What is the International Buddy Programme (IBP)?

The International Buddy Programme (IBP) is a service offered by the THM's International Office. The programme aims to promote intercultural relationships and help new international students get off to a good start at THM and in their surroundings.
Each semester a new international student (called a "newcomer") and a THM student (called an "oldie") are put together to form a buddy team. When putting buddy teams together, both the relevant degree modules and the individual interests of all participants are taken into consideration. In spending time together during the semester the buddies in a team support each other.

Programme Objectives:

  • Encourage intercultural exchanges between local and international students
  • Help new international students get off to a good start at THM
  • Increase participants' intercultural and social competence
  • Increase student interest in studying abroad

What are 'Buddies'?

Buddies are students at THM and international students taking German classes in preparation for the their degree course who are looking for intercultural encounters and are interested in intercultural exchange. 

Our "oldies" are students at the end of their first year as well as interested THM employees (both German and international) who:

  • are from all university departments and have experience at THM
  • would like to provide their support by helping newly arrived international students get off to a good start at THM and making it easier for them to become acquainted with everyday life in Germany
  • would like to gain more intercultural experience on campus (e.g. to prepare for studying abroad)
  • have a great deal of empathy
  • are reliable

Our "newcomers" are newly arrived and future international students at the THM who are:

  • international students taking part in a foundation course
  • international students who plan to finish a degree course as well as exchange students
  • international student applicants taking German classes in preparation for a degree course at THM

  • in search of new contacts and would welcome support while they are settling in at THM.
  • in regular contact with an oldie and want to help the buddy understand his/her cultural background
  • reliable

Matching students for buddy teams:

After you have submitted your registration you will be assigned a buddy from your department or degree course. When putting teams together, the programme director and student tutors take both degree subjects and individual interests, hobbies and language proficiency into consideration.

After a buddy has been found for you, you should take the initiative and introduce yourself via email or WhatsApp. If you have not been able to contact your buddy within three weeks, please contact the Buddy Programme director.

Note: We will try to find the right buddy for you as soon as possible. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that your buddy will match your preferences in every respect. In general, participating in the Buddy Programme will require a certain degree of openness and flexibility towards all participants. We will contact you as soon as we have found a buddy for you.


How Can I Support My Buddy? Things Oldies Can Do:

Before you meet: Contact your new buddy. You ought to take the initiative and introduce yourself in a short email.

After  your newcomer arrives:
Provide your support by:

  • helping your new buddy find his/her way around town (shopping and the public transport system) and with administrative formalities
  • showing your buddy important places at THM (library, cafeteria, departments)
  • answering any questions your buddy may have regarding how to organize a course schedule as well as general questions about student life
  • helping your buddy with German and subject-specific vocabulary

How Can I Support My Buddy? Things Newcomers Can Do:

  • keep in touch with your "oldie" and take the time to meet up with him/her and for Buddy Programme events
  • don't be afraid to talk about your own culture and university life in your home country
  • support your oldie in his/her attempts to learn your native language (if desired)
  • be flexible in accepting help