I believe Global BUddies is a perfect opportunity to meet people from different cultures and understand each other by embracing and celebrating the differences between us.
Name: Anastasia Photiou
Course: BA (Hons) Computer Visualisation & Animation
Year of study: Final year
Home country: Republic of Cyprus
First language: Greek
“When I first came to BU two years ago, I was a Global BUddy and liked the experience so much that when I was asked to become a Global BUddies Leader the following year, I was overjoyed.
In my first year as a Global BUddy, I was excited to meet new people, gain experiences and understand more cultures through the international students signed up to this program. The scheme introduced me to UK customs that I did not know of before - for example, we had a big Christmas dining party in which platters from all over the world were served. I got to taste many different foods that I would not have otherwise tasted and even got to learn some interesting facts about the countries!
In my second year I was asked to be a Global BUddies Leader, helping new students adjust to life at BU, as others had done for me, but this time helping to organise events! I was delighted to accept as I believe Global BUddies is a perfect opportunity to meet people from different cultures and understand each other by embracing and celebrating the differences between us.
A highlight for me as a leader last year, was sharing the UK tradition of the “5th of November” – Bonfire Night. I had always known about this custom but I’d never got to experience it first hand, and the organised trip to watch the fireworks near Bournemouth University was a great success. I learnt the history of England and its traditions, and I got to taste the caramelised apples next to the warmth of the massive bonfire and under the fireworks that lit the field!
I have made friends with a number of people that I met during my two years of being a Global BUddy and I still keep in contact with about ten of them, some of whom I get to see every week. The difference between Global BUddies and other international programs is that the people I have met did not only become acquaintances, they have become my friends.
The scheme helped to smooth the transition that every new student at Bournemouth University goes through. I got to explore the area by visiting restaurants with people who were also curious to explore the city – even taking part in the Global BUddies international quiz nights helped me explore as on one occasion my group won a trip to explore beyond Bournemouth's grounds as we had to travel to get to the beautiful Highcliffe Castle.
Making friends online from my course helped a bit before my arrival at BU two years ago, but Global BUddies helped me settle in a country I had never been to before, be open-minded and accepting to differing cultures and ideas. It also helped me explore the area, learn the traditions and history of England as well as other countries. Most of all, it helped me to make memories and having fun whilst doing it!
I will be a Global BUddies Leader again this year and look forward to welcoming more new students to BU.”
The Global BUddies scheme welcomes all new students – whether you are from the UK, Uzbekistan, Uruguay or anywhere in between.