WIMEK PhD Council developed a buddy system to welcome newly arrived PhD candidates at Wageningen University and support them to settle in Wageningen. A PhD buddy is a fellow PhD candidate who is 'linked' to a new PhD candidate, in order to help her or him to integrate at Wageningen University, within WIMEK Graduate School and in the Dutch society. Ideally, the buddy and the new PhD candidate have contact before the new PhD comes to The Netherlands. Per email/Skype the buddy can already answer some questions and give advice and support.
Role of PhD Buddy
The role of the buddy is mainly supporting the new PhD candidates, by exchanging knowledge and experiences, answering questions and helping to find solutions, hence not directly solving them.
The role of a buddy is easy and consists essentially of the following:
- Being available in the weeks before arrival (via email), in order to help with any questions that might come up during this period;
- Being in general available to help the new PhD find his/her way around in the first days in Wageningen, namely through answering questions, giving tips, suggestions and orientation;
- Taking the new PhD on a short tour that starts in the campus and goes around the town showing some important points.
Please Note that:
- the buddy is not a personal assistant, (s)he just guides the new PhD, indicating the correct procedure for a certain situation or where to find the information (s)he is looking for;
- the new PhD candidate receives from us a package of files, before arriving in Wageningen. These documents contain plenty of useful information that is meant to guide new PhDs, including international students, across a range of issues (practical, administrative, etc.).