Information Welcome Buddy
Welcome Buddies are local students who give newly arrived international students in Hamburg some guidance and help to settle in and to find their way around the university. All students (either German or international students) enrolled at Universität Hamburg for at least the second semester and with a German language proficiency level B2 or better can be a Welcome Buddy. Local students are welcome to participate in the program multiple times.
Unfortunately, we have not yet managed to update the coronavirus-related changes regarding the University and the public authorities in the brochure. In any case, always check the respective websites for current regulations and opening hours.
Support during the Covid-19 pandemic
Get in touch with each other
- Contact each other via email.
- Decide on how you would like to communicate with each other. It is best to have your first meeting to get to know each other on Zoom. As a student, you can use the secure version of Zoom provided by Universität Hamburg: https://uni-hamburg.zoom.us (If the Incoming Buddy doesn't have a Universität Hamburg Zoom account yet, the Welcome Buddy can host the meeting and send the Zoom link).
- Whether you have to continue to meet online or – if you are both in Hamburg – can meet in person will depend on the coronavirus regulations. Please read up on the current coronavirus regulations and plan your meetings accordingly:
o Current regulations for Universität Hamburg
o Current regulations for the City of Hamburg
- If you have any questions or problems, please contact us: piasta-buddy"AT"uni-hamburg.de
Support during the Covid-19 pandemic
- The Incoming Buddy is encouraged to share more about their personal situation at the start of their studies during the Covid-19 pandemic and, if necessary, also to ask for information and advice:
o Does the Incoming Buddy have to start their studies online from their home country because entry to Germany is not yet permitted?
o Are they required to quarantine after arriving in Hamburg? The Welcome Buddy might need to assist with questions such as: What are the current regulations? Where can I have a test done? How can I order food online?
o Or maybe you've already arrived and have an apartment in Hamburg and you only have questions and concerns about living and studying in Hamburg according to the current coronavirus measures?
Support at the start of your studies
- The Welcome Buddy from Universität Hamburg should ask if the Incoming Buddy has all of the important information they need about starting their studies, for example, about:
o Welcome Days for new students
o orientation modules or other introductory events organized by the Incoming Buddy's faculty
o formalities such as health insurance, enrollment at the University, and much more
- All of the important steps are explained in detail in the information brochure “To-dos for neue Studierende” / “To-dos for new students.” Unfortunately, we have not yet managed to update the coronavirus-related changes regarding the University and the public authorities in the brochure. In any case, always check the respective websites for current regulations and opening hours.
Have fun and enjoy the time with your buddy!
How do I apply?
Students who have been in Hamburg for some time and would like to welcome a buddy apply here.
We will enter your information into the system and try to match you with a buddy. Please understand that we cannot guarantee that we will be able to find a buddy for you.
Please note: Some faculties at Universität Hamburg have their own buddy program. Exchange students in these faculties should apply there directly:
How are the matches made?
The matches are made based on the studentsʼ field of study and similar interests. Unfortunately, we won’t always be able to match you with a buddy who has the language you requested! But we will, of course, make sure that you have a common language so that you can communicate.
What if we don’t get along? It is always possible that the match between two buddies just doesnʼt work. Don’t worry. This isn’t a problem. Just send us a short email so that we can match you up with a new buddy (if so desired).
Why should I volunteer as a Welcome Buddy?
Helping another student get started is a way to promote cultural exchange between students in Hamburg and international students because as you spend time together the similarities between your everyday life and life in general will quickly become apparent. As a Welcome Buddy, you have the opportunity to get to know students from other countries and experience different cultures firsthand. You can expand your horizons, improve your language skills, and become part of an international community. Helping Incoming Buddies find their way around Hamburg and a new culture is a great way to prepare yourself for your own study abroad period. And perhaps some of these acquaintances might turn into a new language tandem or friendship.
Will my work as a Welcome Buddy be recognized?
Successful participation in the Buddy Program can be recognized as Component C, International Campus of the Certificate Intercultural Competence (CIC). German and international students at Universität Hamburg may earn the Certificate Intercultural Competence. This program is free of charge. It serves as recognition for intercultural involvement and is an additional distinction for students. Successful participation in three of the four components is required to earn the certificate. Please click here for more information on the certificate.
FAQs—frequently asked questions
Do you have more questions about the Buddy Program?
Are there problems or difficulties with your buddy?
Would you like to tell us about your positive experiences with the Buddy Program?
Then please email us at: piasta-buddy"AT"uni-hamburg.de