The UCD Alumni Buddy Programme links incoming international, graduate students with local UCD Alumni. The programme provides friendly support to students, especially just after they arrive in Dublin. This helps them to get to know the local community and to take part in an intercultural cultural exchange.
Through this collaborative programme between UCD Alumni Relations and UCD Global, over 125 students from 27 countries have been matched with Alumni volunteers to date.
Making the most of UCD
Alumni Buddies make a positive difference to the lives of international students by helping them to become accustomed to life in Ireland. It also helps them to make the most of their university experience. Events and initiatives include basic orientation to the UCD campus and Dublin, giving information on navigating public services, such as the health and transport systems, and providing recommendations of places to visit and social outings.
Participants of the programme have opportunities to network with Alumni volunteers and fellow students at group events. These include meetings which take place in the UCD Global Lounge and day trips. During the current Covid-19 restrictions, Alumni Buddy meetings are taking place virtually.
Feedback from participants
“Amazing. I was very nervous coming to a place that’s completely different from my home but the Buddy Programme helped me understand Irish culture and gave me a feel of a second home here in Dublin. Without this programme, I never would have met my buddy. Thank you!” Tlamelo, Botswana, studying Medicine.
“I learned so much from my Buddy - from tips on how to navigate the city to professional mentoring. I also think that they did a great job with matching students with an Alumni that has similar interests.” Sandra, USA, studying International Relations.
“I feel lucky to have met two such wonderful students who will remain in my life.” Denise, Ireland, Alumni Buddy Volunteer.