To help you transition to your life in Montreal and McGill, the Buddy Program connects new international students with returning students. They provide the friendly face, helping hand, and first Montreal friendship that can make a world of difference for new arrivals. Buddies can also offer linguistic support, cultural guidance and information about life at McGill.
Now in its 30th year, the Buddy Program has helped thousands of international students - over 900 last year - settle into McGill and Montreal. Volunteers and new students are paired on a rolling basis during the year, allowing new students to be in touch with their buddies over the summer and winter. There is no hard deadline for signing up, although it's important for both volunteers and new students to sign up before the term begins in order to ensure a smooth pairing.
The program offers a lot of things that new students can benefit from, including linguisitic support, cultural guidance, and information about life at McGill! Typical activities that new students and buddies engage in include showing new students around campus, locating popular must-see attractions and other local amenities in Montreal, discussing Montreal neighbourhoods to find apartments, and even bonding over a cup of coffee.
After a decade of work serving international students in the United States, Emily has returned to McGill where she completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees. In her role at ISS, Emily will organize events such as International Student Orientation and the International Buddy Program. She will also lead the team’s outreach and communications to students through social media, a monthly newsletter, the website and email. Emily tends to travel to places that begin with the letter P. For instance, she has travelled to Panama, Peru, Paris, Provence, and would soon like to visit Poland.
Jacob is a U2 student in Statistics and Computer Science. Having learned a lot from his buddy before entering the university, Jacob is now giving back to the Buddy Program. As the IT Intern of the Buddy Program, most of Jacob's work revolves around the technical details behind the scene. Jacob is in charge of maintaining the website (a fascinating piece of code by his predecessor, Gaurav, now an SWE at Microsoft) while occasionally introducing fancy new features. On top of that, Jacob provides technical support to the Buddy Program team and student users like you.
Jacob is also a K-12 science tutor, a printer boy at McGill's Science Computer Taskforce in the Burnside Basement, and an outspoken advocate of Chrome OS and cloud computing. Connect with Jacob on LinkedIn and give his projects a star on Github!
Jennifer is in her final undergraduate year of International Development Studies and doing two minors in Political Science and Social Entrepreneurship. She’s originally from Colombia but has been living in Canada for many years. She loves travelling and meeting people from different backgrounds. She’s excited to be part of the International Buddy Program team and help facilitate your buddy match. Connect with her on LinkedIn!