The Project

The Buddy System is an online platform matching international students and local students for a buddy programme. The platform, developed centrally, provides management access to local stakeholders responsible for coordinating the integration of incoming students.

After the pairing is complete, international students can benefit from a personalised welcome, thanks to their local buddy. It includes: support for administrative procedures, one-to-one visit of the city and place of study. To sum up, he/she can be helped when needed.


Objectives of the Buddy System

The Buddy System is dedicated to international students who, thanks to the platform, will have the opportunity to develop a relationship, interact with local students and enrich their lives through an intercultural experience.

The main goals of the BuddySystem are:

- Improving the welcome phase and the integration of international students through an online tool for universities/schools and associations

- Developing the internationalisation of local students by promoting intercultural exchange and open-mindedness

- Strengthening student mobility facilities (University and associations) and enable the local stakeholders to develop long-lasting partnerships by providing them with common communication, facilitation and training tools

History & Results

Designed from 2013 by 4 students in Lille after a year abroad with the Erasmus+ program, the BuddySystem was supported by the University of Lille and disseminated through the ESN France network.

Since June 2015 and the 2nd version of the platform, more than 25,000 users from 145 nationalities experienced the BuddySystem and around 10,000 pairs were made by our local coordinators in 30 french cities.

The project achievements

An intuitive, complete and secure BuddySystem web platform providing the matching of buddies

An european study on the best practices regarding the welcoming of international students and especially towards buddy systems. The results are available here.

The integration to the Erasmus+ App designed by EUF with the support of the European Commission

Training, communication and facilitation tools in order to give the opportunity to local coordinators of the platform and volunteers (local buddies) to make the BuddySystem increasingly qualitative

The BuddySystem

At the end of the European program, the BuddySystem will be effective in about 30 European countries and around 300,000 students are expected to subscribe on the platform. Thus, the project will reach a large number of students while favoring a quality welcome since it allows international students to receive a unique guidance, personalised and customised to their needs.

Among international mobility projects and tools, this platform will remain an essential tool, since the layout of the BuddySystem will result from the cooperative work of universities and associations welcoming international students. Awaited by several structures welcoming international students, that project will shortly be spread in Europe. To do so, ESN France can count on its network which includes close to 550 pan-European associations and thanks to its partners with their 700 universities-wide network.

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