Hosting Erasmus students in the IPSantarém – IPSantarém Buddy

IPSantarém Buddy 

1-What is the IPSantarém Buddy programme? 

IPSantarém Buddy is a programme that promotes the integration of foreign students (international, and mobility), and prepares, hosts, integrates and accompanies their process of adaptation to a new social and academic context. 

Foreign students arrive at the IPSantarém to do a period of studies under the mobility programmes, such as Erasmus+ and Pedro Álvares Cabral (Brazil), or under the status of international students. 


2-What is an IPSantarém Buddy? 

An IPSantarém Buddy (classmate, friend) is a student of the IPSantarém who volunteers to act as a guide to a foreign student during their stay in the IPSantarém. The objective is for the Buddy to be a guide/colleague, and provide information and be a liaison for new students, making their integration easier. 

The mission of the IPSantarém Buddy is to help a foreign student integrate, by showing him/her around the school, helping the student choose academic subjects and delineate a schedule, find lodging, and become integrated in academic and cultural life.  

An IPSantarém Buddy is a student who promotes friendship between the Portuguese and foreign students, is always available to answer questions about the city, indicate the best places for shopping, relaxing, receiving medical care, obtaining cash or opening a bank account, etc..  


3-What is the role of a IPSantarém Buddy? 

The IPSantarém Buddy must work as a primary contact for foreign students, even before their physical arrival. An IPBuddy must get in contact with the foreign students that they have been assigned, and be ready to meet them when they arrive (airport or other place), helping them find lodging and guiding them in daily questions (academic and social). The group of IPBuddies will also carry out activities throughout the semester. 


4- Who can be an IPSantarém Buddy? 

 IPSantarém Buddies can be students from any cycle of studies, but must be enrolled as regular students with at least 2 completed semesters, and must have the following characteristics: 

  • Competences for interpersonal engagement;  
  • A sense of responsibility; 
  • Be pro-active and like to do volunteer work;              
  • Be interested in meeting people, and learning about different cultures and languages; 
  • Fluency in at least one foreign language;  
  • Be interested in doing a mobility abroad in the future, or have had previous experience with a mobility.  

All the IPSantarém Buddies are active members of the IPBuddy programme, and contribute to: 

  • Promoting events and activities that will take place during the semester: 
  • Launching of thematic discussions related to their area of studies or to transversal areas such as culture, city, extra-curricular activities; 
  • Promoting the IPBuddy programme in order to mobilize new students. 

Before the beginning of each semester, the Buddies will have an information session and a training session where they will be instructed about the activities to be developed, and the necessary competences required of a Buddy. 


5-What are the benefits of being an IPSantarém Buddy? 

The main benefit is the experience that this activity provides, as well as the personal satisfaction of being part of the internationalization of the IPSantarém, a testimony that will be passed on to following generations. Other benefits include: 

  • Enhancement of CVs, since this activity is acknowledged with a certificate issued by the IPSantarém, recognized in the Diploma Supplement; 
  • Opportunities to interact with students from different countries, have contact with other cultures, and improve foreign language skills. 
  • Develop competencies in interpersonal planning, solidarity, team work, planning and organizing activities of integration and decision-making; 
  • Establishing contact with colleagues from foreign universities, widening the scope of their networking; 
  • Recognition for their involvement in the programme, and visibility in the IPSantarém’s dissemination processes.  


6-How to become an IPSantarém Buddy 

If you are interested in participating in the programme and being a volunteer IPSantarém Buddy, carefully read the regulation and fill in the inscription form. 

In the selection of candidates, the IPSantarém will take into consideration: language skills, area of studies, previous experience in volunteerism, associativity, promotion of cultural activities, contact with foreign students and other relevant experiences. The IPSantarém reserves the right to interview Buddies, and if it deems it necessary, to exclude candidates whom they feel do not possess the right profile for this task.