International Buddy Program

The International Buddy Program was created to help new international students through their transition into a new country and culture. Though studying in a new country can be exciting, it can also be challenging. New international students may have many questions and concerns about UTC and U.S. culture.

Therefore, IBP pairs a current UTC domestic student (domestic buddy) with two new international students (international buddies). Domestic buddies help their international buddies through the transition into the new culture, especially during the first few weeks of the semester. Similarly, domestic buddies gain not only friendships but also insights into other cultures.

Domestic and international buddies can also participate in fun large group events and activities throughout the semester, such as the welcome event, Halloween party, farewell event, corn maze/pumpkin patch, game nights, trivia nights, hikes, and more. 

Participation in IBP is voluntary, and it is free to join. 

Domestic Buddies

  • Be a current UTC student who has completed at least one semester at UTC
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Submit an application (currently not accepting applications)
  • Attend an orientation/training session
  • Read communication concerning IBP updates and upcoming events/activities
  • Be respectful of cultural, religious, political, and sexual orientation differences
  • Be willing to devote time with your buddy (especially during the first few weeks of the semester)
  • Be willing to participate in IBP events
  • Have effective communication skills

 International Buddies

  • Be a new incoming international student
  • Submit an application (currently not accepting applications)
  • Be active when communicating with your mentor
  • Be willing to learn from your mentor
  • Read communication concerning IBP updates and upcoming events/activities
  • Be respectful of cultural, religious, political, and sexual orientation differences
  • Be willing to devote time with your buddy (especially during the first few weeks of the semester)
  • Be willing to participate in IBP events

Domestic Buddies

  • Connect with international students and help them through their transition
  • Practice your second language skills with a native speaker
  • Become more globally aware by learning about new cultures
  • Help promote international education on campus
  • Develop interpersonal and communication skills
  • Participate in large group events and activities
  • Free food and fun

 International Buddies

  • Connect with current UTC students before and after arriving in the U.S.
  • Have a person who can help you and show you around (especially during the first few weeks of school)
  • Learn about U.S. culture through the eyes of a domestic student
  • Develop interpersonal and communication skills
  • Help promote international education on campus
  • Participate in large group events and activities
  • Free food and fun

Domestic Buddies

  • Attend all required trainings and meetings
  • Be respectful
  • Be professional and helpful
  • Be willing to invest time in the program
  • Be responsive to your buddy and IBP communications
  • Meet with your buddy once a week during your first month on campus
  • Participate in large group events and activities
  • Read communication concerning IBP updates and upcoming events and activities
  • Be proactive and take the lead

 International Buddies

  • Be respectful to one another
  • Do not take advantage of your mentor
  • Be willing to invest time in the program
  • Be open to learning about U.S. culture
  • Be responsive to your mentor and IBP communications
  • Meet with your mentor once a week during your first month on campus
  • Participate in large group events and activities
  • Read communication concerning IBP updates and upcoming events and activities
  1. Both domestic and international buddies must submit the appropriate application. 
    • Domestic Buddy Application
      (currently not accepting applications)
    • International Buddy Application
      (currently not accepting applications)

  2. Once applications are submitted, the IBP Coordinator will begin the matching process. Matching will be based on, but not limited to:
    • Country of origin and cultural background
    • Same or similar majors/minors
    • Same or similar interests

      *Each U.S. buddy will be paired with two international buddies.

  3. Once buddies are matched, the IBP Coordinator will communicate with the domestic buddies.

  4. Domestic buddies will reach out to their international buddies and start communicating.

FAQs for Domestic Students:

Who can participate?

If you are interested in being a domestic buddy, you must be a current UTC U.S. student in good academic standing.

Will I get paid if I’m a domestic buddy?

No. Participation in IBP is voluntary. Even though you will not get paid, you will enrich your college experience by becoming more culturally aware and getting to know people from all over the world. You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the year, and being an IBP buddy will look great on your resume.

Do I need to speak a foreign language to join IBP?

No. You will communicate mostly in English. However, you may take advantage of this opportunity and practice your foreign language skills.


FAQs for International Students

Is it free to participate in IBP?

Yes. It is free to participate in and be a part of IBP.

Can I still participate in IBP if this is not my first semester as an international student?

Yes. You may still participate in the large group events. You will just not be assigned a domestic buddy.


FAQs for All Buddies

How do sign up for IBP?

You can sign up by completing the appropriate online application:

Domestic Buddy Application

Deadline for Domestic Application:

Currently not accepting applications

International Buddy Application

Deadline for International Application:

Currently not accepting applications

When will I find out who my buddy/mentor is?

You will find out who your buddy is as soon as the matching process is complete, usually a couple of weeks before the semester starts.

How many events am I required to attend each semester?

Event attendance is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended.

What if my buddy is not responding to my emails/texts/calls?

If your buddy is not interacting and involved, please contact the IBP coordinator. Depending on the situation, a new buddy may be assigned.

If my buddy and I are not getting along, can I be assigned a new buddy?

This depends on the situation/case. Remember that you will also be in contact with the larger group of students who are part of IBP.

What kind of large group events do you have?

Examples of large group events/programs include, but are not limited to, the welcome event, Halloween party, farewell event, corn maze/pumpkin patch, game nights, trivia nights, hikes, and more. 

Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns about IBP?

You may contact the Senior Coordinator of International Student and Scholar Services, Patricia (Pato) Lin-Steadman.

 

Meet our Current Domestic Buddies

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Alyson McGowan

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Alyssa Weimer

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Amanda Schwarz

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Briley Holbrook

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Amy Gugliemino

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Audrey Tan

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Austin Wilkerson

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Bailey Eleazar

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Braley Gentry

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Caroline Alexander

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Claudia Craig

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Daniel Ellis

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Delaynee Contella

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Desiree Warner

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Eliana Harris

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Elizabeth "Lizzi" Prather
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Emily Bryant

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Emily Halvorson

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Emma Lynch

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Erica Kiesche

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Gabby Fowler

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Hannah Archer

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Jacquelyn Carter

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Jillian Myers

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Jonathan Gautreaux
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Josh Mattoon

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Kaitlin Sons

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Katie Coker

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Kaylyn Miette Craig
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Latara Bates

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Lauren Williamson

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Lauren Burgess

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Lauren Sutton

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Madison Witt

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Maggie Smith

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Mary Still

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Mia Florio

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Michael Boehm

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Okaris Ulloa

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Raven Griffin

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Rebecca Richter

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Reese Black

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Rhiannon Ong-Halleron
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Rylee Hilliard

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Sarah Buckberry

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Savannah Huff

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Steven Shelton

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Sydney Fitzgerald

Tori Northcutt

Tori Northcutt

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Visesiya Uwifashije

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Zachery "Noah" Silva