Global Buddies: success during the pandemic

19 May 2021

A group of Global Buddies students enjoy a meal and a drink out

Each semester, the International Student Advice Team (ISAT) runs a programme called Global Buddies to bring together newly arrived international students (Buddies) with current home and international students (Mentors) through organised events and activities. The programme attracts a large number of students,150 to 200 from 50+ nationalities.

Despite the pandemic, this semester still saw approximately 100 students from 29 nationalities take part! The students who participated were more involved and engaged than ever, which showed the importance of the programme in this difficult time.

Usually, Buddies and Mentors would meet in person to take part in programme activities. Due to Covid-19 restrictions and international students studying online in their home countries, this year’s meetups have mostly been online. In spite of the obvious challenges this brings, the programme has continued to be a huge success.

Global Buddies has been a lifeline for those students who would otherwise have felt isolated. Because of the programme, the students were able to celebrate their birthdays together on Zoom, watch videos, have a Netflix party, cook dishes from their home countries together and make lifelong friendships. For those students who were not in the UK, they could still feel part of the Oxford Brookes community and experience a glimpse of life in Oxford.

We could not run the programme without our Mentors! Feeling inspired? Global Buddies is a truly rewarding experience and we would love for you to be a part of the programme. As a Mentor, you have the opportunity to develop your leadership and communication skills, make friends from around the world and also enhance your CV. More information about the programme can be found on the Global Buddies webpage.

A few quotes from Mentors/Buddies who participated on the programme:

“My experience with my global buddies was amazing. It was so comforting to meet with people eager to befriend you and it was so much fun to get to know them even if it was done virtually”.

“One thing in particular that Global Buddies has allowed me to do is to improve my communication skills, whether through checking in with my Buddies once a week or overcoming some language or cultural differences during our activities… Therefore, I am extremely grateful to the programme for allowing me to do this. Overall, it has been a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend taking part to all Brookes students.”

“Personally, I agree that the Global Buddies programme has aided me in adapting to various cultures and nationalities. Through this forum, I’ve made some great friends. This will undoubtedly assist me in the future and over time… I want to express my gratitude to the Global Buddies programme once more.”