The AUSA International Buddy Programme was created to help ease the transition for new international students adjusting to the kiwi culture. The programme is FREE, FUN and held each semester for new international students. All that is required is your commitment to the program!

What does an AUSA Buddy do?

An AUSA Buddy is an existing domestic or international students that gets paired with a new international student to offer them support and guidance. We would generally expect a Buddy to commit to at least two face-to-face meet ups, which can be:

  1. meeting up at a café to explain processes for key administrative processes such as applying for student visa, an IRD number, to convert a driving license, to obtain a suitable photo ID (i.e. 18+ card); or
  2. taking a walk down Queen Street to show them the nearest supermarket and stationery store, buying a phone card, and loading their tertiary concession onto the AT HOP card; or
  3. any other creative ideas that you may have!
  • An existing student at the University of Auckland (Domestic or International) that have completed at least 2 semesters already.
  • Commit to building a friendship with the new international students for at least one semester.
  • Be available during orientation week and at least 2 events during semester.
  • Be available to answer questions by email, facebook or phone.
  • Communicate often with the AUSA International Buddies Manager.

Who are we looking for?

How will I be supported in my role?

You’ll receive an information booklet with useful information for new international students and you’ll attend a 1.5 hour training session will also prepare you for your role.

The International Buddies Manager will also be contactable throughout the semester, via email and phone if you have any queries or need support.

  1. Fill out this form here:
  2. You will be contacted via email and added into a Facebook group for AUSA Buddies.
  3. You’ll need to participate in a 1.5 hour training session for AUSA Buddies.
  4. You will be matched with at least two or up to four new international students who wants a Buddy based on common interests.
  5. Come to our Buddy Program welcome breakfast during International Orientation (week prior to week 1 of semester 1 and 2). This is the first opportunity for you to meet the new students you will be supporting.
  6. Arrange a meet up with them, and tell us how it goes!

I’m keen, what happens next?

What will you gain as a AUSA Buddy?

  • The chance to meet people from all over the world!
  • The opportunity to receive role-specific training as well as the chance to focus on developing specific skills for example communication, leadership and team work.
  • Learn to balance your time effectively alongside a voluntary role,
  • The chance to participate in the Co-curricular Recognition Programme to gain official recognition for skills developed through volunteering within the University and wider community.
  • The opportunity to attend various events during the semester,
  • A valuable addition to your CV.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are AUSA Buddies paid?

No, this is an initiative that runs on the goodwill of existing domestic and international students. Your participation will greatly determine the effectiveness of the program and wellbeing of International Students! However, your participation in the programme and completion of your obligations will entitle you to a reference from AUSA. This sort of volunteer experience will look great on your CV.

How are AUSA Buddies different from UniGuides?

UniGuides support new students in navigating the university environment, but this does not necessarily include lifehacks on Auckland & New Zealand. International students require information specific to settling down in New Zealand, and that is what the Buddy Program focuses on.

If I am a UniGuide, can I still be an AUSA Buddy?

Yes, you can! AUSA Buddies meet their newbies in their free time. The timing is flexible and can be arranged between you and your newbie.

Do I keep in contact with my newbie even after Orientation?

Yes, we would love you to. After meeting up once or twice during Orientation, we would like you to stay in contact with your newbie for Semester 1. A text or email fortnightly will do, and a catch up every now and then is encouraged.

How will the success of the AUSA Buddy System be evaluated?

We will listen carefully to your feedback. Feedback will be collected from both buddies volunteers and new international students through online forms. Feedback forms will be sent at the end of Semester one and two.

I still need more information before I commit to this role

You can email Amy, the International Buddies Manager at You can also check out the AUSA Buddy facebook page here.

I’m a new international student looking for a Buddy

Click on this page if you’re looking for information on how to get a Buddy