The UFS recognises the critical importance of developing its students’ international and intercultural competencies through Internationalisation @ Home. It adopts a vision whereby each student will in future have an international experience during their UFS studies. The university realises this by promoting and organising intersectional celebrations of cultural diversity. 

Achieved through:

  • Focusing on the informal curriculum of UFS students.
  • Building and strengthening relations with relevant stakeholders that would assist in realising this goal.
  • Developing activities infused with an intercultural dimension so that international learning opportunities are presented within the local domestic environment.
  • I@h activities provide a cost-effective way of ensuring that UFS students get an international experience without necessarily taking part in exchange programmes.

GETTING INVOLVED ON CAMPUS

You have registered for classes, you have met your professors, and your research has begun – now it’s time to have some fun! Academics are important, but life at the University of the Free State is not just about your classes; it’s also about making friends and experiencing new things. In addition to your studies, your time at the university is an opportunity to get involved in campus life and the greater Bloemfontein community. Whether you are looking to join an association, take a trip off campus, visit a museum, or help educate your fellow students about your home country, there is something for everyone.

Wingman Programme

 

wingman program Program

Whether you are an international or South African student, the Wingman Programme provides you the opportunity for cultural connection and friendship.

About the programme
The Wingman programme was developed by the Office for International Affairs in collaboration with the SRC: International Student Council at the University of the Free State to connect international and local students through meaningful friendships, fostering their academic, social, and cultural integration at the UFS. The programme is part of the unique Human Project of the UFS.
Being a Wingman: Who can apply?
If you are a current student at the UFS who has been here for at least two years, you will qualify to be a wingman. Current international students who have attended the UFS for at least three years are also allowed to apply to be a wingman.
Requirements
All wingmen are required to complete a Wingman training session prior to being matched with their buddy. The training will be held at the beginning of each semester. The training is not optional. The Wingman programme is meant to provide an opportunity to promote meaningful friendship and intercultural exchange at the UFS. Any inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour from either the wingman or the buddy will not be tolerated. If any inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour is reported, the participant at fault will no longer be permitted to participate in the programme.
Expectations
The wingmen are expected to meet with their buddies at least twice a month. The Office for International Affairs will host two events during each semester that are specifically meant for participants in the Wingman programme. Relationships can be further developed through shared meals, community-engagement activities, sightseeing, and holiday celebrations.

As a wingman, we recommend that you share information about the culture and customs at the UFS with your buddy. Share your knowledge with them! Show them the best lunch spots on campus or your favourite local store. Ask them about their home country and how life there differs from the UFS. Get to know them and let them get to know you.

While you are strongly encouraged to regularly spend time with your buddy, please remember that this programme is designed for friendship and intercultural exchange. Though friendship cannot be guaranteed, regular meetings with your buddy will provide many opportunities to learn about their culture through their eyes and to also share your own cultural experience with them.
How to apply
Interested in being a wingman? Apply now!
Matching
Matching is based upon availability, personal interests, age, and gender. We will do our best to ensure that you are paired with a buddy who has the same interests as you, but with whom you can also have meaningful cultural interactions.

Cultural differences between you and your buddy are inevitable. Remember to treat these differences with respect. If the differences are leading to negative interactions with your buddy and you are uncomfortable continuing in the programme, please contact Bulelwa Moikwatlhai (malob@ufs.ac.za) to discuss other options.

Intercultural training

Focused on how to communicate and connect more effectively with people of different cultures, creeds, religions, languages, and origin, etc. To build a toolkit for everyday encounters with those who are ‘culturally other’ than yourself…

Activities at internationalisation
Activities at Internationalisation

International Evening

International students prepare a typical dish from their home country, which they share with local students. They also share the history and origins of the dishes.

International Evening

International Student Association (ISA) picnic: 


This is a platform where informal discussions are held by international students to engage on topics such as cultural understandings, adapting to the Bloemfontein and UFS culture, language barriers, cultural norms, etc