Make a difference while making new friends! Practice your languages and expand your networks both inside and outside of Denmark!
Just before the beginning of each semester, a new group of international students arrive in Odense. They arrive to a new country where they often don't know other people and have little knowledge about the local community whose doorstep they've just walked on to.
To give students a headstart, ESN has established the 'Buddy Programme' in collaboration with SDU International where students living in Odense can sign up to become a Buddy for new international students. This way incoming students will have a personal contact in Odense even before they arrive which is a great for the excited yet maybe a bit nervous foreign students.
Many Buddies become friends with their assigned students and keep in touch after the foreign students have finished their stay in Odense. Being a Buddy will give you the opportunity to get friends worldwide who you can also visit when you go travelling.
Before the students' arrival (Beginning mid of January/August)
If you sign up for the Buddy Programme, you will be assigned two international students or more if you wish. ESN will do the matchmaking (you can make requests concerning gender, nationality, and education field) and will give you the contact information of your students. It will be your responsibility to establish contact with the students before they arrive and help out if help is needed - e.g. by answering questions about life in Odense.
Welcome your students! (End of January/August)
When you have established contact with your students, you must find out when they will arrive and save the day(s) so you can pick them up at the train station in Odense. If your student has applied for accommodation through SDU, you will receive a welcome envelope containing the accommodation keys. When you pick up your students, you must therefore bring the welcome envelope with the keys and help your students find the way to their new home.
What else can you do for incoming international students?
The following days and weeks you can help your students in many ways. You can go for a walk in the center of Odense and point out supermarkets, post offices, banks, good places to hang out, cinemas and so on. Before your students arrive, ESN will invite you to a Buddy meeting where you'll meet other Buddies. It's a great opportunity for you to ask questions and get all information you need. Furthermore it's a possibility for you to group up with other Buddies and make plans about meeting in groups with your international students when they arrive. ESN arranges several events and trips in which you can also participate with your students and the other Buddies.
Being a Buddy is great!
Besides enhancing your personal skills and expanding your network, being Buddy gives you a lot of opportunities. You will become a member of ESN Odense (meaning you will receive a free ESNcard) and have the possibility to participate in all our trips and events. There are also special events for our Buddies to thank them for their work and encourage them to give their best. On top of all, at the end of the semester you will receive a Buddy diploma from SDU International that you can add to your CV.
This is an unforgettable experience that gives you the opportunity to be part of the international environment in Odense!
Buddy Programme in the next semester, Fall 2018
If you would like to join our awesome team of Buddies and help out the international students next semester, you can just fill out the sign up sheet and you will be contacted at the end of June to already prepare you with information in advance, even though the programme takeoff is in August when you receive the student information.
All the help is very much appreciated as the number of incoming students is always high at the fall semester.
In case of any questions, you're more than welcome to write to our Buddy Coordinator: [email protected]