If you’ve joined a campus tour, shopping tour, city excursion or other events organised by the Global Services Office (GSO), you would have already met one of the International Friends Club (IFC) buddies. However, there is a lot more about IFC buddies than just the people who show you around the campus. Here, let’s get to know a few of them.
They had been in situations similar to yours
Most IFC buddies had been or soon will be exchange students abroad. They know what it’s like to be in a completely new environment surrounded by a foreign (if not alien) language. Many of them had experienced all of that confusion and those nerve-wracking feelings and getting-lost moments. They’re more than happy to help and give you courage through a bit of guidance.
Renee: I was an exchange student at Sussex. There were quite a lot of orientation programmes and tours in Sussex – one almost every two weeks. I want to offer the same hospitality to exchange students here at CityU.
Alex: My experience in Stockholm was a bit different. Except for registration day when a mentor guided me through all of the administration procedures, I was alone. So I would like to provide a little more helps to the exchange students at CityU.
All of them are kind folks who have a natural interest in multicultural understanding
Kit: Culture clashes can be mind-blowing but still they interest me a lot. Last year I had a roommate who was a Turkish. We had so much fun!
Natalie Yu: Exchange students tend to form groups with other exchange students during lectures. Being a buddy helps me get closer to them.
They can give you all kinds of helpful advice
Information on course registration, where to obtain what, a walking campus map or a tourist guide that gives you a hint of local tastes: these are just some of the awesome things an IFC buddy can provide you with! Here, we have asked some of them to give you some tips that will help you get the most out of your exchange journey.
Renee: One of the challenges of being a buddy is that we often overlook things. What we consider ordinary may make for an extraordinary local experience for exchange students. So, it’s always great when they tell us what they want and ask questions.
Alex: Hotpot is probably one of the most effective ways to link local and exchange students!
Shirley: Hold dear every single moment in which you can explore the city in your own way. Let curiosity lead you. You don’t necessarily have to force yourself to make friends for the sake of making the most of your exchange journey. It can be the other way around. When you have the curiosity to explore a new place, it will naturally drive you to form bonds with the people there.
Haven’t got a buddy? Send an email to the GSO at firstname.lastname@example.org to join the IFC. For those who have, stay tuned! More activities are coming soon.