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Being a Student Buddy

We have now finished recruiting Student Buddies for Autumn Term 2022. We will be recruiting again at the start of the Summer Term in 2023.

Being a Student Buddy is a great way to give something back by supporting new students while developing yourself and having fun! 

Student Buddies help new undergraduates adjust to University life by being a friendly first point of contact for a small group of students.

 

As a result of the evaluation we carried out this year, including hearing from current students and Buddies, we will be making the following changes to the Student Buddying Scheme in 2022/23:

  • The Student Buddying Scheme will return to being a targeted initiative only for home undergraduate students in our under-represented student communities
  • International students will have a separate International Student Buddying Scheme aimed at supporting students to adapt to life in a different country

Role requirements

Role requirements

Student Buddy (Home students) 

In 2022/23, all home undergraduate students studying full time, who belong to at least one of our student communities, will be able to request a Student Buddy. In order for these students to be offered the most appropriate peer support, we would like our Buddies to also be home full time undergraduates who belong to at least one of the following student communities. In 2022 this won't be essential for students who are experienced buddies continuing in their buddy role. 

In order to be a Student Buddy:

International Student Buddy (International students)

In 2022/23, all international undergraduate students studying full time will be able to request a Student Buddy. In order for these students to be offered the most appropriate peer support, we would like our Buddies to be international full time undergraduates.

In order to be an International Student Buddy:

  • You need to be a full-time international student
  • You need to be an international student who is on track to have completed at least one year of undergraduate study by July 2022 and be confident that you will still be studying at the University of York (either as an undergraduate or postgraduate) in the 2022/23 academic year.
  • You will need to complete the Student Buddy online training module between Week 6 and Week 8 of the Summer Term. You will also be required to attend ONE of the following Zoom training sessions:
    • 11am - 12 noon, Tuesday 21 June, OR
    • 3-4pm, Wednesday 22 June 

Responsibilities

Responsibilities

As a Student Buddy, using the knowledge and skills gained from the training, you will be asked to:

  • Signpost new students to appropriate sources of information and support.
  • Be available to meet with new students either individually or in a group. These meetings could take place either online or in person. 
  • Try your best to relate to what your students are experiencing and be willing to share your own experiences. 
  • Encourage new students to make the most of opportunities to get involved in University life and develop their own support networks
  • Be aware of some of the challenges and issues around transition to university 
  • Be committed to spending approximately 2 - 5 hours per week supporting the students you are matched with between 5 September - 2 December 2022. This will include returning a weekly monitoring form to the Student Buddying Scheme Co-ordinators. 
  • Be aware of confidentiality and safeguarding requirements.

Training and Support

Training and support

The training offered will depend on whether you are a Student Buddy or an International Student Buddy. 

Training for Student Buddies 

Student Buddies will need to complete a compulsory online training module (expected to take 2-3 hours) between Week 6 and Week 8 of the Summer Term. This training will cover a range of issues which buddies could be faced with. 

New Student Buddies will also be required to attend a one hour live training session. New buddies have the choice between attending this training in person on the afternoon of Thursday 16 June or online on the afternoon of Monday 20 June

Training for international Student Buddies

International Student Buddies will need to complete a compulsory online training module (expected to take 2-3 hours) between Week 6 and Week 8 of the Summer Term. This training will cover a range of issues which buddies could be faced with.

New International Student Buddies will also be required to attend ONE of the following Zoom training sessions:

  • 11am - 12 noon, Tuesday 21 June, OR
  • 3-4pm, Wednesday 22 June

Support for all Student Buddies

Each Student Buddy will have the support of the central Student Buddying Team throughout their recruitment, training and time spent volunteering as a Student Buddy.

Benefits

Benefits

As well as the satisfaction you will feel from helping new students settle into life and study at York, you will also 

  • Meet and get to know other students from across the University. 
  • Find out more about the University including support and opportunities available to all students. 
  • Have the flexibility to carry out this voluntary role around any other commitments you have.

In addition, Student Buddies develop and practice many transferable skills that enhance their employability prospects. These include skills in: 

  • Decision making
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Time management
  • Using your initiative
  • Relationship building

Visit our Your employability skills webpage for more information about skills and how to deliver them. 

For help in presenting your skills and experiences in job or course applications visit the CVs and applications web page.  

The skills you develop as a Student Buddy can contribute towards your York Award and York Futures Scholarship applications. 

Applying

Applying

We have now finished recruiting Student Buddies for Autumn Term 2022. We will be recruiting again at the start of the Summer Term in 2023.

 

Testimonials

Testimonials

Don't just take our word for it, read what these Buddies told us about their experiences of being involved in the Student Buddying Scheme. 

 

Nicola, Natural Sciences

I absolutely loved being a student buddy during my second year. I learned so much during my first year from those in second and third year and this was my chance to give back. The chance to get to know and support students from other departments was immensely rewarding as I could see their confidence growing from one email to the next. I have developed existing skills and learned many new ones during my time as a student buddy such as active listening and communication that will be invaluable as I move forward with my time at university and beyond.

Réiltín, English and Related Literature

As a first-generation student from Northern Ireland, when I started university I had no idea what to expect. This made me decide to become a Student Buddy. I wanted to use my knowledge and experiences to help people who were like me starting university. 

Being a buddy is genuinely so rewarding and you can really see the impact and help you’ve had on people: even by just answering a few questions or some encouraging words can have such a big impact on that first scary term of University. My communication and time management skills have really improved and I enjoyed the experience so much. I would definitely encourage anyone interested to become a buddy!

Sophie, Psychology

I know first hand some of the struggles that came with starting university including the culture shock, not knowing many people to begin with and not being sure of what to expect from student life.

This scheme gave me so much reassurance and confidence in my ability to make the most of the university experience. It allows you to improve your communication skills and meet amazing people along with it.

Ashleigh, Health Sciences

As a student nurse I see lots of different people all the time and since being a buddy I feel I am more approachable and can bond better with my patients. I have been able to put this on my CV which has made me stand out when applying for jobs.

Being a buddy I have learned lots of new skills. Talking to people you have never met and sharing your experiences is quite nerve wracking and takes a lot of courage. Through being a buddy I have been able to master this skill which makes it easier talking to new people. 

Contact us

Contact us

If you have any questions relating to the Student Buddying Scheme please contact Nicola and Rose in the central Student Buddying Scheme team by emailing student-buddy@york.ac.uk