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Become a Buddy

Applications to become a volunteer on the International Buddy Programme are now open to full time students for the Autumn 2021 semester. 

Please contact us if you would like to get involved. 

International Buddy Programme

The University of Limerick International Buddy Programme is an initiative which matches incoming international students with a student volunteer from UL based on similar interests. Coming to a new country can be daunting for new students. The aim of the programme is to help our international students settle in during their first few weeks by providing them with insider tips and sharing your experiences as a new student at UL. We look for volunteers who have a genuine interest in getting to know and helping new students from all over the world. 

There is little that I didn't gain from the Buddy Programme. Not only did I get the opportunity to meet an abundance of new people from all around the world, but I also got to reconnect with Limerick and learn more about it and enjoy its heritage. I would advise absolutely anyone who has to opportunity, to join the Buddy Programme. It benefitted me so much in my final year of college. - Alex, Buddy Volunteer studying Bachelor of Arts

 

What to expect as a Buddy Programme volunteer

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Becoming a UL Buddy

  • A chance to practise your language skills 
  • Make international connections for the future
  • Learn about new cultures while making new friends
  • Help students from your own academic background 
  • Develop your communication skills 
  • A great addition to your CV
  • Earn volunteer hours towards the President’s Volunteer Award which is displayed on your transcript - The President’s Volunteer Award was established to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that the students at the University make to their communities. Participation in the Buddy Programme can be used as volunteer hours towards a Gold, Silver or Bronze Award.
  • Be a friendly and welcoming face to 3 or 4 new buddies.
  • Commit 12 – 20 hours a semester to your Buddies and the programme.
  • Make contact via email with your international Buddies four weeks in advance of the new term – check your emails during semester breaks for your buddies’ contact information. 
  • Answer queries, provide information on the University and the locality on an on-going basis, as you would with your friends.
  • Initiate a meeting with your international Buddies upon their arrival in Limerick, we will provide tea/coffee vouchers for this. 
  • Take part in the Buddy events organised by UL Global.
  • Collect tickets on behalf of your Buddies for events. 
  • The programme runs for the semester, though you and your student buddies may wish to extend this period.
  • The time you invest will vary. While your buddies will need the most support in the early weeks of the semester you are signing up to be a volunteer for the entirety of the semester. Please check in with your buddies even if they seem to have settled in, especially around exam time and midterm. 
  • We ask for a semester long commitment however your role as a UL volunteer but it is not meant to take any considerable time away from your studies, student job, etc. Your role is to provide insider tips about UL. Anything more complex you can refer your buddies to the UL Global office, located in EO-030 in the Main Building or email the buddy programme coordinator at buddyprogramme@ul.ie
  • The programme begins a few weeks before the semester starts so that your buddies can ask you for packing advice. 

To become a UL Volunteer you must:

  • Be a fully registered student for the entirety of the semester (Master students who are submitting their thesis in September are unfortunately not eligible to take part as a volunteer for the following Autumn semester). 
  • Have spent at least one semester on campus. 

UL Buddy Programme Brochure

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