Students in China.

Education Abroad

International Buddy Program

A VCU student helps at a children's daycare in the Dominican Republic.

We hope you had an amazing time studying abroad and hopefully met students from your host universities that helped ease the transition into the new culture. Now it’s your turn to do the same for an international exchange student here at VCU! Every year, we have about 20 to 30 exchange students through the ISEP and Partnership programs that are here for either a semester or the year. We try to match you up with a student who is from the location where you studied, or who shares similar interests or backgrounds. Try to meet with your buddy on a regular basis. To sign up to be a buddy, contact Sarah Young at

Below are some activity ideas and tips on being a buddy:

  • Pick up your buddy from the Richmond airport, train station or bus station
  • Make a lunch/coffee date with your buddy on a regular basis
  • Introduce your buddy to your friends or to student organizations to which you belong
  • Attend International Coffee Hour on Wednesdays in the University Student Commons
  • Show your buddy around the grocery stores
  • Introduce your buddy to the Fan District and take a walk down historic Monument Avenue
  • Go to Shafer Court Dining Center and eat breakfast, lunch or dinner together
  • Go shopping
  • Visit museums in Richmond, like the Valentine House, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Science Museum, the Museum of the Confederacy and the Virginia Historical Society, etc.
  • Attend VCU Music, Theatre or Dance performances
  • Visit the Anderson Gallery
  • Go to First Fridays
  • Go to Belle Isle and the Canal Walk
  • Go to Carytown and the Byrd Theatre
  • Show your buddy how to use the GRTC and Campus Connector bus system
  • Go to a VCU basketball game
  • Go to the gym
  • Take your buddy to the DMV to get a “walker’s license” (Virginia ID card)
  • Go to local restaurants
  • Do other activities such as bowling, billiards, playing cards and going to the movies
  • Go to Maymont
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