Ca' Foscari's Buddy Programme is designed to allow new international exchange or degree-seeking students get help settling in to their life at Ca' Foscari by putting them in contact with experienced student volunteers who are excited to share their knowledge and time.
As a result, the programme serves as:
- an important tool in facilitating community building and the integration of international students upon their arrival and throughout their time at Ca' Foscari;
- a context in which new and experienced students can engage in cultural exchange and language practice;
- a tool for making the university experience of all Ca' Foscari students richer and more stimulating.
The Buddy Programme is managed by the Outreach and Recruitment Unit of the International Office.
Here below is all of the information you need in order to get involved in the Buddy Programme either as a Buddy or as a student interested in connecting with one:
Becoming and being a Buddy
What it means to be a Buddy
There are a number of ways you can go about being a Buddy.
The most important is being prompt in responding to any emails you receive from new international students asking for assistance. But depending on the time you have to dedicate to the programme, you can also offer to get together with the student or students who reach out to you, both for practical activities – perhaps they need help getting their public transit card, or maybe they would like to be shown around their campus – and for social ones – perhaps you offer to meet them in your favourite café or bacaro to introduce them to student life outside the classroom.
In addition, the International Office occasionally organizes activities for Buddies and international students, such as student mixers or foreign-language aperitifs, so you will be given the chance to participate, but also tours around the university for prospective students coming to Venice interested in Ca' Foscari.
In order to be a candidate for the Buddy Programme, you must:
- have completed your first year of study before you begin your participation in the programme;
- have a B2-level knowledge of English, the official language of the programme, even if you may end up using other languages as well;
- be excited to offer your time and knowledge to new international students seeking assistance with the settling-in process!
- accept to be in the Whatsapp group oganized for the Buddies of the semester
N.B.: those who don't respect the previous criteria will be rejected
How to apply
Fill our the programme's online registration form with your basic personal information, preferred email address, study programme, languages spoken and hobbies/interests. The information you provide will be shared with all of the incoming international students about two months before their arrival in Venice, at which point they will be encouraged to begin contacting Buddies via email.
When to apply
- From April 1 to May 31 in order to be a Buddy from September through December (a training session will be held in June/July)
- From October 1 to November 30 in order to be a Buddy from January through June (a training session will be held in December/January)
Obtaining official recognition of your participation
Since participation in the programme takes place on a volunteer basis, it involves no stipend or credit recognition and cannot substitute the curricular internship required by Ca' Foscari's bachelor's and master's degrees.
However, starting from autumn 2022, Buddies who actively participate in the programme will be able to obtain a "Buddy Programme" Open Badge.
In order to earn this Open Badge, a Buddy must be able to demonstrate having completed at least four of the following activities:
- Participation in the Buddy training session organized by the International Office;
- Assistance of at least one international student demonstrated via positive feedback via an official questionnaire provided by the International Office;
- Participation in one of the activities organised by the International Office new international students;
- Active collaboration with the International Office in organising an event for the benefit of international students;
- Pick-up service at the airport or train station;
- The independent organisation of an activity aimed at integrating international students into the university community.
Finding a Buddy
If you are a new international student interested in connecting with one or more Buddies, the process is very simple:
- About two months before you are scheduled to begin your studies at Ca' Foscari, you will receive the list of available Buddies. This list provides the Buddies' basic personal information, email address, languages spoken and hobbies/interests.
- After consulting the list, you can write an email to the Buddy or Buddies you'd like to reach out to.
A month or two after you begin your studies, you will be contacted by the International Office to offer your feedback on your experience of the Buddy Programme via a questionnaire.
If you have any questions about the Buddy Programme, feel free to reach out to the International Office by writing to email@example.com.
Last update: 26/05/2023