Buddy Abroad

Students enjoy pizza at the buddy abroad welcome lunch hosted by WMU Study Abroad.

 Western Michigan University welcomes exchange and Study Abroad @ WMU students from around the world each year. The Buddy Abroad program seeks to provide support and intercultural learning opportunities for Visiting International Peers (exchange or Study Abroad @ WMU students who choose to participate in the Buddy Abroad program) by pairing them with a WMU student who is taking a course in global and international studies.

Who can apply for Buddy Abroad?

  • An exchange student at WMU.
  • A Study Abroad @ WMU student.

The pairing serves as a mutually educational experience in which our WMU Buddies learn about the culture and heritage of our VIPs, while also serving as a cultural ambassador to help VIPs learn about campus, the local community, and United States' culture.

VIPs and WMU students selected to serve as a Buddy make a one-semester commitment to each other. WMU Buddy pairs will meet for seven activities during the semester and be invited to four group events hosted by WMU Study Abroad. Buddies will meet for the first time during the first two weeks of the semester and collaboratively decide dates and times for future meetings.

What are examples of activities that Buddies do together?

  • Playing games unique to U.S. culture.

    Visiting International Peers (VIP's) spend time with their WMU buddies abroad. 

  • Visiting a local, county, or state park.
  • Sharing popular culture videos through YouTube.
  • Attending events hosted by WMU Study Abroad.
  • Meeting in campus cafes for conversations.

How can I request a WMU Buddy?

  1. Be accepted as an incoming exchange or Study Abroad @ WMU student.
  2. Complete and submit a Buddy Abroad request form.

Deadlines to apply:

For fall semester: August 25

For spring semester: December 22

Successful applicants will receive information about getting started well before the beginning of the semester.

Questions or comments may be directed to study-abroad@wmich.edu or call +1 (269) 387-5890.