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Dragon Buddy Program

What is the Dragon Buddy program?

Drexel University’s Office of Global Engagement is proud to host over 100 exchange students every year from around the world on our campus here in Philadelphia. To best help our exchange students get acclimated to Drexel, Philadelphia, and the United States, we have created the Dragon Buddy Program which runs Fall Winter & Spring quarters. The Office of Global Engagement will match a Drexel student with an incoming exchange student, allowing our exchange students to become familiar with campus life and Drexel students an opportunity to meet and show our exchange students what it means to be a Drexel Dragon!

Dragon Buddies are one of the first points of contact for exchange students as they prepare to come to Drexel. Dragon buddies are meant to serve as a guide, resource, and hopefully friend. Inbound exchange students will receive a sign-up link via e-mail 1-2 months before arrival. If you are a Drexel student interested in being a Dragon Buddy for an exchange student, please review the details below and then e-mail inboundexchange@drexel.edu to be added to our mailing list. When it is time for sign-ups, we will send you the link directly via e-mail.

Dragon Buddies: Drexel Student Information

Who should be a Dragon Buddy?

  • Students who are passionate about international travel, and global engagement
  • Students who had an incredible experience studying abroad, and are now eager to continue internationalizing their education through meeting new people with new ideas

What will you do as a Dragon Buddy?

  • Communicate with your buddy via texting/Facebook or any other mode of communication PRIOR to their arrival, in order to establish a rapport before meeting in person. Ask about your buddy’s major/interests and offer helpful hints about Philly, and Drexel such as what to bring, and what to expect.
  • Find out your buddy’s arrival date and time, and if possible, meet your buddy at the airport. Otherwise, be sure to inform them how to arrive at 30th Street Station from the airport regional rail, meet them at 30th Street Station, and help them sign into their dorm/apartment. If for some reason it is impossible for you to meet them at either the airport OR 30th Street, please ask one of the other Dragon Buddies to stand in for you. Having friendly contact upon arrival makes the exchange students feel welcome and sets the tone for their experience. Make sure they have your cell phone number for help upon arrival!
  • During their first few days on campus, help your buddy navigate Drexel’s campus, noting important buildings (Dragon Card Office for ID card, library, gym, cafeteria, bookstore, popular restaurants, etc.) and pointing out where their classes will be held. Tell your buddy the do's & don’ts of staying safe in Philadelphia.
  • Show your buddy how to find:
    • Stores like Target or IKEA where they can go to buy necessary items for their rooms
    • Grocery stores (Trader Joe’s, Heirloom, Aldi, Fresh Grocer, etc.)
    • Cell phone/SIM card. This is harder than you would expect because there are so many options.
    • ATMs or banks if they want to open an account here
    • Campus activities/events/clubs that intersect with their interests
    • Public transportation/ SEPTA
  • Be their friend!

Events and Activities:

  • All Dragon Buddies are expected to attend our Welcome/Welcome Back Pizza Party (usually held during week 1 of the term). The Welcome/Welcome Back Pizza Party is a fun event that gives Dragon Buddies and exchange students the opportunity to mingle, socialize, and enjoy free food!
  • There are typically two other events organized each term (Fall, Winter, & Spring) in addition to the Welcome/Welcome Back Pizza Party. Examples of these events include a Phillies game, Terror Behind the Walls, etc. We highly encourage Dragon Buddies to attend these events with their buddy!

Important Notes about being a Dragon Buddy:

  • The most important thing is to keep in touch beyond the first day or two and make the effort to help your buddy to make the most out of their short stay at Drexel. If you feel like you are not able to maintain engagement throughout the term, this might not be the right program for you.
  • Some buddies are more social and proactive about keeping in touch than others. If your buddy is unresponsive, check in with them from time to time and let it be known that you’re there to help. Also, don’t take their unresponsiveness personally.
  • We will do our best to match you with someone who shares your interests, but please be open to being a Dragon Buddy for any of our incoming exchange students. They are all eager to make Drexel friends!
  • Your buddy will be interested to meet local students, so and introduce them to your friends, and invite them to hangout or study together. Make them feel at home at Drexel!
  • If you are a Drexel student interested in being a Dragon Buddy for an exchange student, please e-mail inboundexchange@drexel.edu to be added to our mailing list. When it is time for sign-ups, we will send you the link directly via e-mail.