Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul







University Buddy Program


The University Buddy Program is organized by the Academic Mobility of the Office of International and Institutional Affairs – AAII and supported by the Office of the Vice President for Extension and Community Affairs (PROEX) through the Psychosocial Care Center (CAP), with the aim of helping exchange students adapt during their stay at PUCRS.



The Program aims to meet the needs of exchange students from their arrival at PUCRS and during their stay, with a view to overcoming everyday difficulties. In essence, the program aims to help exchange students during the sociocultural adaptation process in addition to academic integration.



Students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs at PUCRS can participate in the Buddy Program. It is a voluntary activity, in which a PUCRS student and an exchange student can share ideas, experiences and, primarily, learn about each other’s culture and language.

Students must join the program on a voluntary basis. Fluency in a particular language is not mandatory, but will be considered a valuable skill when selecting candidates.



The basic activities involved are as follows:

  • Contacting the exchange student prior to their arrival in Brazil (introducing yourself, answering questions about the manuals the student should have received/will receive, about PUCRS, Porto Alegre, Brazil, the language…).
  • On their arrival at PUCRS, introducing the exchange student to the University’s different sectors/units and provide information on Porto Alegre.
  • Supporting the student by teaching him/her about everyday life in the city, such as shopping, making phone calls and choosing a cell phone provider, exchanging foreign currency for local currency, recommending good leisure spots and identifying differences/peculiarities in public transport, among other activities.
  • Assisting students with their integration into the local and academic community.
  • Developing a partnership with the foreign student, ensuring he/she feels like an integral part of the community.
  • Teaching the visiting student about the life, culture and language of the region.
  • Participating in general meetings for the program when necessary.


Complementary activities

University Buddies can also supervise and advise exchange students in complementary activities to help them through the adaptation/integration process; these include:

  • Sports: games, gym, walking.
  • Cultural activities: cinema, theater, musical performances.
  • Entertainment: restaurants, bars and clubs.
  • Excursions: trips and visits to tourist attractions in the region and surrounding areas.
  • Religious activities: prayer groups, masses, religious study activities.



PUCRS students interested in participating in the University Buddy Program should visit the Academic Mobility website (www.pucrs.br/pma) and fill out the form available for download. Applications are processed by the Academic Mobility (building 01, room 110, ground floor, University Campus – Phone: [51] 3320.3656 or [51] 3320.3660).



Students who apply for the University Buddy Program will be interviewed by professors from the Psychosocial Care Center (CAP).

The time, date and place for the interviews will be stipulated by the Academic Mobility Office (CMA).


University Buddies are not required to…

  • Find accommodation for exchange students.
  • Solve passport or visa problems, etc.
  • Pick exchange students up at the airport. This is not part of a University Buddy’s responsibilities, although they may opt to do so.



1) University Buddies have no financial obligations to exchange students.
2) Valid as a complementary activity in accordance with the course’s pedagogical projects.