What are Exchange families?
Exchange Families is a new program by the UoB Student Exchange Society (UOBEX) to encourage students to connect, meet new people, share experiences, and overall, help everyone make the most of their time at University of Birmingham.
The programme pairs current UoB students, who have either just gotten back from their year abroad or wish to go in the future, with incoming exchange students, through a variety of events and activities. The aim is to make it easier for students to meet one another, in a welcoming environment, especially during a period where meeting people in-person is harder.
Once you sign up, we do ask of you to commit to the programme and your family, and recommend attending a minimum of five events. We encourage all participants to communicate on a regular basis with their family members, using either email, social media or any preferred method of communication. The programme will work best if everyone is enthusiastic about participation and being a present member of their family.
How does it work?
To join the programme you need to fill in the following form: https://forms.gle/pAmEww515phFQwxB6. The deadline for the first registration period is on September 27th. There will be a second registration during the second term. This form will ask you to give us some general information about yourself, including your interests, hobbies and languages. Based on these details, we will match up a group of six students. Although this may vary depending on the number of students who register for the programme. Every group will consist of a minimum of one incoming exchange student and one UoB student. When the groups have been formed, you will receive more details around the 2nd of October. This email will include the contact details of your group members, as well as a brief introduction to everyone.
For this programme, we are asking returning exchange students (our lovely soon-to-be parents) to adopt some incoming exchange students and/or prospective outgoing exchange students. These students have known Birmingham for a little while longer, and have lots of experience with going on a year abroad. If you’re a returning exchange student, then, besides forming amazing friendships with other students, you may also be able to share some your wisdom and any advice with them, during anything they may encounter on your year abroad! If you’re an incoming exchange student or a first/second year UoB student hoping to go abroad in the future, then, you can ask to be adopted by these lovely students! All families will have a grandparent as well, who may make their occasional appearance, which will be made up by us (your UOBEX committee!).
How do I join?
You just fill in the following form: https://forms.gle/pAmEww515phFQwxB6, and then leave the rest to us! We will match you with your family members, and as soon as this has happened, you’ll receive more information in order to get in touch with one another.
Why should I join?
Joining the programme will be a great way to make new friends from all around the world and either learn more about British culture or other cultures. It is a great way to help settle into life at Birmingham more quickly.
For any exchange student, going abroad not only results in a lot of excitement, but can also be the cause of some anxiety. As the current worldwide pandemic and the consequent social distancing regulations have been hard on us all, and continue to be difficult, connecting with others and meeting new friends can be really helpful during this period! Whether you’re in Birmingham or not, don’t worry: we’ll be creating plenty of opportunities for you and your family to connect online and you do not need to be on campus to participate.