24 March 2017
Become a buddy and make international contacts
The start of March saw the arrival at the BSEL of 231 guest students from all five continents of the world. Helping them in starting their new experience are the new Buddies – BSEL students who provide advice and support during their early days at the university. One of these buddy exchanges involved Laura and Carli. This is the third time that Laura Kristan, student of Business Administration, decided to become a buddy. Her Partner Carli Stack is a student of Marketing at San Diego State University.
Carli was overwhelmed on her arrival in Berlin. The whole range of organizational necessities: new mobile telephone, new accommodation, health insurance and the official registration. She also had to repair a tear in her coat - considerable difficulties for someone in a new country. Her first port of call in all these matters was her buddy Laura. They had both corresponded by e-mail in advance of her arrival and Laura helped Carli find a new apartment.
Asked as to her motivation in participating in the buddy programme for the third time, Laura replied: “Helping others is rewarding in itself, but the thanks and feedback of my buddy partner makes it especially good. Sometimes you even gain a new friend.” The Buddy programme represents a win-win situation for all. The BSEL students make a start on compiling their international network, from which they can profit when going abroad themselves. For instance, Laura is planning to spend a semester in San Diego, and has already made her first local contact.
Students from the host country are not obliged to spend all their time with their new “buddies,” they just provide the necessary advice and support in the first days after arrival and in matters involving the degree course. Nevertheless, a number of the exchanges develop into long-lasting friendships. In addition to the buddy programme, the International Office provides a range of support mechanisms for guest students including orientation days and a wide-ranging activity programme. The Welcome Point is always staffed by student employees who are ready and waiting to answer a range of questions.
We are currently looking for buddies for winter semester 2017/18. Those interested in taking part can obtain further information from the International Office.