The aim of the Buddy Programme at the University of Münster is to enable international and German students to network with one another. The University’s Buddies are there to help international students in all matters relating to University life and living in Münster. They are there to welcome the international students when they arrive and they are on hand to provide support during their stay here. The opportunities offered for intercultural communication enrich the lives not only of the international but also of the German students.
Reasons to become a Buddy
As a Buddy, you …
- get to know students from other countries
- can show international students the best of what Münster has to offer
- make it easier for our guests to settle in after arriving in a new city
- have the opportunity to play an active role in a network comprising both German and international students
What are the requirements?
As a Buddy you should …
- be interested in exchanges with international students
- be a dependable contact person for your international Buddy
- respond openly to his/her needs
- have a very good knowledge of German.
- be in Münster about one month before the semester begins, as international students generally arrive early and will be relying on your support especially at this time
- be prepared to take part in a meeting which not only provides information but also gives everyone an opportunity to meet each other
- write a report on your activities and experiences as a Buddy if you would like to have a certificate confirming your participation in the programme.
Who will my Buddy be?
Three international groups take part in the Buddy Programme:
The exchange students form the largest group of international Buddys and study one or two semesters at the WWU. The majority of them come from European countries and arrive in Münster a few weeks before the semester starts.
"Degree seekings" are students who will attend a complete course of studies at WWU, i.e. they will usually stay in Münster for several years. They come from different countries all over the world and arrive shortly before or after the start of the semester.
Language course students attend a preparatory German course at WWU to prepare for the DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang). They come to Germany from all over the world, some of them as refugees. Some of them have been in Münster for some time, others come shortly before the course starts.
Registration for the buddy programme is for one semester, irrespective of the group your buddy belongs to.
How are the buddies assigned to each other?
When you register, you can indicate your course of study and your foreign language skills. These will be taken into account as far as possible when Buddies are allocated.
In the summer semesters, the number of Münster University students taking part in the Buddy Programme is generally about the same as the number of international students. In the winter semesters, the number of international students is higher, which means that a Münster Buddy normally has two international Buddies.
Two or three Münster Buddies and their international Buddies form one Buddy group – for joint activities, exchanges and mutual support.
How can I support my international Buddies?
The International Office will provide you with all the information material you will need to look after your Buddy successfully. In addition, you can support your Buddy as follows:
Before he/she arrives
- Contact him/her by email
- Introduce yourselves to each other
- Answer any initial questions your Buddy may have before he/she arrives
- Perhaps you can collect your international Buddy from the station
- Undertake first steps to help them find their way around the city
- Provide support when they have to go to the authorities (registration at the Citizens’ Office)
- Show them the most important facilities at the University (libraries, refectory, institutes, International Office, etc.)
During the semester
- You are very welcome to attend cultural events for international students (organized in collaboration with ERASMUS Münster and the International Office)
- As someone who knows Münster, you can show your international Buddy what Münster has to offer (cafés, pubs, theatres …) and show them something of the surroundings outside the city