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 language should be Spanish, 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, games, cultural trips and excursions. To sum up: creating an international university community.
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.
Advantages of applying to 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.
• You can join the activities we organize every 2 weeks.
• You will get a certificate of attendance at the end of each semester.
• The most important thing is it enables you to meet loads of new people who are also willing to meet people like you!!
Along each semester the International Relations Office organizes specific activities for students participating in the Buddy Program.
The first thing we’ll do to start the winter 2017-2018 semester will be an excursion to the mountains near Madrid on Saturday, September 16th.
*Note: it is not mandatory to go to the activities/encounters with your buddy. You can always come on your own. 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! 😉
Carla Vilallonga, director. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org