Meet your Welcome Buddy and settle into your ARU adventure

Whether you’re leaving home for the first time, commuting to ARU, moving country altogether or are a mature student returning to higher education, starting university can be a daunting experience. You may be feeling a mix of emotions, from excitement to nervousness, or perhaps worry about feeling lonely as you won't know anyone yet. Don't worry, this is perfectly normal and it's why we have our Welcome Buddy scheme - students supporting other students in the transition to ARU.

What does a Welcome Buddy do?

Your Welcome Buddy will get in touch with you when you start at ARU, taking away those first-day jitters! Once you’ve started ARU, they will then be in touch to arrange a face to face meet up via video call or in person, so at least you’ll already know one friendly face.

Your Welcome Buddy can share their ARU experience with you and let you know about the amazing clubs, societies, sports teams and volunteering opportunities that you might want to get involved in. They will be available for the first trimester to help you settle in, whether that’s showing you around campus or the city; directing you to where your first lecture will be or signposting you to all the fantastic support that's available to you should you need it.

If you’re studying remotely, your Welcome Buddy will still be on hand to answer any questions you have via your dedicated chat space.

For more suggestions about what you can ask your Welcome Buddy, please read our handy guide to what to ask your Welcome Buddy.

How will I be matched with my Welcome Buddy?

Every level 4 and ARU College/foundation student starting ARU will automatically be matched with one of our current Welcome Buddies in the same Faculty and on the same course where possible.

Postgraduate Research students will be matched to a Welcome Buddy with a similar research area if they choose to opt into the scheme.

How long will I have my Welcome Buddy for?

Your Welcome Buddy will contact you when you start at ARU then be on hand to support you for your first trimester. If you settle in quickly and no longer need them that’s fine, but remember they are there for the whole of your trimester if you need them.

How will my Welcome Buddy contact me?

We will set up on an online designated chat space for you and your Welcome Buddy and you will receive an email notification to your ARU email whenever you get a message on the chat, so it’s really easy for you to stay in touch. Our brilliant Welcome Buddies will each look after a handful of new students, who will be added to same chat space too so you can connect with them as well.

*If you have problems accessing your ARU email address, please call IT Support on 01245 68 4357.

Is what I tell my Welcome Buddy confidential?

Most of what you tell your Welcome Buddy is for their ears only – they are there to support you and make your transition to university easier. However, if they are concerned that you or others are at serious risk of harm, they will tell the Welcome Buddy Team who will take appropriate steps.

The Welcome Buddy Team will send a survey out to all Welcome Buddies at the end of the scheme asking what sorts of questions were asked, so that we can track if there were any frequent worries that ARU could address better as a whole institution. However, this feedback will be anonymous so the team will not know what questions you asked individually.

How will my data be used?

Read our full privacy notice to find out more.

What if I don’t want a Welcome Buddy?

We are confident that our wonderful team of Welcome Buddies will help make your transition to ARU easier, which is why we are offering one to everyone. However, if you don’t want a Welcome Buddy simply opt out by emailing welcomebuddy@aru.ac.uk

What if my question is not answered here?

If you have any questions about the scheme, no matter how large or small, then please email the Welcome Buddy Team on welcomebuddy@aru.ac.uk