The BEE mentorship program is open not only to SH students, but to all incoming international students. Hungarian and international upperclass students have the opportunity to help first-year students by becoming mentors.
In many cases, foreign students come from very distant countries, even from other continents, and often this is the first time for them to be away from home. It is a difficult experience to be away from home for the first time even if you move to Budapest from the countryside; students need to take care of themselves on their own, solve problems alone, and their parents and friends are no longer there to help them out. The unknown culture of the university brings challenges that students need to adapt to and at the beginning, this new situation could be very challenging. In the case of foreign students, all the new and unfamiliar habits of the culture, as well as the new language of the country, are just some of the challenges they face.
By joining the mentorship program, students do not need to face these challenges alone. The most important aim of our international mentor program is to help international students with socialization and integration into everyday life in Hungary and the university. For example, mentors contact the mentees before arrival and start to organize the most important things they need to sort out when they arrive. The mentor may also meet the mentee upon arrival at the airport and can help them in finding their way around the university, including the accommodation and administration offices. Mentors accompany mentees, if needed, throughout the whole semester, they offer social and professional programs, and give support e.g., in the exam period or when an emergency appears.
Our community started to develop due to the growing number of students participating in the English language programs. The movement turned into an official program with its organizational form in 2020, one year after its sister program, the Hungarian mentor program started.
All second- and third-year students who can communicate in English and is ready to give time to help other students.
The application process consists of two parts:
- the written application (see the form at the bottom of the page).
- the orientation chat, where we discuss your motivation, whether you are ready to commit yourself for a semester or for the longer term to the program, which division fits your workload/personality, etc.
By joining this program as a mentor, you will become a member of a friendly, international team. You will closely communicate with fellow students as well as the international coordinators which will improve your network and help you find meaningful friendships. We believe that being a mentor can greatly contribute to your personal and professional development.
As part of the program, you will work in a multicultural environment, as part of a goal-oriented team. You will gain important skills such as teamwork, presentation, communication, leadership, organization, problem-solving, and work ethic. As the working language is English, you could also develop your communication in English. You can also take part for free in the professional and entertainment programs organized for the mentees.
By fulfilling the requirements, you will receive an official certificate from the Head of the International Mentoring Program that you completed the volunteering activity in the semester. Students use this certificate to certify their activity for several purposes, such as applying for a job or scholarship, etc. You will receive 3 credits as a reward for your volunteering activity.
The most important task of our international mentors is to help foreign students with socialization and integration into everyday life in Hungary and the university.
In many cases, our foreign students come from very distant countries, even from other continents, and often this is the first time for them to be away from home. It is a very good start in the relationship between the mentor and the mentee if the mentor meets the mentee at the airport.
It is a difficult experience for every student from the countryside to be away from home for the first time; they need to take care of themselves on their own, solve problems alone, for their parents are no longer there to help them out. In the case of foreign students, all the unknown and strange habits of the new culture and the foreign and strange language are all added to that.
Therefore, these students need help getting along in the necessities of everyday life. They need to be shown shopping opportunities, even some of the available foods, marketplaces, traffic in the city, and what is where in Budapest. If needed, they might have to be accompanied to the doctor, a pharmacy, or the authorities. You may have to help them find accommodation and doing their nitty-gritty jobs with the landlord, transferring money, etc.
The first weeks at the university mean a great challenge for every first-year student, foreign or otherwise because they are just learning to navigate the systems of the university, compounded by the complexity of the Neptun system, all the administration, and all the new tasks. Here you also need to help your mentees, who, additionally, have a language barrier.
So, the first few weeks will require a bigger time commitment and labor input from many of the mentors. Later there will be fewer tasks; it will mostly mean being available in case of problems, questions. It is important, though, to check in with mentees before test weeks and exam periods, and it is crucial to help them with course registration.
Moreover, mentors organize several recreational and professional programs, where mentees can meet other students and business leaders also to broaden their professional network and get to know Budapest and the country. The participation fee is covered for active mentors as well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
By joining this program as a mentor, you will become a member of an international team. You will closely communicate with fellow students as well as the international coordinators which will improve your network and help you find meaningful friendships. We believe that being a mentor can greatly contribute to your personal and professional development.
At the end of the program, each mentor will receive a certificate of appreciation signed by the University's Dean and receive 3 semester credits.
To complete the program, mentors must fulfill all the tasks given by their chosen division.
These are the following:
- Administration (collecting typical administrative problems, making and posting guides if necessary, helping other mentors if needed, developing a contact with Student Services Group),
- Programming (organizing one program per semester in which all mentees can participate, for example, visiting a museum, going to a pub, going hiking, etc.),
- Marketing and Communication (creating a facebook and instagram group and regularly posting messages).
The minimum requirements for a student to apply as a Mentor are; being a student of good academic standing at BBU Faculty of Commerce, Hospitality and Tourism in the second or third year, being able to communicate in English, and committing themselves to work 45 hours during the semester.
As part of the program, you will work in a multicultural environment, as part of a goal-oriented team. You will gain important skills such as teamwork, presentation, communication, leadership, organization, problem-solving, and work ethic. As the working language is English, you could also develop your communication in English.
You will have to invest a considerable amount of time during the semester, at least 45 hours, which you will have to document and discuss with your supervisor regularly. However, we guarantee your studies will not be affected, and the experience will be worthwhile.