Make the transition to the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) easier and more fun by joining the JIBC International Buddy Program!

The International Buddy Program pairs new international students with current JIBC students to provide: a friendly face, helping hand, and first friendship in Metro Vancouver that can make a world of difference for new students. Buddies will also offer linguistic support, cultural guidance, and information about life at JIBC. Some examples of the support that may be provided to the incoming students are:

  • Reaching out for support prior to student’s arrival;
  • Orienting students with services offered around campus;
  • Helping to choose and opening a bank account and a cell phone service plan;
  • Finding suitable accommodation;
  • Inviting the student to social events on and off-campus;
  • Introducing Canadian culture to the student;
  • Online face-to-face meetups using any platform (i.e. Zoom, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Google Meet);
  • Emailing or meeting online to talk about courses, instructors, campus-life, clubs, etc.;
  • Online games, karaoke or videogames; or
  • Chatting online over a cup of coffee or tea.

Volunteers and new international students are paired on a rolling basis before the beginning of the Spring and Fall terms. There is no hard deadline for signing up, although it is important for both volunteers and new students to sign up before the term begins in order to ensure a smooth pairing.

As a Buddy Volunteer, you may be the very first friend a new international student has at JIBC.  You play an important role in easing the new student's transition to JIBC and to Metro Vancouver, and in helping, them feel a little less overwhelmed by their new environment.  There are many benefits to volunteering, including:

  • Making new social connections;
  • Learning about another culture (or connecting with someone from your own culture);
  • Developing intercultural communication skills;
  • Aqquiring mentorship experience;
  • Developing an international network of friends;
  • Acquiring essential skills to succeed in future careers;
  • Building International volunteer experience to apply for scholarships and awards;
  • Gaining access to team building events; and
  • Becoming eligible to receive a volunteer certificate, as well as a reference letter, after successful completion of the semester.


Eligibility in becoming an International Buddy Mentor

  • A current JIBC student, who has completed at least one semester.
  • Enrolled as a student in the semester that you are applying to join the International Buddy Program.
  • Grades are in good academic standing.
  • Agree to fulfil the obligations of the International Buddy Program for the whole semester.
  • Interested in an international network of friends.
  • Committed to completing an online training session.

By joining the International Buddy Program as a Volunteer, you are committing to:

  • A minimum of one academic term;
  • Emailing your Buddy within 7 days of being matched;
  • Meeting with you Buddy at least once in person and more if possible;
  • Sending a mid-term check-in message to your Buddy;
  • Completing your end-of-term report; and
  • Participating in a brief 45-minute training webinar.

If you are interested in applying to be an International Buddy Mentor, complete the Buddy Mentor Application form and email if to  We will match you with a new international student that best fits your profile.

Attend the online Buddy Volunteer Training

This 45-minute training webinar is designed to help you:

  • Understand your role and responsibilities as a Buddy Volunteer.
  • Identify and appreciate culturally-influenced communication styles.
  • Engage in culturally-sensitive and respectful dialogue with new international students.
  • Identify ways to facilitate the new student's transition to JIBC and Metro Vancouver.
  • Refer students to resources that can answer their questions about specific topics.
  • Understand the importance of respecting student privacy and confidentiality.
  • Identify ways in which the experience will benefit your own development.

New International students, Incoming Exchange and Visiting Students who are interested in applying to be matched with a global buddy mentor should complete the New Student Application form and email if to  We will match you with a Buddy Mentor student that best fits your profile.