The Buddy Scheme is a peer to peer support scheme coordinated by the Students’ Union that aims to help new students settle in to life at University and Brighton.

Starting at University is exciting but it can be daunting for some, whether it’s leaving the family home, moving to a busy city like Brighton, or moving country altogether! This is why the University of Sussex Students' Union started up the the Buddy Scheme, which is a peer support scheme with many added social opportunities. It was launched in 2013 and has proven to be very popular, benefitting the 315 students who participated in the first year. Since then the scheme has continued to grow with the number of students involved increasing year on year.

The Buddy Scheme helps incoming students settle into life at Sussex by matching them with current students who provide informal support by regularly meeting up and sharing their experiences and tips. The scheme offers the opportunity to make new friends from all walks of life and be a part of something that celebrates diversity in an informal, fun and sociable way. There is a series of events for Buddies to enjoy which vary from afternoon tea to trips to the Harry Potter studios tour; the scheme is also linked with the Active US project offering new experiences such as Bouldering and AirHop. The scheme is open to all students at Sussex and encourages interaction between student groups who otherwise may not spend time together, such as First Generation Scholars, International and Home students, students from different schools of study and different year groups.

"It made me so much more comfortable arriving here knowing that there was someone at the university who I've talked to and who could help me out. The trips have been so helpful, because they've gotten me off campus and given me the opportunity to do things I wouldn't have done otherwise (most of the trips would have been too expensive for me to feel they were worth it otherwise). Finally, I've met my very best friend here through the Buddy Scheme. My experience here would have been very different without her, so I appreciate that."