Buddy up! Support a new student and become part of a unique cultural experience

Join the TU Chemnitz Student Buddy Program and gain numerous lasting memories!

Savor the sweet life of a student buddy! (Photographer: Sophie Valentin)

Sometimes what may seem like a walk in the park for senior TU Chemnitz students can be an uphill battle for many new international arrivals. The Student Buddy Program of the International Office connects newcomers from around the world with volunteer students from the TU Chemnitz who will support them in their first encounter with the city and the university. Driven by the motto “Every buddy needs some buddy”, the program is a great way to meet new people from various cultures and to exchange experiences. I have myself been part of the program since my second semester as a Bachelor student and have had the chance to assist five colleagues from Turkey, Poland and South Korea who have each left me with precious memories.

The student buddy’s responsibilities are listed in the detailed FAQ section of the program, and, in short, they are to support the ‘godchild’ (Patenkind) through the critical days upon their arrival in Chemnitz. The coordination team contacts the buddies via email and proposes individual godchildren. The team also distributes lists with registered applicants, their study programs, interests and arrival dates. After the buddy has been connected to a godchild, it is a good idea to get in touch before the new student’s departure in order to ensure that all burning questions around clothing, documents and studies are advised. Buddies and godchildren can make good use of the illustrated guide to Chemnitz and the checklists for arrival and departure made available by the International Office.

The excursion to Schloss Wackerbarth has become a tradition for the Student Buddy Program (Photographer: Sophie Valentin)

The first meeting between buddies and godchildren is always exciting – the buddy re-experiences their first thrills as a freshman and the godchild meets one of the first familiar persons in the foreign country. Eventually, the partners learn to communicate and cooperate, often in a language foreign to both. Apart from all the personal values of being a local international guide, a student buddy experience can also become an excellent addition to your CV. Intercultural competence is a great soft skill which can be justified by your social engagement as a voluntary member of the program.

The Student Buddy Program also gives numerous opportunities to have fun, as it organizes low-budget concert visits, parties and excursions such as the three-day trip to Weimar which Xiaoxi Li recounted on Campus TUschler. All of the events are conveniently announced to the participants through a mailing list. Together with the International Office, the program also organizes a biannual orientation week for new international students  with interesting get-together activities. This winter semester, it will take place from 1 – 5 October.

Many new students will shorten their summer breaks and will arrive in Chemnitz in September to join the preparatory German course organized by the International Office and the Foreign Language Center. A lot of them will apply for a local supporter in the program, and this is a great opportunity to become a student buddy now and help the newcomers explore the city and the university.

Click here to register as a buddy and support a fellow student in need.



(Master English & American Studies, 3rd semester)

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