For any student planning to go abroad for his/ her future studies, there are a number of challenges associated with moving to a new place as it is not an easy move to leave your home country to settle into a place that is completely different from yours. Considering the same, the universities and colleges, attracting a huge number of international students, are always working towards enriching their study abroad experience. One of their many such efforts include the introduction of Buddy programs.
The primary objective of buddy programs is to pair incoming international students with existing students. More and more universities are now looking at offering such programs to prospective international students so as to address the challenges that are faced by incoming students.
Buddy programs are designed in such a manner that international students get matched with existing students well in advance that is much before the course commences. The matching between the students is done considering several factors such as:
- Course of Study
- Shared interests
- Languages known
- Specific requests made by students
The basic idea is to connect new students with their buddies ahead of arriving at their study destination. The matching of students is generally done via e-mail. Later on, several other mediums might be used by students to maintain contact with their buddy.
Benefits of Buddy Program
Even though the role of a buddy may vary depending on the institution, their primary duty remains the same. It is to spend some time, generally, a few weeks with their buddies to help them adjust to new surroundings quickly by taking them around or by helping them with several new-student tasks.
Your buddy can help you in different ways by:
- Providing useful insights into college/ university life so as to make it easier for you to adjust into a new place
- Sharing their own experiences, answering all sorts of questions and addressing all your concerns. It is because they have been at the same place as yours in the past and can understand your situation quite well.
- Acting as your resource whenever you’re looking at interesting hacks and tips in order to make your life in a new place relatively easier
- Offering a wealth of information on study destination along with things to do, restaurants to try, places to go for grocery shopping, information on transportation system, locals, banks, student clubs and a lot more
- Assisting you with coursework and study material
- Providing you complete information on documents required for registration along with health insurance
- Referring you to an expert in case they are unable to address your query
In order to check how active the buddy programs are in the university that you’re considering for yourself, you can consider visiting their social media pages as they usually reveal a lot of information on programs of this kind.
The buddy system works amazing because it is always a great feeling to know that someone is right there for you in case something goes wrong in your college/ university life.
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