Buddy programme

logo buddy program

Would you like to quickly feel at home at Hasselt University and make a successful start? Go for a buddy!

I am looking for a buddy

Your first time at our university? That's always a bit exciting!
A new environment, new fellow students and teachers … In short, there is a lot to deal with during the first period. Our buddies are there for you!

What's in it for me?

A buddy is a senior student who knows his way around at Hasselt University. They will not only help you find your way quickly but will also guide you throughout the year. The focus is on the first semester, but you can meet throughout the year if you want to. This improves your chances of success and ensures that you quickly find your feet and 'feel at home' ... at our university.

What can I do with my buddy?

On average, you meet with your buddy once a week. Especially in the beginning, a weekly meeting is beneficial. Of course, you choose when and how (online - on campus). Your buddy does not only show you the way on campus but can also give you tips about the approach to your program, where you can play sports, etc.

What not to expect from a buddy?

A buddy does not provide tutoring and, unfortunately, does not prepare the practical sessions or tutorial groups or make summaries for you.
A buddy is not a counsellor who will solve your problems.
A buddy can give tips on preparing your courses for a practical session, tutorial group, exam, etc.
A buddy can provide a listening ear, refer you to student support staff, etc.

How do I find a buddy?

Your program will inform you how to apply and get to know your buddy.

Can I choose my buddy?

The matching of a new student to a buddy may differ per course. Some programmes pair you to a buddy randomly, and others provide a match based on your preference.

How do I get in touch with my buddy?

When you decide to participate, you will be matched with a buddy. You will get to know them during the orientation week.

Can I still get a buddy if I register later?

We do our best to offer everyone a buddy. You may ask the contact person of your course to be linked to a buddy.

How can I meet other students?

You can

- Get in touch via your program's social media channels.
- Join student societies.
- Actively participate in various councils at UHasselt.
- Become a member of Stura, the student council of Hasselt University.
- Visit StudentHotspot or look at the activities calendar.
- Join sports activities organised by Studentsport Limburg

These tips will help you to connect with other students.

Need more info?

Mail studentpoint@uhasselt.be

I want to become a buddy

  • Have you ever had a buddy who helped you a lot?
  • Do you like to help new students find their feet at our university quickly?
  • Do you want to meet new students?

Then you are perfect to become a buddy.

What is in it for me?

  • You expand your network
  • Get support through training, meetings with other students, etc.
  • Commitment that you can mention in your CV
  • You boost your skills: active listening, reflecting, giving feedback, dealing with diversity, practising a new language, etc.
  • You contribute to the well-being and chances of success … of starting students
  • Gain satisfaction by putting starting students at ease and helping them on their way
  • ...

Is there an additional workload on my existing academic programme?

Yes and no! As a buddy, you do not have to write or evaluate reports. It's all about being an accessible point of contact for new students. We do expect you to invest some time in your students. In the beginning, weekly meetings are helpful so the students can get used to the university and the course. After the first quartile, the time investment decreases. But they are such valuable and rewarding experiences that it almost doesn't feel like a burden. It's a matter of give and get!

Do I get credits for my engagement as a buddy?

In principle, you will not receive any credits for your commitment as a buddy. You receive an official certificate for your engagement at the end of the academic year.

How many students will I support?

You choose how many students you wish to support (via the registration form).

Which students will I be paired with?

You can indicate in the registration form how many students you want to guide and which students you want to guide.
If you help an international or exchange student, you will build on your international competencies (i.e., speaking in another language, getting to know another culture, etc.)

Are there conditions to become a buddy?

  • You are familiar with the ins and outs of your faculty/program (the building, the facilities, the digital learning environment, the study approach, etc.)
  • You are social and communicative
  • You want to share your experiences, insights, pointers, etc. with starters
  • You would like to get to know new people and further develop your (international) competencies
  • You are willing to make time to support a fellow student
  • You make yourself available/ accessible
  • You can speak English (recommended when buddying international or exchange students).

There may be additional requirements per course to buddy international or exchange students, such as being a master's student.

How is the matching done?

The pairing of buddies to new students varies per program. Some programmes match you ad randomly with a student, and other programmes provide a match based on your preferences and the preferences of the new student.
Do you also guide international or exchange students? We will then match you with a student following the same course. In exceptional cases, this student may follow a different course than yours.

Will I receive support as a buddy?

You are already an experienced student, but we will not leave you to your fate. You will receive a short training (1,5 hours) so you know what to expect as a buddy.
If you have already been a buddy, you do not have to follow the basic training again, but you can still use the other support offered.
During the academic year, you can also participate in meetings to exchange ideas with other buddies, ask questions, etc.
After the training, you can access the BB community 'Buddy@UHasselt'. Here, you find useful information such as how and to whom you can refer, extra tips for your role as a buddy (see FAQ), useful links and websites, etc.

How do I apply as a buddy?

Your program will inform you how to apply as a buddy.
Keep an eye on your student e-mail!

Can't you wait to help a new student? Complete the registration form.

Need information?

Mail studentpoint@uhasselt.be

Award winning programme

The buddy programme received in 2021 the 'Cultural Diversity in Higher Education' award from the Young Academy.

What do participants say ...

Being a buddy is a great experience. You get to help new students and gain great friends or even teammates; I learned that I could give great advice and that my previous experiences in Hasselt are helpful. It is fun because you get to know amazing people, travel with them, and enjoy your studies together. I recommend it to any student who is open to meeting new people and wants to help.
Valeria, buddy
Valeria has been an exceptional buddy to me. Her kindness, willingness to share her own experiences and wisdom while listening closely, are all qualities that I’ve learned from. Beyond that, as a buddy she has always tried to help me become a better version of myself rather than trying to mold me to her perspective. Her constant support has been invaluable. I felt our buddy relationship was based on mutual trust and respect. My advice to others is to join  the program and just have fun, learn from each other and enjoy the experience.
Najat, new student

Pictures of the first activity