The International Buddy Program (IBP) is a student-led group that works with the International Studies Office at UVA to integrate exchange students into the student community. UVA students sign up to be paired as a “buddy” for an exchange student. The exchange students and UVA students are then matched – and are encouraged to meet to answer questions, hang out, and enjoy UVA and IBP events!
Through various events and get-togethers throughout the semester, IBP also looks to create a sense of community between not just matched pairs, but also among all the exchange students and buddies! The events can include hiking/picnic trips, tailgating at football games, a trip to Monticello, and more. IBP seeks to not only facilitate friendships, but also to serve as another resource to students on exchange. The program allows exchange students to meet many different UVA students and provides resources to answer questions – we create WhatsApp and Facebook groups each semester to keep and touch and to allow anyone to propose going to events together!
What do buddies do?
Once UVA students receive an email regarding their exchange student match, UVA buddies will send a message introducing themselves, asking questions, and proposing their first time to meet. Buddies should stay in communication and plan coffee meetings or any hangouts and are encouraged to meet others in the IBP program through our events!