Coming to University can be quite daunting; whether it is the first time that you have lived away from home, or whether you have moved to an entirely new country! We understand that it can sometimes be difficult to strike up new friendships and settle in, and sometimes it can help to speak to someone who has done it all before… that is why we have set up the Buddy Scheme.
The Buddy Scheme is coordinated by the Students’ Union Advice and Support team and facilitates informal peer-to-peer support; matching up new students with continuing students (Buddy Volunteers) who can share their hints and tips for settling in to life at University.
Buddies are matched according to their preferences, such as interests or School; and the Buddies can agree between themselves how often they would like to meet and where. Buddies are also encouraged to get involved with on-campus opportunities, such as Active Students activities and Students’ Union events.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Buddy Scheme work?
If you want a Buddy:
- Complete the online application form, stating your preferences for being matched with a Buddy Volunteer (we will try our best to fulfil your preferences, but this is not guaranteed).
- Your application will be reviewed by the Advice and Support team, to ensure that you fully understand the nature of the scheme and that it is the right thing for you. If there are any queries about your application you will be contacted via e-mail.
- You will receive a confirmation e-mail following the review of your application form, and soon after you will be matched with a Buddy Volunteer.
- Your assigned Buddy Volunteer will be the one to make first contact, and then you can arrange to meet up at your own convenience; however for first meetings we suggest that you meet on-campus during the day.
If you want to become a Buddy Volunteer
- Have you been studying at UH for at least one academic year? If so, complete the online application form; stating your reasons for wanting to become a Buddy Volunteer and also providing details to help us match you with a new student.
- Your application will be reviewed by the Advice and Support team and you will either be invited in to the SU office for an informal chat or a time arranged for a chat on the telephone.
- You will receive an e-mail notification regarding whether your application has been successful and provided with details for Buddy Volunteer training.
- Once you have attended the training, you will be matched with a new student and you are expected to make the first contact.
What can I do with my Buddy?
The Buddy Scheme is very informal; you can go to events with your Buddy, try out a sport activity, grab a coffee or just hang out. It’s completely your choice. We simply suggest that the first meeting is arranged on-campus during the day time.
My Buddy has asked me for advice, what do I do?
If your Buddy asks about something and you’re not sure what to say, or if you find yourself in a difficult position, do not hesitate to e-mail email@example.com and we will help as much as we can. There is also a list of University support services at the back of the Buddy Scheme Handbook.
My Buddy isn’t speaking to me, what do I do?
If you have contacted your Buddy and not heard anything back, let us know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see what we can do to help.
What if it’s not a perfect match?
If there has been an error in the matching process, or if it’s just not working out, please e-mail email@example.com and we can try to re-match you.
What if I no longer want to be part of the Buddy Scheme?
It is completely fine to decide that you no longer want to continue with the Buddy Scheme. All we ask is that you do not ignore your Buddy; that you e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know that you want to be removed from the scheme, and for us to get feedback and re-match your Buddy.
I still have questions about the Buddy Scheme, who do I contact?
The Buddy Scheme is coordinated by Hertfordshire Students’ Union Advice and Support Centre, you can contact us by phone (01707 285022), e-mail (email@example.com) or by dropping in to the Students’ Union Advice and Support Centre on College Lane campus (we are open on weekdays from 10:00-16:00).