Individual support for international students
Starting at university is an exciting time for any new student. Getting used to everything may be a challenge at times, particularly for international students. You may face language barriers or be unfamiliar with certain aspects of life in Germany and at the university. It is often helpful to have support with everyday tasks such as getting to know the city, buying a bike or organising trips.
The buddy programme puts international students in contact with German students who can answer some of their questions and provide useful tips. Buddies are not official advisors – they are volunteer FAU students who are interested in other cultures and would like to help international students at the university find their feet.
Should you have questions about the buddy programme, please contact the Central Office for International Affairs.
Are you new at FAU and would you like to have a friend to help you out from the beginning? All international students (both exchange students and regular Bachelor’s and Master’s students) can register for the buddy programme on our buddy matching platform. After you have registered, completed and submitted your data for matching, you will soon be assigned buddies from your faculty.
What can buddies help me with?
Our buddies are volunteers who agree to spend some of their spare time with you. They are your first contact in Germany and (depending on the sympathy you feel towards each other) could become a friend, but they are no official supervisors!
Should you have questions of administrative or academic nature, please contact the team of the Central Office for International Affairs or your study programme coordinators directly. Legal matters as well as problems regarding your studies are not the responsibility of your buddy.
FAU students: become a buddy
Buddies are open-minded and outgoing FAU students who volunteer to support exchange students and international students, especially during their first few weeks in Germany. Two FAU buddies are paired with two to four exchange or international students. If you are interested in participating in such a group please sign up for the buddy programme on our buddy matching platform. After you have registered, completed and submitted your data for matching, you will soon be assigned international buddy partners from your faculty. Upon request at the end of your activity as a buddy, the Central Office for International Affairs will gladly issue a certificate detailing your tasks.
What do buddies do?
Buddies help with everyday questions such as: Where can I find a supermarket? Where can I buy a bicycle or phone? How do I create my study schedule? If your buddy partner has any questions regarding administrative or academic matters they should reach out to the Central Office for International Affairs or their study programme coordinators, respectively. You are not responsible to help with legal or study content matters.
If possible, buddies receive the contact details of their buddy partners before their arrival. When their partners arrive, buddies can offer to pick them up from the airport/train station or show them around the town.
Exchange students often arrive before the start of the semester – usually at the beginning of September or October for the winter semester or the beginning of March or April for the summer semester. Many of these students attend language courses before the start of the lecture period. It is therefore important that German buddies have time during the semester break to help their partners when they arrive.