A unique international buddy scheme at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is celebrating welcoming its 1000th engaged student this year.
i-Buddies which was set up in 2012, continues its ongoing commitment to supporting new international students by matching them with existing DMU students, helping them quickly adapt to a new country, culture and to university life.
Tanmay (right) and his 'ibuddy' Muaaz (left) at a introductory buddy meal at the Riverside Cafe in January
One international student who has benefited from the scheme is MSc Computing student Tanmay Shah, an Indian postgraduate who joined DMU in January 2017.
Tanmay who heard about the scheme before joining DMU said: “The scheme has been really beneficial for me as you know that there is someone there to whom you can reach out to, who will be there to support you, who knows the city and the university.
“I have had such a great experience and will continue my association with the scheme.”
Tanmay and his buddy Muaaz Lunat an Economics and Business Management BA (Hons) student met at the i-Buddy welcome meal at the Riverside Café and hit it off immediately, keeping in touch every week and sharing common interests.
Muaaz said: “Joining the DMU ibuddy scheme was one of the things I wanted to do this year because it is a great way to help give something back to my university and to fellow students.
“It has been a great experience and I got to meet some great people who I would not have met otherwise.
“I would definitely recommend people sign up for this scheme as it is a richly rewarding experience for both the international students and the volunteers."
Tanmay also met up with other students on the scheme for a night of ten pin bowling followed by a meal.
However, it has been quite a dramatic first term for Tanmay who also had to cope with being rushed into hospital to have his appendix taken out in an emergency operation.
He said: “I am thankful that the scheme was there to help me during a difficult start to my time at DMU.”
The scheme only runs for one term, but many choose to stay engaged and in contact with their i-buddy once the scheme has ended.
Being an i-Buddy can help increase your confidence in meeting new people and taking on new challenges to help you gain vital transferrable skills.
What’s great about the scheme is that volunteers experiences with i-Buddies will be recorded on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) making you stand out to employers.
Employers are well aware of the benefits of volunteering and recognise the initiative that can be required, which makes being an i-Buddy such a rewarding and worthwhile experience.
To find out more about becoming a buddy in September 2017, please visit the i-Buddies web pages.
Posted on Wednesday 17th May 2017