Southeast Buddy Program

Live Chat Support Software

Welcome to the Southeast Buddy Program!

There are currently around 11,000 students attending SEMO, and nearly 700 of those are international!   The Office of International Education and Services wants to create more integration between all students and faculty/staff on campus, no matter where they come from. This is why we have organized the Southeast Buddy Program!

If you are interested in expanding your horizons and knowledge about different countries, then we encourage you to sign up for this program.

Throughout the semester, you will meet with your Buddy to spend time with each other at least once a month. Of course, we hope that you will become good friends and hang out a lot more! You can decide on your own what activities you want to do together, but here are some good ideas: cooking traditional meals, watching SEMO sports teams, celebrating holidays together, going to the movies, hiking on nearby trails, and just meeting for a cup of coffee.

In addition to these ideas and other SEMO events, we organize a Southeast Buddy Program “Kick-Off” event, where you will be introduced to your Buddy and get to know each other through fun activities. We also further explain what is expected of you as a Buddy and answer any questions you may have.

To match you with the perfect Buddy, we want to know about your interests, hobbies, language skills, etc. Please fill out this application:

Southeast Buddy Program Application

We hope that you are excited to join this program!

Thanks to Katrien Gillé for creating this new Southeast Buddy Program!
Katrien came to Southeast as an exchange student from UCLL in Leuven, Belgium for the Fall 2016 semester. Together with two other exchange students, she participated in the Southeast Innovation Challenge by submitting a proposal for this type of buddy program, which won first place! The Office of International Education and Services subsequently offered Katrien an internship for the Spring 2017 semester in order to implement her idea, resulting in the Southeast Buddy Program!


If you would like more specific information, please refer to the information for each type of participant:

As a U.S. American student, we know that it can be quite tough to get into contact with international students, which is why we created the SOUTHEAST BUDDY PROGRAM. However, learning about other cultures and countries is extremely important in an increasingly globalized world. More and more companies try to expand their business internationally, so having this experience will give you hands-on experience communicating with someone from another country. At the end of the program you will receive a certificate of participation, which you can add to your CV. This type of extracurricular activity will certainly draw the attention of future employers!

You will be paired up with an international Buddy to help them become more integrated in the US American student life. It is important for them to get to know and understand the new culture they’re going to be living in, and that’s a hard thing to do on their own. That’s why we need you to step up! Show your international Buddy how the US American college life works and take them under your wing.

Besides the satisfaction of helping a new international student, you will get some other perks. First of all, you will learn about a new culture and country and be able to compare it to the US. It’s quite fascinating to see how habits can vary from place to place, and your international Buddy can give you this insight. For example, there is a chance your Buddy doesn’t tip the waiter in his/her country; greeting with a kiss instead of a handshake or hug; driving on the opposite side of the road, etc. You’ll also be able to expand your circle of friends to a more culturally diverse group!

In general, you and your Buddy will learn from each other and just have a lot of fun throughout the semester! To sign up for the program, just fill out this application by clicking on the red button above.

We can’t wait to see what you do, and more importantly: we can’t wait to see who you meet!

We are excited that you have chosen to come to Southeast Missouri State University - SEMO and we hope that you are too!

Moving to another country can be quite scary, so we want to make you feel safe and help you with the transition. This is why we created the SOUTHEAST BUDDY PROGRAM!

You will be paired up with a Buddy that will help you adapt to your new home -- because that is exactly what we want: we want you to feel at home here at SEMO! Plus, wouldn’t it be awesome to learn about culture in the United States while teaching someone else about your amazing culture?

We have two different options you can participate in:

Your first option is to be paired up with another U.S. American student. This student will help you learn about the student life, culture, habits and so much more in the United States. You’ll have a new friend on campus who can guide and help you here at Southeast. If you want to have a good university social life, then this is the right option for you.

Your second option is to be paired up with a SEMO faculty or staff member. You will become familiar with a typical U.S. American lifestyle and be able to compare it to your own. If you are interested in being welcomed into a home to experience traditional holidays, such as Thanksgiving, then this option is best.

We hope that you are excited to sign up and fill out the application by clicking on the red button above.

We can’t wait to see what you do, and more importantly: we can’t wait to see who you meet!

As a SEMO Faculty/Staff member, you have most likely interacted with many international students already, but you may not have had much time to get to know them beyond your role at the university. Therefore, we have created the SOUTHEAST BUDDY PROGRAM to offer a structured way in which you can spend time with a new international student exchanging perspectives and helping them feel welcome at SEMO and in the U.S. in general.

You will be paired up with an international Buddy to meet with at least once a month (preferably more often) according to your own schedules and interests. Common activities include: cooking U.S. and international dishes at your home; attending or participating in a sporting event; exploring a local park or cultural site; or even just meeting for coffee on campus. The time that you spend with your international Buddy will allow them to better acclimate to the U.S. culture and customs while you gain insight into their country and lifestyle.

We hope you will agree to participate in this new initiative! To sign up for the program, just fill out this application by clicking on the red button above.

Thanks to you, SEMO can continue being a welcoming place for students from all over the world!


International Center – Located at:
939 College Hill
Cape Girardeau, MO

International Education and Services
One University Plaza, MS2000
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701
Staff Directory