Since the beginning of the 2019 academic year, Université Paris-Saclay students can sponsor international students who have recently joined the university. Funded via the French Bienvenue en France program, the Buddy Program welcomes 300 students that will be trained and supported by Université Paris-Saclay throughout the year.
On 12 September 2019, the Buddies of Université Paris-Saclay were welcomed to the Centre des Langues Mutualisé for the first BudDay, organized for students participating in the Paris-Saclay Buddy Program. For most of the students, it was the opportunity for both mentors and mentees to meet for the first time. During an intercultural awareness workshop, the mentors discovered what surprised their mentees upon their arrival to France, the challenges they had to face as well as the support they could bring them. The Buddies were then able to get better acquainted as they prepared dishes together from different countries that they then all shared together.
For both mentors and mentees, the program is the perfect opportunity to discover new cultures, practice a foreign language, and benefit from an intercultural experience at Université Paris-Saclay. Many are those who have had a mentor during a stay abroad and who now wish to help other students as they settle in France. Thanks to the Buddy Program, mentees who have come from all over the world to study at Université Paris-Saclay can meet French students who can guide them upon their arrival to France and introduce them to French culture.
Following the success of the first BudDay, a second session will be organized on 26 September 2019 for the Buddies who were not able to attend the first session. A certain number of cultural and social activities will also be offered to Buddies throughout the year.