Buddy Programmes

Utrecht University offers a number of opportunities to buddy up with other students through different Buddy Programmes. Some Buddy Programmes focus on academic aspects of student life, while others will help you get to know Dutch culture and adapt to everyday life in the Netherlands - all programmes listed below are a great way of meeting new people and making friends!

Academic Buddy Programme: Intercultural Exchange

The Academic Buddy Programme is a UU-wide extracurricular programme dedicated to matching UU students (local or international) going on exchange to  exchange students joining UU. As an academic buddy, you stand to gain information about your prospective domicile abroad and share your knowledge of your local (academic) traditions.

What you can gain:

Besides meeting students from all over the world and making new friends from various backgrounds, you will have the opportunity to improve your language skills and intercultural competences through language assistants, peer feedback, and workshops. These will surround topics such as multiculturism, intercultural communication, and academic differences. You will be matched according to your shared (home or exchange) university, city, country, study programme, and/or language interests.

Are you interested? Currently, the deadline for signing up for the ABP has closed, but keep an eye out for future spots! However, if you are more interested in the language aspect, you may sign up to become a language assistant all throughout the year. Through this role, you would help others with their written and oral language skills. Do you need help with your language skills? Sign up as a language buddy to receive help!


Incluusion offers another buddy programme that is focused on assisting refugee students in adjusting to student life at Utrecht University and living in the Netherlands. If you are a refugee student and wish to get to know your new environment with a local student in a program tailored to your needs, or if you are a local student looking to get new experiences, perspectives, and friends, you can sign up here to participate in this buddy programme. 

ESN Pre-Departure Programme 

Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is a non-profit international student organisation with a mission to represent international students. It provides opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development under the principle of "Students Helping Students". 

To help you settle in smoothly, ESN offers a pre-departure program. In brief, you will be matched with a local mentor and have the chance to ask them any questions you may have about living in the Netherlands to help you prepare for your move to Utrecht! To read more about this program, visit this link

ESN also offers assistance to students on topics such as transportation upon their arrival to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport through the Arrival Assistance program. Read more here

Furthermore, ESN hosts an introduction week on the 12th - 16th of September, where students can purchase tickets to join groups with two mentors to meet new people and get to know their new environment better. 

Buddy go Dutch

If you are an international student in Utrecht looking for a Dutch friend or the other way around, Buddy go Dutch offers a matching event at the beginning of every semester. Matching will be done based on your personal interests and preferences to find your ideal buddy.

Studying without Limitations

If you are a student with a disability and you are experiencing problems while studying, working, living or going out, it can be a big step to ask for the help you actually need. In order to make this a little easier, Studying without Limitations has set up a buddy program, which is a project that pairs you with an experienced student.