Ashraf Elzoheri

While studying abroad always takes a lot of courage, it is easier to adapt to your new environment with someone by your side who knows their way around. The Germany-wide project ‘Start with a friend’ connects newcomers looking for help and those happy to support them. ISM student Ashraf Elzoheri moved from Egypt to Germany one year ago to study Business Intelligence & Data Science at ISM Dortmund. After going along to an information evening to become part of the buddy program, he was so impressed by the project that he immediately joined the SwaF team in the Ruhr Area. “The buddy system ensures international students enjoy a quick introduction to German culture while engaging in cultural exchange, something which immediately fueled my interest in the project,” explains Ashraf. “You soon realize that you have much more in common than you thought.”

To him, his voluntary work is much more than a job. “I get into contact with international applicants and then look for the perfect buddy with my colleagues. Afterwards, I accompany the duos and make sure they get along,” says the master’s student. “It gives me great pleasure to see how international students, like myself, feel less lonely at first and how friendships develop.”