Everyone’s experience at UEA is different and the first year at university can be incredibly daunting. I remember approaching my first year feeling incredibly anxious and with lots of nerves around making friends, adjusting to campus life and engaging with my course. I can only begin to imagine how much harder coming to university is for new students this year with the challenges caused by COVID-19.
At uea(su) we recognise and understand the importance of socialising and the challenges COVID-19 will cause around isolation and loneliness. We know that going to a club is not just about dancing but an opportunity to meet new people. Partaking in sport is not just about kicking a ball around but finding those with common interests. And sitting in a lecture isn’t just about learning, it’s a space to explore your passion with your peers.
Many, if not all of these opportunities to socialise and bond have been affected by COVID-19 and we recognise that all students capacity to feel a sense of belonging at UEA has been impacted. The buddy(su) scheme is especially important this year as this kind of peer support will help to mitigate feelings of loneliness and ease nerves or uncertainty about starting at UEA.
buddy(su) is a peer-to-peer support scheme, co-ordinated by uea(su) that supports new students settling into life at UEA. The scheme is designed to help new students settle in quickly and make the most of their time at UEA. At uea(su) we know the importance of making friends and having a support network of those who share the same interests.
buddy(su) matches current UEA students with new students according to their needs, circumstances and interests – such as area of study and hobbies. A buddy(su) volunteer will help their buddies by sharing their experiences of UEA, finding academic and social opportunities and be a friendly face through their first year at UEA. buddy(su) volunteers have already gone through the transition of a new start making them an invaluable source of knowledge as a new student’s ‘go to person’.
We will aim to match you with a buddy based on the preferences outlined in your registration form. So whether you want to know the best place to study on campus, learn a new skill or meet new people – buddy(su) is here for you! After being matched, you can chat online, join events together and ask your buddy any questions you may have.
To find out more about the scheme or to sign up as either a volunteer or new student, visit: https://www.uea.su/opportunities/buddysu/
We are proud to announce a new grant this year specifically for buddy scheme members. The buddy beginners fund is a new grant for 20/21 to support new students undertake student-led activities. It will allow new students to access up to £25 to cover the cost of joining a club/society or the equipment needed to take part in that activity. The fund is open to all new student buddy scheme members, however we will prioritise those from Widening Participation backgrounds.
We cannot accept applications to cover the costs of SAM (Sports Association Membership).
To apply for the buddy beginners fund, fill in the form titled Buddy Beginners form on the buddy(su) New Students page of the SU website and we will be in touch following your application.
If you have any further questions about the Buddy Beginners Grant, please email email@example.com for further info.