Information on the Buddy Programme
To make your studies and stay in Heidelberg both special and rewarding, we cordially invite you to participate in our Buddy Programme. The Buddy Programme is a joint project of the International Relations Office and a number of departments of the university.
We want to make your orientation to academic and everyday life in Heidelberg as easy as possible by assigning another Heidelberg student from your department as your “buddy.” You can e-mail him or her before your arrival in Heidelberg and address any concerns.
Your Heidelberg buddy will be there to offer support as you get settled in and to answer your questions about living and studying in Heidelberg, perhaps even to greet you when you first step off the train. Your buddy will continue to provide help throughout the semester. Participating in the Buddy Programme will not only help you learn about living and studying in Heidelberg, but will also ease your initial contact with Germany and the Germans.
Many of the Heidelberg students taking part in the Buddy Programme have themselbes spent some time abroad and hence are aware of the difficulties that can arise; or they are themselves international students and know exactly what living and studying in a foreign country feels like.
We’ll try to assign you a buddy with similar interests and some experience abroad (perhaps even in your home country). Your buddy is a volunteer in this programme and receives no fee for participating.
Programme meetings will also give you an opportunity to get to know other participants.
If you would like to join the Buddy Programme, please fill out the registration form and send it to us at the address provided at least four weeks prior to the beginning of classes.
We look forward to including you in the programme and hope your experience as a student at Heidelberg University is both pleasant and successful!
The Buddy Programme is designed to help new international students get off to a good start by pairing them with a “buddy” to ease their transition into academic and day-to-day life in Heidelberg. Support is especially needed at the beginning, but is expected to be provided throughout the semester. As a Heidelberg buddy, you will be available to lend a hand with newcomers’ issues regarding academic and everyday life in Heidelberg.
In turn, the Buddy Programme offers you the opportunity to volunteer your time, make international contacts, improve your foreign language skills and perhaps even prepare for or augment your own experience abroad. Programme meetings will also give you an opportunity to get to know the other participants.
Being a buddy does not require any special knowledge, just a fondness for other people and cultures. You also need to be reliable and at least in the second semester of your study programme.
You can indicate in the registration form the number of students you would like to advise. We will try to assign you one or more student(s) who share(s) your interests.
At the end of the semester, we will gladly issue you a certificate of participation.
If you would like to join the Buddy Programme, please fill out the registration form and send it to us at the address provided at least eight weeks prior to the beginning of classes.
Anyone wishing to take part in the Buddy Programme simply needs to fill out the registration form and send it to the address specified at least four weeks (for new international students) or eight weeks (for Heidelberg students) prior to the start of classes.
Buddies will be paired after the close of registration. We will make every attempt to take into account your stated preferences. Please note, however, that this may not always be possible.
Approximately three weeks before classes start you will receive your buddy’s contact information by e-mail.
And you’re all set! You can e-mail your new buddy and clarify any initial issues.
If you are unable to make contact or if any subsequent problems arise, we will of course be available at any time to lend assistance. Simply send an e-mail to the address provided in the registration form. We will do our utmost to give you the support you need or get it for you.
At the end of the semester, we would appreciate feedback from all the participants. You will have an opportunity to let us know anonymously what worked well or not so well. We are always grateful for recommendations and suggestions for improving the programme.
Of course we would especially welcome new international students who took advantage of the programme this semester as buddies to next semester’s new arrivals!