International Exchange Student Buddy Program
What is the International Exchange Student Buddy Program?
When new international exchange students come at Georgia State University, they’re starting a life-changing adventure and are sure to have some questions along the way. Adjusting to a new cultural environment can be fun and exciting, but it can also be intimidating and challenging. That’s where our wonderful GSU student buddies come in! The buddy program was created to ease the transition for international students, mitigate culture shock, and promote intercultural communication between GSU students and the global community.
Why become a student buddy?
Volunteering as a buddy to an international exchange student is something small and easy for GSU students to do and it makes a huge positive impact on exchange students’ experiences in America. Participating comes with many benefits for GSU students, too! Just to list a few, by being a student buddy, you can…
- become part of a more internationally-minded community
- create connections across cultures and gain worldly insight
- help other global citizens and make long-lasting friendships
- be involved on campus and add evidence of volunteer experience to your resume
What do student buddies do?
Each GSU student buddy is matched with a new international exchange student at the beginning of the semester. Throughout the semester, student buddies meet up to get to know each other, eat, study, go to events, or just hang out. In terms of requirements, GSU student buddies are expected to do a handful of things:
- attend an orientation/training session at the beginning of the semester
- meet with your buddy soon after their arrival to introduce yourself, help them get settled, and/or show them around
- email/text/call your buddy at least once a week for their first month at GSU — just check in to see how she/he is adjusting to Atlanta
- plan at least 2 social outings during the semester; grab a coffee, get lunch together between classes, go see a movie, Thanksgiving, whatever you and your buddy decide
- complete a brief evaluation at the end of the semester
Who are GSU student buddies?
GSU student buddies are outstanding people who have a sincere interest in helping others! Our buddies are respectful and open-minded of cultural and individual differences while making connections across the globe. Other qualifications include:
- being a current, full-time GSU student
- having a GPA of 2.5 or higher
- completing student buddy orientation/training