University of Wisconsion - Eau Claire




Center for International Education: Buddy Program

15 hours

Beginning date:
Ending Date:

Service-Learning Proposal Description


Briefly describe the project and the community to be addressed.
Answer This project is looking for domestic or current international students at UW-Eau Claire. The Buddy Program through the Center for International Education, pairs domestic and current international students at UW-Eau Claire with incoming international students. Students are expected to meet at least twice per month, with a minimum of five hours per month with the goal of building intercultural relationships through interests, language, culture, and friendship. During the spring 2021 semester we are looking for students to connect virtually with international students not yet arrived to UWEC. You would be using zoom or email to correspond. Students who are native or fluent English speakers are encouraged to apply to also be a buddy who can assist international students who are English as second language learners, by practicing their English conversational skills. These students need one-on-one practice with conversational English with university students (approximately their age). They may have cultural questions, want to learn slang, have questions about social options, etc. that are not addressed in the classroom.


What is the mission of the agency or organization?
Answer The University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire (UWEC) prepares its students for a diverse world, provides international learning experiences, and expects its graduates to attain intellectual, personal, cultural, and social competencies. In support of this goal, the Center for International Education (CIE) plays a vital role in providing high quality international programs and international support services to the University community. It supports campus internationalization initiatives and advocates for intercultural competency and lifelong inquiry.


What skills are required for this project?
Answer Desire to develop intercultural friendships, to assist in international students' culture shock and adjustment to being a student or scholar at UW-Eau Claire Desire to assist international students with developing and advancing English conversational skills Enjoy working with people from different cultures and backgrounds Comfortable talking about your own experiences Good interpersonal and communication skills Ability to relate to a variety of personality types Sense of responsibility and reliability Flexibility Sense of humor Dependability


What are the objectives for the student learning and service?
Answer Engage in cultural exchange: Students will engage in cultural exchange through the sharing of experiences with international students. Better self and social awareness: Students will utilize their interpersonal and communication skills to enrich the international student experience. Enhance effective communication skills: Students will learn to speak and listen effectively, specifically in regards to intercultural communication. Respect for diversity: Students will develop skills and knowledge for living in a globally interdependent world, through one on one interaction with their conversation partner.


What are the availability requirements for the student?
Answer Students must be available approximately 2-4 times per month, totaling 5 hours per month to meet with their buddy virtually or correspond weekly via email. This totals out to about 15 hours per semester. Students must ensure that they have the time to utilize for this project and be somewhat flexible with their availability. If you and your buddy agree to meet more often, you can earn up to 30 hours in one semester. Please be aware that not every new international student may wish to participate this often. If both you and your partner share an interest in other activities such as cooking, sports, art, etc, you are welcome to share those things via virtual routes. The CIE will also be sending out information on additional virtual events both available campus wide, and sponsored by the CIE throughout the semester. If both you and your buddy would like to meet virtually or email more often, you are welcome to, but do not feel pressured to do so. If you cannot continue for any reason, please write your partner, the community partner, and the mentor all as soon as possible.


Additional information (not required).
Answer Please note you will need to find a mentor for this project as the supervisor cannot fulfill that role. Students typically utilize a favorite professor or their adviser, if they are agreeable. Your mentor and you will decide together what the project will required in order to complete your service learning. Some past examples include reflection papers, journals, powerpoint presentation, etc. Once the project is complete, you turn in or review your project with your mentor, not the supervisor of this program. Please contact the supervisor for this project if you have further questions regarding the program or how to start the process.