Find me an AUSA Buddy!

Hey there, are you a new international student at the University of Auckland?

We understand that the first month in NEW Zealand (pun intended) may be overwhelming for you. There is a lot of paperwork you have to complete. Homesickness engulfs you at times and some uniquely Kiwi customs may seem perplexing to you.

Having experienced this journey, Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) Buddies hope to ease your transition.

Sign up to get an AUSA Buddy here

The role of AUSA Buddies

AUSA Buddies are existing international students whom you can turn to for personal support.

They are willing to meet you face-to-face, over a cup of coffee to explain key administrative processes that you have to undertake. Some of these processes include – applying for student visa, an IRD number, to convert a driving license, to obtain a suitable photo ID (i.e. 18+ card).

They are willing to show you the nearest supermarket and stationery store, where you can obtain a phone card and get your student discount for the AT HOP card (for public transport).

When can I meet my Buddy?

You can arrange to meet your buddy from move-in week onwards, which includes:

  • Move-in Week: 19th – 25th Feb
  • UoA’s Orientation Week: 26th Feb – 4th Mar
  • Orientation Week (Week 1 Semester 1): 5th – 11th Mar
  • Week 2 Semester 1: 12th – 18th Mar

AUSA Buddies are also committed to building a friendship with you. They would love to keep in contact with you throughout Semester 1.

What else do I gain?

We will consolidate all useful information for new international students into an easily digestible information booklet, which you will get to keep for your reference.

Many AUSA Buddies are active university students; some even hold key leadership positions in their clubs. You will be plugged into the strong social networks that the Buddies bring with them.

You will get insider knowledge about the Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA), the people who represent you at the University of Auckland. This includes possible involvement as an AUSA Volunteer and strong ties with the International Students’ Officer (ISO).

I’m keen, what happens next?

  1. Tell us your name and contact details in this form here
  2. You will be contacted via email and linked up with your AUSA Buddy.
  3. Both your AUSA Buddy and yourself can arrange to meet up. Feel free to email them any questions as well!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are AUSA Buddies paid? No, this is an initiative that runs on the goodwill of existing international students. This is the first pilot run, and your feedback will help us make the Buddy System even better!

2. How are AUSA Buddies different from UniGuides? UniGuides support new students in navigating the university environment, but this does not necessarily include lifehacks on Auckland & New Zealand. International students require information specific to settling down, which UniGuides may not be trained to provide.

Moreover, according to our survey, only 15% of UniGuides keep in contact for 1-2 months. We hope that AUSA Buddies can offer stronger support through a more enduring relationship.

3. How will the success of the AUSA Buddy System be evaluated? We will listen closely to your feedback. Feedback will be collected from both Buddies and yourself through online forms. Forms will be sent in the 3rd week of Semester 1, 8th week of Semester 1 and at the end of Semester 1.

4. What if I do not like my AUSA Buddy? Our AUSA Buddies are passionate and well-trained and we are proud of them. In the unlikely event that you cannot get along with your AUSA Buddy, you may email Yi Xin, the International Students’ Officer at iso@ausa.org.nz.

5. I still need more information before I sign up … Sure, thanks for thinking it through. You can email Yi Xin, the International Students’ Officer at iso@ausa.org.nz.