UT Tyler

Intensive English Language Institute

Study Buddy Program


The Office of International Programs (OIP) and the Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) are offering the Study Buddy Program to increase international awareness on campus. This program allows all involved to expand their first-hand experience with another culture, form new perspective, and have real-world exchange to broaden horizons and opportunities. 

Benefits of Study Buddies

Both "buddies" can benefit from participating in the Study Buddy Program.

American students, beyond helping international students with their English, are able to make new friends, learn about new cultures, social customs, and gain new perspectives. Investing time, even an hour or two a week, can greatly impact an international student's time in America and leave a lasting impression. It will help them adjust to a place that is often very different from their home country. Students hoping to study abroad may find this experience especially rewarding.

Students needing a community service project benefit from being involved, as volunteer work like this can be added to your resume.

International students can practice English, ask questions about American culture, politics, customs, and habits, meet new people and build new friendships, discover new and exciting local spots to shop and dine, and of course, obtain help with studies and gain insight into American college life. For IELI students, it is one more form of preparation for the next step AFTER graduating from the IELI as they move on to undergraduate and graduate studies. 

How to Participate

Simply complete the appropriate application below under "Sign Up!". You'll receive a welcome email and will be matched with a buddy as soon as possible. Please allow 1-2 weeks to be matched, as we try to pair Buddies based on gender, hobbies, interests, and availability. 

Once matched, both participants will need to visit the Office of International Programs main office (number 2 on the campus map) to sign a Commitment Form. The Commitment Form restates the Guidelines listed below for American students and international students.

Sign up! Applications and Guidelines

Please only complete the form relevant to you.

American students - Apply here

  • You must plan to remain in the program for at least 8 weeks.
  • You must plan to assist on homework and academics with your buddy as you are able. Help them become stronger in areas they have the most difficulty. 
  • You are encouraged to take your buddy on at least one free/inexpensive cultural experience that you both agree on (this can be the fair, a campus event, new dining establishment, free sporting event, hike, a volunteer or service event, etc.).
  • Be open to a new perspective and to the cultural differences that will exist between you and your buddy.
  • Respect the culture, customs, values, and beliefs of your buddy.

IELI and UT Tyler International Students - Apply here

  • You must be currently enrolled and in good status in the IELI program or UT Tyler.
  • You must plan to remain in the program for at least 8 weeks. 
  • Communicate to your buddy where you struggle most academically. Be ready to discuss, ask questions, and receive academic help from your buddy. 
  • Be open to a new perspective and to the cultural differences that may exist between you and your buddy.
  • Respect the culture, customs, values, and beliefs of your buddy.

We cannot promise to find a Study Buddy for everyone who requests one, but we will certainly do our best!

Meeting Places

Study Buddies are welcome to use the OIP computer lab or annex Monday - Friday until 5 p.m. to meet, but we encourage preliminary meetings on the UT Tyler main campus, and some later meetings/events around Tyler. 

Suggestions:  Try local coffee/tea shops, visit the zoo or one of Tyler's many parks, or even a trip to explore a grocery store or Asian/Mexican/World market. Any location that can spur conversation and a learning experience will be helpful! 

Time Reporting

This is only required of students who are needing a specific number of volunteer hours.

If you are volunteering to receive community service hours, please complete the time reporting form after each meeting with your study buddy, and the Study Buddy Program manager will provide you with a report at the end of your volunteer period.

Please access the time reporting log here


If you would like more information or have any questions or concerns about the Study Buddy Program, please contact Rachel at ieli@uttyler.edu.

UT Tyler