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International Student Success

Student Access and Success Programs

Buddy Volunteers

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The International Buccaneer Buddy (IBB) program is for ETSU students who want to help and befriend, new international students.  

Every year students from across the world come to ETSU to study, and they face the challenge of adjusting to living in a new country and culture.  They usually do not have cars and so are more restricted in what they can do.  You can make their transition to living here much easier by volunteering for IBB.  Volunteers will be matched with 1-2 new international students and will have the opportunity to participate in activities, events and trips throughout the year.    

Volunteers agree to:

  • Meet with their buddy(ies) face-to-face at least once a week for the first month of the semester
  • Help your buddy adjust positively to life here
  • Be supportive and answer your buddies questions
  • Actively participate in IBB group activities, where you will be able to meet and befriend other new international students
  • Be warm, accepting, and respectful of all the IBB students, regardless of any differences in culture, religion, political or social views, sexual orientation, race, or social class. 

All IBB volunteers must be current ETSU students and must agree to the expectations listed above. All new buddies must attend a brief orientation, and will be notified of open orientation times after their applications have been processed. Apply for IBB by filling out the online application below.

Application to be an IBB Buddy


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 LeeAnn Crumley

I heard about IBB from a few of my friends. I joined the following semester and it has been one of the most wonderful experiences while attending college. IBB gives you the opportunity to learn about so many different cultures. Ever since I joined IBB, I have made some really good friends and shared so many lovely experiences with them. There are so many great times to have with your group and your buddy. I feel like one of the best parts of IBB is being able to help make your new buddy's experience at ETSU and living in Tennessee sincere and unforgettable. IBB is a diverse and positive organization and I’m so thankful to be involved.

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 Ben Bailey

I wrote a paper for my English class on how I thought there should be a program to help international students adjust to life in America and make new friends; then I stumbled upon IBB, which turned out to be exactly what I was writing about! I've loved the opportunity to talk with students from different places with different perspectives and viewpoints than my own. I've learned that while there are many differences between people of different cultures, we are all very similar in what we think and what we want. Learning these things and making new friends has been awesome!

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 Aleigha Spaulding

I had been looking for a great organization to get involved with on campus, and I'm so thankful that I was led to IBB. I feel it's really important to be culturally aware, and my involvement in IBB has broadened my perspective of the world around me. Having the opportunity to help international students feel at home at ETSU has been amazing, even if some of them are only here for a little while. I have learned so much about different cultures and about myself. I've formed amazing friendships with my international buddies and hope to visit some of them in their home countries. I am so glad that I have been involved with such an amazing program. I can't wait to see what next year holds.


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