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Welcome Buddy

Make a difference to a new student and become a Welcome Buddy today.

Applications for the ARU College September 2021 Welcome Buddy scheme are now open

If you are a current Level 3 or Level 4 ARU College Student and will be continuing to study at ARU in September 2021 and would like to apply to be a Welcome Buddy apply today.

Apply Today

COVID-19 Update

We are continuing to monitor the current situation and we will update you if the scheme is changed or altered in any way due to COVID-19 guidelines. If you aren’t physically on campus straight away, you can still be there to support new students and answer their questions remotely – we will keep you updated with any changes.


Why should I volunteer as a Welcome Buddy?

As a current ARU student, you are the expert on studying here and you can use your knowledge to answer the questions you would have found helpful when starting and therefore make new students’ experiences a little less daunting.

You’ll be allocated a small number of new students and will be a friendly face for them. You’ll introduce yourself before they arrive via the Ask ARU chat space, then meet for a drink in Welcome or Teaching Week 1 to help with questions about starting university, settling in, making friends and getting to know the support that’s available at ARU.

This is a voluntary scheme which will only take place in your first trimester so it’s not a huge time commitment.

PLUS you’ll receive:

  • A free Welcome Buddy hoodie
  • Drinks vouchers to take your new students for a drink
  • A thank you Amazon voucher at the end of Trimester 1 (or Trimester 2 if you are a Welcome Buddy for our January intake)
  • Volunteering hours which will help make you stand out when applying for jobs (plus you can log them with the SU Volunteering service)
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills which will look great on your CV
  • The knowledge that you have made a difference to new students arriving at ARU

What’s expected from me as a Welcome Buddy?

You will need to attend a training session to make sure you are fully briefed on the role.

Once you have had the training, you will be expected to contact the students you are buddying using a designated online chat space (all of your new students will be added to the same group chat to make this as simple as possible for you, and don’t worry, full training will be provided!).

You will then be expected to organise a meet up with your new student, either on campus if you are both studying in person or via video call if you are studying online or feel more comfortable meeting virtually given the current circumstances with COVID. The key thing is just to facilitate that meeting as soon as possible. Then it is a case of being the point of contact and answering questions for the duration of the scheme.

How long will the scheme last?

The Welcome Buddy scheme will last up to the end of Trimester 1. Some new students may feel really happy and not need their buddy after a few weeks, whilst for others a friendship may develop which could last beyond the first trimester.

How many students will I be buddying?

The number of new students you’ll be allocated will be as small as possible, but will ultimately depend on how many Welcome Buddy volunteers we get. We’ll try to match you with new students who are studying in your faculty, and ideally on the same course.

When will I know who I am buddying?

We will begin matching you to your new students towards the end of August (or early January if you are a buddy for our January intake) and you will be added into the chat space with your new students by early September. Please be aware you will potentially have students added to your chat space until October as ARU College and ARU still accept late arrivals up until this point.

Where should we meet?

If you are both physically studying on campus, we advise you to meet your new students at one of our social spaces on campus. We’ll give you vouchers so you can take them out for a free drink on campus.

If you choose to meet your students virtually via video call, then full training will be provided about the best way to do this.

How many times will we meet?

We advise that you offer to meet your new students at least once during Welcome Week or Teaching Week 1 so that your new students get to meet you as early as possible. Beyond that though, it’s up to you both to decide if you want to meet again and how often this should be!

We would suggest that it’s good to meet all of your new students in a group if this is logistically possible – or even to meet up with another Buddy and students they are buddying. That way, the new students get more opportunities to meet others on their course and start to build a community.

Who can I contact regarding any questions or issues?

If you have any questions about the scheme, no matter how large or small, then please email the ARU College Registration team at

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