Language buddies

Are you a first-year student at Ghent University? Do you sometimes have trouble understanding what your lecturers are saying? Do you find it difficult to understand your course materials? Maybe what you need is a language buddy!

Ghent University provides a language buddy for every first-year student who wants extra language support. A language buddy is a student from your year or a higher year in your study programme. They will help you better understand academic Dutch (English?) by:

  • guiding you around campus during the first weeks, if you want them to;
  • answering your questions about classes and courses;
  • meeting with you at least 5 times during the first semester to discuss your course material.

Apply for a language buddy before the end of October by emailing taalbeleid@ugent.be.

Are you a student at Ghent University? Would you like to volunteer to support a first-year student during the first semester to better understand the lectures and the course material? Are you flexible, and open to other cultures and backgrounds? Do you feel confident in your academic language use? Then you might be the language buddy we’re looking for!

Starting from the academic year 2021-2022, Ghent University sets up a language buddy system to support first-year students’ language skills. You can contribute by becoming a language buddy! Apply by emailing taalbeleid@ugent.be.

What do we expect from you?

  • You follow the training ‘How to support your language buddy’ in which you’ll learn how to deal with multilingualism.
  • You act as a guide on campus during the first 4 weeks after matching, if requested by the first-year student.
  • You help the first-year student with text comprehension (both in terms of lectures and course materials).
  • You meet a minimum of 5 times during the first semester. In the discussions, you focus on the course material: the goal is to strengthen academic language use.
  • You actively participate in a one-hour intervision meeting with other language buddies.

What’s in it for you?

  • An expanded network: you’ll meet fellow students from other study programmes and faculties.
  • Practical experience as a surplus on your resume.
  • The opportunity to strengthen your didactic and communication skills.
  • A sandwich and drinks at the training.
  • A badge to which the various learning objectives are linked.

A language buddy...

  • is able to frame a language support question and offer appropriate solutions;
  • is able to set up a constructive dialogue with peers within and outside their own study programme, taking into account (inter)personal and cultural factors;
  • has a clear view on their own language skills and knows how to use them adequately;
  • recognizes the added value of linguistic diversity.