Dana Wilson Kovacs, the Director of Education, said, “The Buddy Scheme is unique to the College and offers you a chance to help Freshers settle in and advise them on what Exeter has to offer. It could be a great way to make friends and provide support, while also learning new skills and improving your CV.” 

Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology Department launching Buddy Scheme after successful pilot

Last September, The Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology department piloted a Buddy Scheme, aiming to provide first years with support to help them settle into the first weeks of university life and to foster social networks across years and disciplines. The idea for the scheme was suggested by the President of Sociology and Anthropology Society, Issy Hoole, who believed a peer programme was a great opportunity for mentors to gain key skills, as well as helping those students who were new to the department and university life more generally.

10 mentors were recruited for the pilot and 50 first year students opted-in to the scheme. Students were matched according to their programme and put in small groups with a second, third or fourth year student who could advise them on issues ranging from module selection to local amenities, as well as signposting them to relevant services such as SID.

Feedback from the scheme was positive, with first year students appreciating the chance to gain valuable advice from students who had been in their position a year or two before. Students commented that, “It was comforting to know there was a fellow student there to ask questions if you needed them” and the scheme “made the whole experience of starting university less scary.” Likewise, mentors said the scheme enabled them to “better understand the needs of students at different points in time”.

Due to the success of the pilot, the scheme is being fully launched for the next academic year. The Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology Department is now looking to recruit mentors to be a part of the scheme starting in Fresher’s Week 2015. Any current 1st, 2nd or 3rd year students (returning from a year abroad) from the department are welcome to apply.

Dana Wilson Kovacs, the Director of Education, said, “The Buddy Scheme is unique to the College and offers you a chance to help Freshers settle in and advise them on what Exeter has to offer. It could be a great way to make friends and provide support, while also learning new skills and improving your CV.” 

Read a role description and access the application form. Applications close on Wednesday 20 May – so don’t miss out!

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