Become a Buddy and introduce international students to the Dutch student life!


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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.

What is the Buddy Program?

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.

Why should I register as a Buddy?

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!

Why should I register as an arriving international student?

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 show you some typical Dutch traditions 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 the inside out!

Can I become a Buddy?

You can become a Buddy if you are a Dutch or international student at the University of Twente, provided you have lived in the Netherlands for at least half a year. Knowledge of the Dutch language is preferred, but not required.

Can I register as an arriving international student?

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. 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?"

Does it take much time to be involved in the Buddy Program?

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.

How long does the Buddy Program last?

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.

Does it cost money to be in the Buddy Program?

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!

Email: buddy@union.utwente.nl
Phone: +31 53 489 8006