The Buddy programme ensures intercultural mingling

What do a typical Dane from a small town in the middle of Jutland and an international student from Slovakia possibly have in common? And where would a second-semester Marketing Management student meet a first-semester Multimedia Design and Communication student? The answer to both: the Academy’s Buddy programme!

Simon Kristensen is 24 years old and an ambitious student in the ‘plus’ programme – a Marketing Management class developed for students who are especially gifted and motivated.

Ivan Kvasnica is 25 years old and learning much more than communication strategy and dissemination. After only four months in Denmark, he can say ‘rødgrød med fløde’ - a mean test of pronunciation that the Danes impose on almost all foreigners.

Get more information about the buddy programme

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Both are part of the Academy’s Buddy programme where international students are paired up with current students. As part of the Buddy programme, Simon and Ivan were introduced via email before Ivan moved to Denmark at the end of January 2015. And although Ivan has travelled to other Nordic countries, he was glad to have an initial contact in Denmark when he arrived in the dead of winter. Ivan anticipated being introduced to Denmark, and Simon was looking forward to being introduced to new cultures. Both have had their expectations met.

Their first face-to-face meeting was at the Academy arranged introduction meeting at Studenterhus Aarhus. About 100 students attended this meeting so it was a bit challenging trying to identify one another from just their Facebook photos. Luckily, they did manage to find one another and spent the rest of the evening with some of Simon’s classmates and their respective Buddies.

The (in)famous Danish dinner evening

And that was the start of that relationship. Since then, they have both attended all the Academy arranged Buddy events together, these have included a networking event and a Danish dinner evening. They both chuckle when the Danish dinner is mentioned. They held it at Simon’s place and had ordered food from a caterer – this, unfortunately, turned out to be Thai food with a side dish of porridge (the aforementioned rødgrød med fløde). So, diverse yes, Danish not so much.

More than football and beer

Simon has also organised a few football games and as soon as exams are over, more football is on the cards.

But the Buddy programme is not just football and beer, both students are glad for the intercultural mingling it has allowed and the extended network both have been able to create.