Buddies Without Borders
Buddies Without Borders (BWB) is a new program at UNH that fosters friendship and cultural understanding among international students and U.S. students. It began in January 2013, when the Office of International Students and Scholars, ESL Institute, and Residential Life came together to create an international buddy program that included a conversation partner program. It has become highly successful. During spring 2013, about 200 students (U.S. and international) participated, with interest far exceeding staff expectations. For the 2013-2014 academic year, the program kicked off with a well-attended registration event and new online registration capabilities. We expect to serve our capacity of 200 students.
Buddies are paired based on similar interests, with both parties excited to learn and engage: “I think it is a great program,” said one student. “I love learning about different cultures and there is a lot to learn about the different viewpoints of people from around the world.”
Buddies have fun and bond together through many different activities, such as playing sports and games, learning how to cook different types of food, listening to music, watching movies, etc. The benefits of BWB include: friendship, conversation, cultural exchange, and participation in the Leadership Certificate program through the Memorial Union Building (MUB). U.S. students have also enjoyed helping international students adjust to life at UNH and in the U.S. “I enjoyed the experience of meeting someone new and being able to help them out if needed and learning more about their culture,” according to a recent participant. “It also gave me a new perspective on day-to-day life in the U.S.”
For more information or to get involved, visit http://unh.edu/oiss/bwb.