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Buddy Program

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Every semester, East Stroudsburg University (ESU) receives exchange students from different programs and different parts of the world.

Students who arrive at ESU for the first time may not be familiar with the North American lifestyle or with the town of East Stroudsburg.

As a "Buddy," you will help new exchange students become familiar to his/her surroundings. You will serve as primary contact for him or her. In addition, you will get to participate in several programs and excursions planned for international students such as trips to Philadelphia, New York City, a team-building course in Stony Acres, etc.

Although this a volunteer program, the Office of International Programs expect you to fully commit to the program and participate in all the activities planned for exchange students and buddies. This includes an ice cream social the Friday before the beginning of the Autumn semester. Commitment in the program is measured by your involvement in the activities planned by the OIP, your availability to meet with the students for social interactions. At the end of the semester, buddies who remain active in the program will receive a certificate from the Office of International Program in acknowledgment of their involvement in the program.

The Office of International Programs will match exchange students with one or more of our ESU Buddy volunteers.

Goals of the Program

  • To help exchange students adjust to ESU, to campus and to borough of East Stroudsburg.
  • To facilitate the cultural exchange among members of the ESU community.
  • To foster new friendships.
  • To foster a sense of community.

Who can be a Buddy?

Any member of the ESU community can volunteer as a Buddy for an incoming exchange student. The most important factors are: 1) being willing to help, 2) be ready to become involved, 3) be ready to develop new friendships, and 4) be ready to learn about new cultures.

Whenever possible, class level, language abilities and majors are considered at the moment of pairing up ESU students with buddies.

What will a Buddy do?

A buddy will:

  • Take his/her role and responsibility seriously.
  • Be a source of information.
  • Be a primary contact person for an exchange student and will provide information and guidance.
  • Serve as a cultural guide.
  • Help an exchange student to transition into into ESU and East Stroudsburg.
  • The specific duties of the Buddy will vary, as some students may require more guidance than others. How much time is spent on the program and the nature of the activities will be for the most part left up to individual Buddies. However, it is likely that volunteering as a Buddy will require little time and effort and will be a lot of fun!

The Office of International Program will expect from you as a buddy:

  • To contact the new student (usually via email) while still in his/her home university, immediately after being matched.
  • To meet with the new student on arrival student orientation session (ice cream social).For Autumn 2011, this will be on Friday August 26, 2011.
  • Participate in all the activities planned by the OIP for exchange students and buddies.
  • To provide the student with an idea of what is expected of an ESU student and to share tips about navigating the campus.
  • To help refer exchange student to someone on campus who is able to provide specific information when needed.

What does the Office of International Programs do?

The Office of International Program coordinates the International Student Buddy Program, including:

  • Recruiting ESU students for the Exchange Buddy Volunteer Form.
  • Interview with and advise buddies.
  • Pairing up buddies with incoming exchange students.

The Office of International Program will prepare a Certificate and acknowledge buddies every year during International Education Week (November).

Be a Buddy!!

If you would like to be a Buddy, please contact Michael Laffey in the Office of International Programs at mlaffey@esu.edu or (570) 422-3527.