On one of the lovely sunny spring days in early April, the Buddy Scheme up met with Feven, one of the three Volunteers nominated in the Students’ Union Awards for their contribution to the Buddy Scheme. We wanted to ask her about her experience being both a New Student and Volunteer in the Buddy Scheme – and this is what she told us:
I joined the Buddy Scheme as a new student when I first arrived at uni, because I needed to improve my self-confidence. I’m very shy about meeting new people, and get really nervous when talking to new people. One of my friends told me about the Buddy Scheme, and my first thought was just no, but then I thought ‘why not, I don’t have anything to lose’.
“I joined first as a Buddy because I wanted someone to help me out when I first started uni, and then took that experience and applied the year after to become a Volunteer. I wanted to make sure to be a part of welcoming students from abroad, as coming from a different country you might feel quite left out not know what do to about it. I wanted to be a part of giving them a chance to feel welcome from the beginning, and make them feel part of the community.”
What I love so much about the Buddy Scheme is the chance to meet so many different people with different experiences, cultures, and to see just how amazingly open everyone is to new experiences and meeting new people. There’s also always so many activities happening, where you can get to know just not your own Buddy but everyone else in the scheme, too. And I’ve made friends with so many through the Buddy Scheme, there’s like 10 of us now that regularly meet up and go to events together. I also really appreciate the support from the Buddy Scheme, if you ever have any issues they’re always ready to help you out.
I would really encourage other students to get involved in the Buddy Scheme, because it offers students a chance to make a difference to the people and community around you. Volunteering gives you a natural sense of accomplishment, and an opportunity to find and build your own self-identity.
Would you like to be a part of the Buddy Scheme next year? Make sure to apply here!