19 June 2018 | Category: Student life

Make new friends, learn about different cultures and enrich your student life through the IxESN Buddy Program!

By Guest Blogger

Wageningen University & Research invites anyone related to t...

We have all been there: arriving in Wageningen and knowing nobody. Ready for a new adventure, but also a little scared of what might all be coming. But luckily you are not alone and other students are more than happy to help you out! That’s why IxESN Wageningen organizes the Buddy Program which you can become part of quite easily! (link for subscribing all the way down)

What is this ‘Buddy Program’?

Within the Buddy Program, you are placed in a group of 10-15 students with 2-3 mentors: a Buddy Family. These mentors, also called Buddy Parents, can answer all of your questions. These can enhold questions about Wageningen, the university, or strange Dutch habits that you do not understand! Furthermore, the Buddy Parents will do their best to ensure you will have an awesome kick-start in Wageningen.

In a few weeks time, this group of students will feel like your new family in Wageningen. Together with them, you can do whatever you want, from chilling at the river in Wageningen to active day trips to cities in the Netherlands or even visits to people’ their home countries! You can make the group as active as you want yourself. There are groups that do things together daily, but also groups that just eat together every few weeks. This is all up to you and your group!

Because Buddy Families do many activities together, the families all have their own nice traditions and stories. For example, during one of the international dinners an Italian “kid” asked: “Mommy, when I go to the supermarket in the evening, they all say ‘Pineapple!’ to me, why do they do that?”. It turned out that he misunderstood “Fijne avond!” (Dutch for good evening) for pineapple. After 4 months he was finally not confused anymore, but from then his family always said goodbye with a loud ‘Pineapple!’.

Since the Buddy Program is organized by IxESN Wageningen, there are also some activities organized by us. 2 times per period, you can participate in different kinds of activities. We organize dinners, treasure hunts through Wageningen, typical Dutch traditional activities, and more! All Buddy Family members are welcome at these activities, so you can join with your whole group, a part of it, or just by yourself.


Typical Dutch “Sinterklaas” Buddy Family evening (The Dutch version of Santa Claus on 5th of December)


Some experiences from the Buddy Families

Willem (Buddy Mentor): “After some time you don’t feel like a mentor anymore, but you become part of the group. The friendships you can get by being a group from the start of your study are amazing, and the activities help by creating this bond. It was an amazing experience!”

Timothee (Buddy ‘kid’): “My family really helped me to be integrated into the Wageningen student community! My buddy mentors are always really helpful, they gave me some tips about Dutch student life and all other weird Dutch ways of thinking 😉 It is a good way to meet new people from other cultures and discover new traditions!”

Jacintha (Buddy Mentor): “We also went to France and Belgium to visit the houses of one of our “kids” together, and we are planning on celebrating Carnival in Switzerland someday. Italy, Germany and Zimbabwe are on our travel-to-do-list as well!”


A buddy Family chilling at the river in Wageningen!


So.. how do I join the Buddy Program?

Have you become excited about joining the Buddy Program? Subscribing to get into a family can be done by filling in this link. You can take part in the Buddy Program at any moment in the year, since new families come into existence every period. If you have stayed in Wageningen for at least half a year, you can also choose to become a Buddy Mentor yourself! Subscribing for being a mentor can be done here.

NOTE: if you are starting your Wageningen experience by joining the Wageningen introduction days (AID), you can also take part in the Buddy Program with your AID group. You can get more information about this in the AID from your mentors.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to send an email to buddy@ixesn-wageningen.nl

Hopefully see you soon in Wageningen!


By Guest Blogger

Wageningen University & Research invites anyone related to the university to share their thoughts on different topics in this weblog. To give you as a prospective student several opinions and experience stories of Wageningen University & Research. Hopefully this will provide you an honest and realistic picture of what it is like to study here.

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