"My Buddy Makes Me Uncomfortable"

Ethical and Cross-Cultural Considerations of Matching Global Buddies Program Participants


  • Sayre Weir Middlebury Institute of International Studies


This case study explores both ethical and cross-cultural considerations in matching partners for a Global Buddies Program at a large research university in the United States. It shares a situation in which various program participants expressed discomfort with their assigned partners and requested changes be made. The case invites discussion about matching partners in programs with participants from different cultural backgrounds and conversation about how to navigate moments of discomfort and programmatic conflict in a way that also encourages intercultural learning. 



2020-12-03 — Updated on 2022-03-09