The Buddy Program is an initiative of the Student Union that aims to make arriving international students feel at home in the Netherlands, but most of all at the University of Twente. Upon the start of each semester, an experienced student, the so-called “Buddy”, is matched to one or more arriving international students based on hobbies and other personal preferences.
Matching students from different cultures not only encourages cultural exchange in terms of language, food and arts, but also forms lasting international friendships. Besides friendship and cultural exchange, having a Buddy as an arriving international student also means that you have someone to fall back on, just in case you need help with understanding “the Dutch”.
And if that wasn’t enough reason to consider becoming a Buddy next semester, it might be worth mentioning that during the first few months of each semester, all Buddy Program participants are invited to join a large number of activities, including a traditional Dutch-themed game night as well as ice skating!
If you still have a question after reading all the information on this page, please check if your question is in the questions listed below.
The Buddy Program is an initiative of the Student Union to connect experienced students from the University of Twente (Buddies) with arriving international students. During the program, each of which lasts 1 semester, students will be coupled on a voluntary basis. As a member of the Buddy Program, you are free to join any of the activities organized by the Buddy Committee during the semester. Students are also encouraged to explore the Netherlands, Enschede and the University of Twente together or by joining one of the many trips organized by international associations.
As a Buddy, you will meet international students with a variety of cultural backgrounds. As such, it is likely you will start to learn more about other cultures, languages and habits that you probably wouldn't encounter otherwise. At the same time, the arriving international students coupled to you will start to experience living in the Netherlands with someone to help them if needed. Most of all though, it's just fun being a Buddy!
When you arrive at the University of Twente you will have to adapt to a new environment and face a lot of cultural differences. Your Buddy will be able to help you integrate a bit into the Dutch culture and is able to explain why things are the way we have them. Your Buddy can also help you out with some practical issues (if you have any). Most importantly though, Buddy is fun! You’ll directly meet Dutch students and get to know the Dutch culture from within!
You can become a Buddy if you are a Dutch student at the University of Twente, or an international student who has studied at the University of Twente for at least half a year. In this way, we can guarantee that our buddies are familiar enough with the Dutch culture, so they can help their matched students. Knowledge of the Dutch language is preferred, but not required. Also, when becoming a Buddy, we do highly encourage you to join the activities. In this way, you can meet with your matched students in real life, which is the best way to get to know them.
You can register as an arriving international student when you will be studying at the University of Twente for a Bachelor or Master course during the next semester. Students from Saxion and ITC are also very welcome. As an arriving international student, you can only participate once, however it is possible to become a Buddy afterwards as stated in "Can I become a Buddy?"
As much time as you're willing to invest! Both Buddies and arriving international students are encouraged to spend as much time as they'd like on the program. The Buddy Committee also organizes events regularly and we highly encourage you to go visit those! However, because not all students have the same preferences, we ask you to write down your preferences while registering for the program. You can change this at any time. This way, we will be able to couple you to another student with the same expectations of the program.
The Buddy Program starts in the first month of each semester, being September for the first semester and February for the second semester. Each edition usually lasts four months, though this can vary based on the amount of participants and other conditions. Make sure you sign up before the signup deadline of each semester.
No, mostly. If you have signed up for the Buddy Program before the deadline of the semester, you will be able to attend activities organized by the Buddy Committee for free in most cases. For a very small number of activities (such as our famous ice-skating event), a small contribution may be required for participation. If you plan to host or attend any activities not organized by the Buddy Committee, costs made will be your own. However, if you have an absolutely crazy idea for an event, let us know! We might be able to organize it for you!
Buddy helps with making new friends, meeting new people from all over the world, we provide someone to ask questions to and we can help with simple practical manners, like translating something from Dutch to English or helping you apply to certain things. On the other hand, Buddy does not help with providing housing. For that, we advise you to check the Student Union Kamersite (su.utwente.nl/en/rooms/) or Roomspot (www.roomspot.nl/en/). We are also not picking you up at Schiphol airport before the Kick In. For this, we advise you to check the pick-up service of the Kick In committee (contact email@example.com). We also are not able to assist you in getting a visa or subscribing at the municipality of Enschede. For this, you can contact the Student Services (www.utwente.nl/en/student-services/)
If you are looking for an association specifically aimed at a certain nationality, there are options to join that as well. On the international associations page from the Student Union, you can find an overview: su.utwente.nl/en/associations/world/. For Erasmus students, the Erasmus Student Network Twente can also be an option. You can find ESN Twente on facebook at www.facebook.com/esn.twente/.
At the UT Language Centre, several language courses are taught. There are courses at beginner level and also for higher levels. Visit the following website for more information: www.utwente.nl/en/ces/language-centre/courses
Upon signing up for the Buddy Program, you agree that the following data is collected for the following purposes. During registration we ask if you are a “buddy” or “arriving student”, so during the matching we know needs to be matched to who. For email contact we collect your first and last name, so we can address you correctly. To make the matching groups as fitting as possible, we collect you faculty, nationality, birth date, gender and preferences (e.g. preference for a Dutch Buddy). We collect your phone number so we can share it with your Buddy. We collect your email address so we can send emails to the correct account. Lastly, we take pictures during events that can be used for marketing. All personal data is stored internally in the back-end of our website, which only the committee can see.
Phone: +31 53 489 8006