Buddies program helps new students adjust

Tech Buddies, a program implemented this semester by the Service Station, is cultivating student friendships on a global level.

“There’s definitely a period of adjustment as you adapt to a foreign culture, and it’s always nice to have someone that is genuinely interested in helping you,” Beth Douglass, Tech senior and Tech Buddies program coordinator, said.

“We try to match up international students with American students in order to provide a buddy who will hopefully ease the transition for the international students and encourage lifelong friendships between cultures.”

More than 175 students are already participating in the bond-building program, according to Peggy Kilgore, Tech instructor of English and Communications and faculty head of the Service Station.

“International students are a big part of the Tech community,” Kilgore said. “But Tech Buddies is not only for international students.”

Because it provides a comfortable way to make connections on campus, Kilgore said that the program is a service to new students, regardless of nationality.

“I’ve met with my buddy a couple of times and it’s interesting to see how she reacts to our culture,” Sarah Hess, a freshman buddy, said. “It’s also very intriguing to get her perspective on how her culture is different than ours or the same.”

According to Kilgore, the program also benefits Tech as a whole, especially foreign students who have positive experiences.

The Service Station is one of the four Tech living and learning villages.