Living away from home can be stressful and challenging. The U Residence at Taylor’s University helps students to make that transition with their International Buddy Programme.
Not only can selecting the right course and the right university be challenging, but for many international students living away from home for the first time can be an even bigger challenge. To help with that transition, on-campus accommodation at Taylor’s University is offered at U Residence. Rani Kaur, the Manager of Resident Relations & Development at the Taylor’s U Residence has identified that, “Adjusting to new cultural environments can be exciting yet challenging, and new international residents often have a lot of concerns and questions during their first few weeks on-campus”. As part of their Residents Welfare Support, the ‘International Buddy Programme’ was introduced to help with the transition with the help of the Student Resident Council (SRC). This programme seeks to help all new international residents familiarise themselves with their new living space and adapt to living on-campus and in Malaysia. Mohammad Bashitul Islam, one of the SRC Leaders pointed out that “The Buddy System is a nice addition to U Residence’s on-going facilities. For some people, coming to new country and adapting to the new culture is difficult. Some people feel very lonely and isolated. It always helps when you connect to another person and share how you feel. The Buddy System (is) helpful in various ways. It also provides good opportunity to introduce new people to SRC and we can also look for potential new resident leaders”. The new students seemed to have benefited from International Buddy Programme with Nurul Aisyah Muhammad Rasyid, who is from Brunei, saying that “Through the Buddy System I settled well into U Residence and my new environment. My buddy was helpful with my enquiries”. Tanvir Ahmed who is from Bangladesh remarked, “Nice system. This helped me a lot to be familiar with completely unknown places and persons”, while Ibrahim Muan As'ad, from The Maldives added “The best! Buddy System is extremely helpful and very informative”. Each semester there is an Orientation for new students, where U Residence residents are introduced to Taylor’s Hostel’s ‘Living Right’ programme and participate in a ‘Safety Workshop’ session given by Mr. Rave, who is a Certified Crime Prevention Specialist (CCPS). Furthermore, as part of the U Residence Emotional Wellbeing Support for residents, a workshop on ‘Getting the Best out of University Living’ is also offered. It offers tips and self-management tools that will help students transition and adapt successfully into their academic and social lives. To find out more about Taylor’s U Residence Hostel click here – Global Matters (2017)