Academic Buddy Programme

Academic Buddy Programme

The Academic Buddy Programme: Intercultural Exchange

What is the Academic Buddy Programme?

The Academic Buddy Programme is an Utrecht University (UU) wide extracurricular programme for incoming and outgoing exchange students. This programme matches UU students (local or international) going on exchange to exchange students joining UU.

As academic buddies, you can help each other by getting to know your new or prospective domicile abroad as well as the local (academic) traditions and habits! The program also offers opportunities to improve your language skills and intercultural competences through language assistants, peer feedback, and workshops. These will surround topics such as multiculturalism, intercultural communication, and academic differences. 

How is this Academic Buddy Programme different from other Buddy Programmes?

  • While this program provides you with plenty of chances to socialize, it is mainly focused on the academic setting.
  • This programme offers workshops on intercultural competences and didactics in peer feedback with regards to language skills.
  • The matching of buddies is based on a shared (home or exchange) university, city, country, study programme, and/or language interests.
  • This programme is an interdisciplinary cooperation between all faculties of Utrecht University (including University College Utrecht).
  • This programme cooperates with the student organisation BuddyGoDutch, which organises a variety of social activities that are open to all members of the Academic Buddy Programme.

Options Academic Buddy Programme

You can take on three different roles within this programme, according to your interests.

  1. A ‘regular’ Academic Buddy (AB): In this position, you will be matched to a student and you can help each other with the practical, cultural and social aspects of university and student life in the Netherlands or abroad.
  2. A Language Assistant (LA): Here, you will help one or more students with their written and/or oral skills in your mother tongue language(s) by providing them with peer feedback <link naar peer feedback>. It is possible to receive EC for this role. Please check the EC requirements here <link naar EC docu>.
  3. A Language Buddy (LB): you will be matched to a Language Assistant who will help you with written and/oral skills in his/her mothertongue by providing you with feedback.

You are also permitted to take on all three roles.

When signing up for the programme, please indicate which of these roles you are interested in. Please note that all participants of the program, regardless of roles, will be able to join the social activities organised by BuddyGoDutch.

Matching & Meeting your Buddy

Based on your information you will be matched to one, or if interested, more student(s).

  • Matching criteria: the most important criterium for matching will be your home/destination university common country, region, study programme, and/or the language(s) indicated.
  • Matching time-line: Semester I (September), Semester II (February).
  • Meet your Academic Buddy Event: After the matching procedure has been completed, you will be invited to join the first event called ‘Meet your Academic Buddy’ which is organised in cooperation with BuddyGoDutch. Attendance at this event is mandatory for all members of the Academic Buddy Programme.