Our Buddy Program aims at stimulating academic and social integration of our international students so as to make them feel at ease during their stay at the UFV and Madrid. Moreover, it is considered improving international understanding and providing cultural enrichment among our students.
The idea is to match international with local UFV students at the very beginning of the semester, and encourage them to meet, interact and participate in University life.
Besides expanding their social network, local students have shown a great interest in practicing a foreign language; therefore we try to match not only according to course of studies and hobbies, but also to the language. However, the running languages usually are Spanish and English, as communication is certainly a key to integration. So what we do is:
- We create pairs of buddies: one local sudent and one international student. This enables a friendship between them. Uusually the Spanish buddy tries to help out the international buddy when he/she arrives to the UFV, showing him/her the campus, helping with the enrollment, etc. They are conscious that it is not easy to start a “new life” in a new surrounding.
- Creating spaces where all people who have applied for the Buddy Program can meet: meals at UFV, weekend trips, hiking, etc.
WHAT IS A BUDDY?
Buddies are socially engaged UFV student volunteers from all faculties, who would like to meet international students and support them in the process of settling into university life and adapt to their new surroundings. It can make a big difference to an international student to be greeted in a new city by a friendly face! Obviously, you can decide for yourself how much time to spend with your buddy.
Your buddy might pick you up at the airport; if not, he/she will go with you to the UFV for the first day of the orientation sessions.
ADVANTAGES OF PARTICIPATING IN THE BUDDY PROGRAM
• You will be in touch with a UFV student before you arrive to Madrid, so you already have someone to meet at the beggining of your stay.
• You will be able to improve your Spanish thanks both to your buddy and to the cultural activities we do as a group.
• You will be part of a very special international group, which is composed by many Spanish students. You will also meet exchange students who are in your same situation.
• The most important thing is it enables you to meet loads of new people who are also willing to meet people like you!!
*Note: it is not mandatory to go to the encounters with your buddy. You can always come on your own or with other friends. Note that at each activity there is always someone new, someone who comes for the first time, so don’t feel shy because many students will be in your same situation! 😉
Farewell video for 2019-2020 international buddies from two Spanish students, Lucía and Carlota
WHAT STUDENTS VALUE MOST…
The ability to be able to meet people from around the world and make friends outside your own career.
Being able to meet new and interesting people.
Very good welcome, warm people.
An opportunity to meet with other students.
You feel like home.
My buddy is so kind and helpful. She tells a lot about the uni and Madrid.
Shall you have any questions, do not hesistate in contacting the program’s director, Ms. Vilallonga: firstname.lastname@example.org.