leaders. To be selected for the program, applicants must demonstrate a positive attitude, a commitment to volunteering, and a genuine interest in helping fellow students.

Applicants will be assessed based on their application and initial participation and attendance.  Eligibilty requirements are:

  • Must be currently enrolled in a full-time graduate, undergraduate, or upper-level English Language Centre Programs (Com 3/AP4/AP5).
  • Must have completed at least one full semester of studies at VIU.
  • Have at least 1 year of studies remaining (students in their last semester are not eligible).
  • Must be in good academic standing in the previous semester (2.0 average or equivalent).
  • Possess strong English communication skills.
  • Interested in learning about cultures different than your own


Notices for the application period are delivered to students each January via campus newsletters (International Point of VIU and Compass). It is also promoted through VIU Cultural Connections Facebook Page.

For more information, please contact Simon Schachner by email at, phone (250) 740-6315 extension 2092 or Facebook at "Viu Simon"

Peer Helper Application Form 2019/20



New students have the opportunity to connect with Peer Helpers during International Student Orientations. If you would like to connect with a Peer Helper you may email the program coordinator at

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