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International Student Services

La Sierra University International Buddy Program

What is LSUIB?

While many students have extensive experiences working, traveling in the United States, La Sierra University understands that for others, coming here may be their first experience outside of their home country. The International Buddy Program pairs an international student with a national-sibling for one year. International Buddy help facilitate their sibling’s transition and experience here at La Sierra University according to their needs.

Through this program the National Sibling plays an important role

  • Friend: Many international siblings are overwhelmed by the change of environment, may feel homesick, and have feelings of loneliness. Building a friendship is one of the simplest and most effective ways to help your International Buddy. Taking them out to lunch or offering a word of encouragement when needed can go along way towards making them feel more at home in a new place.
  • Share information: It is important to understand that what may be considered “common knowledge” to us will most likely be completely foreign to your International Buddy. It is your task to assist your buddy with their questions bout La Sierra University and Riverside in general, whether about classes, the weather, or fun places to visit, can be extremely helpful in their adjustment to life in the States.
  • Culture Sharer: The ability to be culturally sensitive is one of the most important characteristics of a National Sibling. Depending on where your sibling comes from, they may have a set of customs and values that are different from those in the United States. It is important to come to the understanding that their values and customs are just as valid as the ones we have here. It is your responsibility to create an awareness of these differences and help your Buddy understand the reason behind certain American customs.

Who can participate in the International Buddy Program?

The program is open to any current U.S/International undergraduate or graduate La Sierra University Students. Religious and non-religious; Native-born Americans and foreign-born Americans have the opportunity to participate in the program.

Who are the International Students at La Sierra University?

International students are traditionally F-1 Visa students who have come to the U.S. to study in a program. International students can also be a student here studying on another Visa who has spent the majority of their lives living in another country.

Mentor Requirement and Expectations

  • Attend the International Buddy Banquet
  • Respond to email and phone messages
  • The International Buddy Program is not a dating service.
  • The Program is not a tutoring service. However, if you notice that your International Buddy needs Academic help they are to be referred to the Learning Supporting and Testing Center.
  • It is crucial to respect your friend’s beliefs, especially when it comes to religion.
  • Share your culture openly
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