International Buddies helps students find a home away from home, participant says

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Among the many student organizations at Kansas State, there is an organization that has a profound influence on the life of international students — International Buddies.

International Buddies is an organization that matches international students and domestic students by randomly forming groups and organizing a variety of activities to enrich extracurricular life and promote communication between international students and local students.

Yanshan Yu, junior in marketing, registered for International Buddies at the beginning of the school year. She was randomly assigned to group 41 and participated in a number of extracurricular activities organized by the group with her team members.

“I transferred to K-State from a Chinese university and have been here for more than a year,” Yu said. “After hearing about the International Buddies organization, I was very interested. I signed up and my group members accompanied me through a happy and substantiate semester.”

Yu and her team members first communicated in the form of email and from there established a group chat and occasionally they would hang out together. Yu said going out and chatting with her fellow group members makes her relax and helps her exchange in the domestic culture.

“When I first came here to study, I was only willing to communicate with the Chinese [students], but recently I obviously felt that I became more cheerful, more and more interested in people from other countries, and more willing to share my life with them,” Yu said.

This semester, Yu said she participated in a number of activities organized by International Buddies. She joined camping trips, game nights and Thanksgiving dinner.

“Thanksgiving Day is a very strange holiday for international students, but I am very happy to participate in the Thanksgiving dinner to let me know more about and participate in the culture of the United States,” Yu said.

Yu said she thinks that participating in this kind of organization offers more experiences and allows participants to practice speaking in new languages and make new friends.

“This semester, I have gained a lot,” Yu said. “I will continue to actively participate in International Buddies’ activities in the next semester to enrich my extracurricular life.”

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