The York International Buddy Program has been matching returning domestic and international students as mentors with new incoming international and exchange students, or buddies, for over a decade to create a social network and community atmosphere through regular social events.
These events are organized throughout the academic year along with individual meetings between buddies and mentors. The program, designed to help new students adjust to York, Toronto and Canada, is now open for registration for the summer term. Interested York students can fill out an online registration form.
Right: The Buddy Program goes snow tubing at Horseshoe Resort in February
Once the mentors and buddies have been matched, participating students will be notified of their match via e-mail and will have the opportunity to meet with their buddy or mentor and other participating students throughout the summer at individual meetings and at organized social events. Held each month of the summer term, the first event will be the Meet & Greet on Thursday, May 6, from 5 to 7pm in 313 Student Centre, Keele campus.
One of the mentors from the 2009-2010 academic year described her first meeting with her buddy as an informal introductory meeting where they discussed anything that was of importance. “I made sure that she knew that she was not alone and that there was a wide range of support and assistance available to her. We are of the same academic background, so we discussed future as well as current plans. She has been introduced to the benefits of York International, and I will be applying to various exchange and internship programs to take advantage of the benefits of York University. We left the meeting feeling confident that we can both trust each other.”
Left: Mentors and buddies meet for a social night
At the end of their involvement in the program, buddies and mentors who have met the eligibility criteria are recognized for their commitment through the Buddy Program Acknowledgment of Contribution & Membership certificate and letter, which they receive at the final dinner at the end of the winter term. Buddy Program acknowledgement recipients may also use it toward the York International Letter of Recognition.
For more information on the program and events or to register for the summer term, visit the Buddy Program Web site, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 416-736-5177 or visit York International at 200 York Lanes, Keele campus.
Submitted by Charmaine Bene, international student programs assistant, York International