How did you get informed about the Buddy Program and how did you decide to join it?
A fellow student forwarded an email from StudIT to me and with the information provided I decided to give it a shot. I grew up in Rüsselsheim which is mostly known for being the “home city” of Opel, one of the largest car manufactures in Germany. Being an industrial city, Rüsselsheim attracted migrant workers from all around Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Consequently, I came in contact with foreign cultures early in my life. Since kindergarten cultural, religious, social and linguistical diversity has played a huge part in my daily life and affected me exclusively positive. Additionally, prior to applying to become a buddy I spent 6 months in the US and 3 months in Switzerland and experienced firsthand that it is really helpful to have a local supporting you until you have settled it. Another advantage of a buddy is the contact to other locals he or she can provide. Therefore, I didn’t think much about it and sent an email to StudIT, offering to participate in the program.
Can you introduce yourself for readers?
My name is Philip Daub, I am 25 years old, and, as stated above, I was born and raised in Rüsselsheim a city in close vicinity to Frankfurt am Main. After finishing school, I completed an apprenticeship as a banking professional before starting my studies in International Business Administration at the University of Tübingen. Mostly because of my practical experience in the financial sector, I focused my studies on corporate and quantitative finance as well as financial modeling. I finished my bachelor’s degree in February and, currently, I am pursuing an internship as well as a master’s degree starting in September/October. Apart from studying sports plays a major role in my daily life. I did track and field (400m and 400m hurdles) on a competitive level for almost 20 years before switching to fitness and mountain biking.
Who was your buddy? Have you or your buddy asked for certain criteria before? What did you have in common?
My buddy was a business and economics student (master) from the University of Turino. I was happy with the match as I studied Italian during my studies (We mostly ended up speaking German or English, but the match fit). We had a lot of things in common. We both liked doing sports, hanging out drinking/celebrating and having discussions about politics.
How were your experiences with your buddies until now?
Due to the fact, that we had quite similar interests, I had exclusively positive experiences with my buddy. Both of us had busy schedules, so we mostly spend evenings cooking, drinking, celebrating. But there are no extraordinary experiences I can describe. The time we spend together was great, but we didn’t discover a new planet.
Are you still in contact with your buddies? How do you handle it when the communication is not perfect between two of you?
Unfortunately, the contact dried out as I finished my studies in Tübingen and left Tübingen before the end of the semester. But I plan on revive the contact as soon as my schedule is a little less busy.
Do you think that this program has lacks and needs to improve or fix something? What kind of pros and contras/difficulties has this program?
ProsContras- I personally met a lot of other German and international students through the program. – It is fun. – You can overcome prejudices; one might have towards foreigners – I personally think, that there could be more events organized by StudIT with both, German and International buddies – I know that it is difficult to always find the perfect match, especially due to the fact that those who match the buddies have mostly don’t know the students. Nevertheless, I want to state that the matching process could be improved as I know from other German buddies who were not happy with their match
What have you done during this program for your international Buddy to make you unforgettable/thankful?
I am grateful that he understood that I was under a lot of stress while writing my bachelor’s thesis and in the exam phase. I will always think back to our political discussions and the nice evenings we had.
What would you like to say to newcomers about being buddy/about this program in general? How did this program influence your life?
I can only recommend a participation in the program. It is a great opportunity to meet new people from all around the globe. And, although I grew up in a diverse environment, I learnt a lot of new things about different cultures and made new friends. The participation in the buddy program strengthen my motivation to travel more and, additionally, to experience as much different cultures and places as possible.