Buddy Programme

What is the Buddy Programme about?

In the Buddy programme voluntary students from Ulm university are supporting international students or refugees. The support extends from organisational matters to joined activities.

The partnership usually has a duration of 1 to 2 semesters with the goal of providing a good start at Ulm university and facilitating the integration of the new students.

What kind of events take place in the Buddy Programme?

Apart from the privately organized meetings with your Buddy we offer regular events for the Buddy Programme / the international student support initiatives, that are hosted by the International Office.
To get a better overview on the past and upcoming events please consult the event calendar.

Five Reasons to Become a Buddy

Get to know Ulm

Get to know the city of Ulm and the environment better during joined activities.

Improve your soft skills

Work on your key qualifications for work life by having new encounters.

Learn new languages

Start learning German or practice already existing language skills together with your Buddy.

Connect with people

Meet new, like-minded students from Ulm or all over the world and have exciting intercultural experiences.

Extend your knowledge on Germany

Learn more about Germany, the customs and cultural uniqueness of the Swabians and about Ulm university.

Prerequisites & Expectations for you as a Buddy

  • You are respectful, sociable, open-minded and reliable, as well as fluent in English
  • You currently are or will be in Ulm and at Ulm university as an international student or refugee
  • You will be assigned a Buddy mentor for at least one semester who will support you with orientation at the university and life in Ulm in general
  • You can talk to and ask your Buddy mentor everything but please don't forget that the other person doesn't have to be available at all times and immediately
  • You are planning and conducting leisure activities together; taking the provided welcome coupons is suggested
  • You are supposed to cancel on time whenever you won't make it to a meeting with your Buddy mentor; being punctual also is important

The duties of your Buddy mentor include that they…

  • Should be the first person you can ask whenever questions regarding studies or life in Ulm arise
  • -if desired- pick you up after your arrival in Ulm
  • Accompany you to university, student housing and bureaucratical matters, such as the Bürgerbüro
  • Support you with organising you studies
  • Help you plan leisure activities that you conduct together
  • Support you at least one semester making the life in Ulm and the orientation at Ulm university easier

It doesn’t mean though that they…

… have to be available all day long. Your Buddy mentor is a volunteer with their own challenging studies who wants to support international students in their free time.

Prerequisites & Tasks as a Buddy Mentor

  • You are respectful, sociable, open-minded and reliable, as well as fluent in English
  • You are already a student at Ulm university
  • You have enough time available for doing the mentoring
  • You are supporting your Buddy actively, especially at the beginning of the semester, with their questions regarding university and life in Ulm
  • You should communicate important dates and events, especially at the beginning of the semester
  • You are referring to already existing helpdesks (for example the psychological consultation offered by Ulm university)
  • You are accompanying the international student for at least one semester
  • You are planning and conducting leisure activities together; taking the provided welcome coupons is suggested
  • Important is that you don't always have to be available, you are not a life mentor!

Organisational Process of the Registration & Assistance

  1. Registration: Register here and directly receive a confirmation. The more detailed you fill out the form, the better the matching to your Buddy can be done.
  2. Notification: As soon as a matching person for you is found you will receive each other's necessary (contact) information.
  3. Get in touch: Contact each other and decide on a means of communication. Plan a first meeting.
  4. Be a Buddy: Support your Buddy actively or be supported and enjoy your time together.
  5. Feedback: Please hand in your feedback form by the end of the semester.
  6. Want more? In case you want to continue being a Buddy mentor you will receive a new notification by the end of the semester (step 2).

Tips for a Smooth Partnership

  • Clearly communicate your ideas of the support
  • Choose the times that you want to spend together freely; usually having recurring dates, especially in the beginning, comes in handy
  • Stick to the fixed dates, if that is not possible at least cancel them on time
  • Behave respectful and friendly
  • In case your Buddy doesn't communicate or never seems to have time for you inform us so we can act upon it

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