Broncho Buddies Sign Ups Now Open

Broncho Buddies Sign Ups Now Open

Sign ups are now open for the UCO Broncho Buddies program.

Student Marissa Thelen has a conversation with her assigned “Buddy,” Molok Amar at the Broncho Buddies meeting on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.

Sign ups are now open for UCO’s Broncho Buddies. Members must attend UCO and are required to spend time with their “buddy” at least once a month.

Broncho Buddies is a free, intercultural program that pairs UCO domestic students with UCO international students to provide an extra boost of support and security for both participants. Each domestic volunteer is responsible for helping an international student acclimate to a new life in a new place, while the international student teaches the domestic student about their culture and life at home.

Members of the Broncho Buddies program describe their involvement as a very rewarding experience. The organization prides itself on providing an environment from which both parties can benefit.

Daniele, a domestic student at UCO, “Broncho Buddies has opened my eyes to the number of international students we have here at Central. My Broncho Buddy and I are really close and we’ve built a real, lifelong friendship that I will cherish forever!”

Broncho Buddies likes to put an emphasis on learning about different cultures and making those unfamiliar with their environment feel at home. It can be hard to adjust to a new school in a new country, so Broncho Buddies aims to ease any anxiety or fear that international students might have.

Adah, an international student from Zambia said she is extremely thankful for her buddy. “Having been in Oklahoma for a short period of time, Broncho Buddies has helped me make new friends and gain new experiences with different cultures. My Buddy and I make a good pair and we enjoyed hanging out together. We will surely be friends beyond this program. I love Broncho buddies and UCO!!!”

The Centre for Global Competency hosts events throughout the semester for members to attend. Some of the events from the past include laser tag, Thunder games, bowling and cultural excursions. These types of activities help by promoting a family-type feeling of togetherness and give students a deeper bond.

While the program itself is free, some of the group events may require members to pay a small fee. Many of the members view these events as a building block in their relationship with their buddy.

“We go to a Thunder game every semester and we’re planning on going on a French excursion later in the spring,” said Connor Jones, the international activities assistant

The spring kick-off for Broncho Buddies is Feb. 2, 2017. This is when people will be paired up with their buddy and can bond over food and games alongside other participants.

The organization also offers educational benefits in addition to social benefits. Said Jones, “The students learn from each other and we also offer a scholarship.”

Broncho Buddies offers two $500 scholarships. One of the scholarships is awarded to an American student and the other goes to an international student.

Those interested in applying can fill out an application on the Broncho Buddies website. If you would like more information about the program, visit UCO’s International House or the Centre for Global Competency in the Nigh University Center, Room 137. The final day to sign up is Jan. 27.

 

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