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Guide to Being a Local Buddy

Thank you for your interest in Partner@PSL, the voluntary-based Buddy program of PSL, which aims at enhancing our International students’ first experience in Paris.

International students are a diverse group from all around the world, enrolled in a variety of different programs across PSL. International students can study at PSL for one or two semesters (“on exchange” like Erasmus), for an entire program (a 2-year Master’s program or a dual diploma). At PSL, about 20% of the student community is from abroad!

Your missions as a « Local Buddy » are to:

  1. Get in touch with your « International Buddy » as soon as you have the email giving you their name and contact details;
  2. Welcome your « International Buddy » when they arrive in France, at the airport or at the train station and give them their “welcome pack” (to be picked up at the PSL Welcome Desk on 60 rue Mazarine).
  3. Meet your « International Buddy » at least once before the beginning of the academic year to help them with administrative procedures if needed;
  4. Guide your “International Buddy” to their new school before the beginning of the academic year;
  5. Have lunch with your “International Buddy” at the CROUS to show them the student restaurant service;
  6. Show your “International Buddy” your favorite place in Paris;

We encourage you to take the initiative to plan activities with your Buddy even after the beginning of the academic year.

Please note that you can have more than one “International Buddy” (max: 3)

What’s in it for me?

  • Social engagement: You will make a humongous difference in someone’s first experience in Paris! International students usually tell us how confusing their first days in Paris were!
  • Learning a new culture: being matched with an international student will enable you to discover / or deepen your knowledge on a new culture.
  • Practicing a foreign language: This is a good opportunity to practice your English or any other language you have in common.

Important information:

As a “Local Buddy”, you are a representative of PSL University, and thus you are :

  • Expected to act in ways that are consistent with the role and guiding values of the University, and that does not impede or prejudice the work of other members of the community.
  • Expected to act with integrity and demonstrate respect for others.

Our advices to be a great Local Buddy and enjoy the experience

  • Each international student is unique and has their own needs and expectations. As a Local Buddy, it is important to be open and flexible.
  • Think carefully about how you communicate and how this may come across to someone from another culture: Use clear language and explain French slang.
  • Check for understanding with your Buddy. Sometimes it can be useful to follow up with an email to ensure understanding such as “let’s meet on 30 August at 5pm in front of the ENS Building on 45 rue d’Ulm”.
  • Be aware that building a good rapport with your Buddy may take time.
  • You may want to research where your Buddy comes from, to gain a better insight into their home culture.
  • It is up to you to decide how you want to connect with your Buddy, and how much of your personal life you want to share. If you have any concerns or questions, please reach out to the PSL Welcome Desk team : partner@psl.eu

Be sharing, caring and have fun… and always remember the PSL Welcome Desk team is here to help for any concerns you may have.


I’m not in Paris on the day my “International Buddy” arrives.

Let us know as soon as you realize that you will not be available to welcome your “International Buddy” (partner@psl.eu). We will match your “International Buddy” with another “local Buddy” for the Meet & Greet.

My “International Buddy” isn’t answering my emails.

First, we’ll try to contact your “International Buddy”, and they don’t answer, we will match you with another “International Buddy”.

My “International Buddy” doesn’t study in the same school as me. How can I enter their school?

You can enter all PSL University’s schools by showing your student card (it has the PSL logo on it!)

Do I have to pay for my “International Buddy’s lunch at the CROUS or metro tickets to get back from the airport?

No, you are here to help your “International Buddy” and guide them but you don’t have to pay anything for them! At the airport, show them only how to buy a RER airport-Paris center ticket, jump on the RER with them and accompany them to their accommodation 😊

When can I come and get the “Welcome Pack” for my “International Buddy”

From Monday to Friday (9.00am-6.00pm), from 19 August onwards @PSL Welcome Desk (60 rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris).