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A buddy can help you get adjusted to your new life in the Netherlands. How nice would it be if you have someone who can answer your questions, give you tips and explain how things work here? Our experienced international student buddies, can help you find your way.

Sign ups for the buddy programme are now closed

Why having a student buddy?

A buddy can help you off to a good start of your studies, by sharing their own personal insides with you. You will be matched with an international buddy, who has similair interests as you. In addition, you will have the opportunity to meet your buddy online, months before you actually start your studies. 

Our buddies are trained to coach you. By having regular online meetings, they can help you with possible obstacles and will do their utmost best to motivate and stimulate you. Moreover, your buddy will connect you with other first-year international students via online and physical events that will be organised. So you can connect with new friend before you are starting your studies!

Meet our student buddies

My name is Omar I was born and raised in Egypt, but I'm also Dutch on paper. I'm a second-year International Human Resource Management student at Saxion. Currently, I am the treasurer of Humanity, my study association. I do a lot of things in my free time, meet new people, and watch TV series, recently I have found a passion for volleyball.

I have joined the onboarding buddy because I know what it feels like to be clueless in a new place, not knowing what to experience first. one of the lovely compliments that I've heard was “If everyone had a little Omar sitting over their shoulder, life will be so much easier.”

Student buddy Omar

Hi, I am Crina, I am 20 years old, I come from Romania and I’m in my first year studying Software Engineering in Deventer. I am an extroverted person, I enjoy programming, going out with friends, visiting new places, meeting new people from different backgrounds and learning about different cultures. My favourite time of the year is when I get to volunteer (and dance) at the biggest EDM festival in Romania.

I chose to become a student buddy because I want to help and welcome future international students in this beautiful journey they are about to begin. You are not alone; I am here to share my experiences as an international student and help as much as I can. I can’t wait to meet you all!

Student Buddy Crina

Hey all, my name is Devin Buanahagi and I like to think of myself as someone that is well-rounded internationally. I’m Mozambican and have spent a good chunk of my ears in a variety of countries with their own unique cultures. I am a first-year student in the Creative Media & Game Technologies programme. Naturally, I like to keep myself busy playing a variety of sports, going out and finding new things, and even just being an overall couch potato when the mood is there.

I really embrace the idea Saxion has of taking the practical approach to things and am looking forward to seeing how that applies to the Student Buddy Programme. We’re in this together for the long run so I am really looking forward to making your landing at Saxion as enjoyable and informative as possible.

Student buddy Devin

My name is Lucija and I come from Croatia. I am 22 years old and I study Tourism Management, 4th year. I live in Deventer. It’s a lovely city for cycling, hanging out with friends, meeting new people, and reading a book in the park. Everything I enjoy doing! In my spare time, I participate in an Honours Programme that allows me to meet new people and learn about myself.

Working for Saxion has been the highlight of my time here. I would like to help you, the new students, experience Saxion the same way I did – as a safe, inclusive and accepting place

Lucija - international student assistant

Hi! My name is Allan. I was born and raised in Canada and spent my teen years in Germany. I’m a 2nd-year Creative Media & Game Technologies student as an artist. Being involved in game development was my dream ever since I was a kid, but I realised during my mid-teens that I also would really love to pursue art, so I decided to do both. In my free time I enjoy gaming (of course) be it PC games or tabletop games, art/study sessions with friends, reading, and going to raves.

I decided to become a student buddy because I know from first-hand experience how difficult, disorientating, and scary suddenly starting the first year can be and really wish I had someone who could’ve guided me through it and given me advice back then. I’m looking forward to meeting you guys!

Student buddy Allan

My name is Georgi and I am a first-year Software Engineering student at Saxion. Originally from Plovdiv, Bulgaria, I have always been captivated by technology, particularly blockchain development, which I aspire to pursue professionally in my future career. Currently, I reside in Saxion's student accommodation in Deventer.

My motivation to become a student buddy stems from my own experiences before arriving at Saxion. I felt overwhelmed and had numerous questions that I didn't know where or who to turn to for answers. As a result, I am eager to help others in the same position, providing guidance and support to alleviate their stress and ensure a smooth transition into university life.

Student Buddy Georgi
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Read the experience of student Deetya from India, who was connected to buddy Mitchelle from Zimbabwe

‘In the very beginning I had no connections in The Netherlands. The onboarding programme was for me a gateway to Saxion. Mitchelle was my student buddy. She has been through this process before me. She knows exactly what it is to start here. It helped me so much to understand what I could expect and to feel confident about my move to another country. Next to that, I connected with a lot of people from my study programme Physiotherapy before I even arrived in Enschede. Some of them are one of by best friends now.’

FAQ about getting a student buddy

  • Sign-ups are open from the 1st of May to the 14th of July
  • For students who have been accepted (under condition) for an English-taught Bachelor or Master's programme. Exchange students are not eligible for the buddy programme.
  • We have a limit of 120 students who can get a buddy. 

The buddy programme starts from the 1st of May onwards and will last till mid-October. From the moment you register, you will be matched with a buddy. It can be right from the start in May, but you can also start from June onwards. It’s up to you!

We will start online in the months before the summer holiday. It will start as an online programme where you will have 1-by-1 meetings with your student buddy.

However, we will organise physical meetings and activities too from the end of August. This will enable you to finally meet your buddy and other first year international students at our campus.