ISM student Max Diemers (right) with his Mexican buddy partner Jorge ‘Alex’ Bravo from Universidad Iberoamericana.

Two countries, two languages and one semester full of adventure: Participation in this year’s buddy program has been a hugely successful experience for Max Diemers from ISM Dortmund. Thanks to Jorge ‘Alex’ Bravo, an international guest student from Mexico, he has been able to gain valuable insights into a different culture. Conversely, Max has helped the Mexican student become familiar with his new surroundings in the Ruhr Region and welcomed him into his circle of friends.

“The time spent in Germany is a very special experience for me,” says Alex. “Everyone is very open and hospitable. And I’ve had the chance to mix with lots of new people.” Visiting students are paired up with an ISM peer by the International Office. The team makes sure that the desired language and interests of the individual students are compatible. The ISM students help the international guests settle into life in Germany. Furthermore, they provide answers to questions on a range of topics regarding courses and organisational aspects. Experience has shown: Many of the students also become good friends – just like Max and Alex.

“We regularly meet up informally away from the university. Thanks to the buddy program and many private social events, we’ve become really good friends,” explains Max, who is completing his bachelor's degree in International Management. “We’ve been to see Borussia Dortmund play and we’re flying off to Barcelona and London together soon. It’ll also give Alex the chance to see a bit of Europe.”

The Mexican student from Universidad Iberoamericana is spending one semester at ISM. But he hopes to stay in contact with his buddy after his time in Germany comes to an end: “Whenever Max wants to come to Mexico, he is more than welcome to stay with me and my family.”