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Wesley photo portraitAs you may already know, Global BUddies is a programme led by the Student Services department of Bournemouth University and by students. It aims to increase integration between UK students and international students, but it’s also a great way to share culture, make friends and gain an extensive knowledge about other nationalities – something future employers will definitely value! And if that all sounds a bit too formal and promotional for your taste, keep reading, because Global BUddies has lots of different layers.

Stripped down to the very core, Global BUddies is culture. It’s exhaling a deep breath when you realise you’re not the only one who isn’t fluent in speaking the English language. It’s watching someone’s eyes light up when you ask them about their country. It’s realising you have been ranting for the past ten minutes about how weird your little habits and beliefs might be. It’s maintaining an open mind and expanding your horizons. It’s finally asking if that’s really how they do it “over there.” It’s breaking through stereotypes, and sometimes finding out what is believed about your own culture can be quite funny and surprising.

However, there’s more, because Global BUddies is also sharing. It’s telling others where you have been, who you are and who you want to become before you have even arrived to the UK. It’s admitting to someone that, before coming here, you had never been on a plane before. It’s laughing at what the bark of a dog sounds like in different languages. It’s feeling proud when you know the answer to one of the country-specific quiz questions during one of the social events.

So, additionally, Global BUddies is feeling confident. It’s running around on your first day, face stricken with panic, but then remembering you have people who you can ask your questions to. It’s feeling comfortable with being the stereotypical ‘new kid in town’, because you’re with other new kids in town. It’s hearing a knock on the door when you’ve just moved in and finding out someone from your Buddy group actually lives down the hall.

But just as much, Global BUddies is exploring. It’s being shown where everything is on campus. It’s being guided through Bournemouth. It’s breathing in the salty scents of the sea that you may have never seen in real life before. It’s finally getting over your fear of heights by taking off in the hot air balloon in Bournemouth Gardens. It’s maybe even visiting London and being told what everything is and what’s going on. It’s acting touristy with people who genuinely want to get to know you: people who want to see the world through your world. It’s experiencing things for the first time.

Above all, Global BUddies is personal. And if you’re still not convinced, Global BUddies can also be a little cheeky! You should sign up and try it out, because, if anything, Global BUddies is nothing without you.

More about Global BUddies at Bournemouth University.

By Wesley Schulte

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