Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to complete one of our feedback forms; after reviewing all your comments and suggestions here is a summary of what you said and what we did.
Buddy Scheme in Numbers:
383 Current Students
1019 New Students
1402 Total number involved
61% of students on the Buddy Scheme are International and EU students.
Your comments and suggestions on events and trips:
Some of you wrote that you would like to have more trips around the UK, however, International Student Support is already running such trips and it would be worth checking out their page and trips they run. http://www.sussex.ac.uk/internationalsupport/tripsandevents
Many of you wanted more active events, such as friendly badminton competitions or watching a Rugby game. We are closely working with Active US http://www.activeus.co.uk/ who are running badminton twice a week and there are sports competitions every Wednesday if you are keen on watching them.
We collaborate with the walking society and termly go either to Lewes or the Seven Sisters, in case you like spending time outdoors. We are planning to include a trip to Lewes castle, in our future Lewes walks.
With many requests for short tours around Brighton, we are planning to organise such a walking tour as well, finishing at the Seafront where you can enjoy Fish and Chips on the Pier, which was expressed in the feedback as well. We will also focus on Brighton more in general, trying to visit some museums, theatres or cinemas in collaboration with Animations society or SMuTs and SUDS to watch their shows.
We will also will to do more free events in Brighton such as board games night or picnics. The latter however, are restricted due to the unpredictable weather conditions.
With positive feedback on Ice skating at the Royal Pavilion, the Harry Potter Tour and i360 event, we intend to continue with both.
As for Cake night, we have a similar event Afternoon tea where you can try all sorts of cakes. The request for a Cheese and Wine night sounds great, however, our events do not support activities including alcohol, so as to cater to people who do not drink.
An international food party is held once a term. In response to requests for more such events, having tried it twice a term in the past, we found that it didn’t really work out as attendance was poor the second time, so we will stick to once a term.
Last issue addressed regards the leaders not interacting enough on the events with the attendees. We will try to work on this by adding ice-breaking activities at the beginning of events for example.
Buddy Scheme in general
There was some feedback from students about not being contacted by their buddy or their buddy not replying to emails. We are really sorry to hear that this has happened to a few of you. We have introduced online training to ensure that all Buddy Scheme Volunteers can access training and that they fully understand the commitment to their buddy and the importance of informing Buddy Scheme staff if this commitment becomes too much. We cannot stress enough to PLEASE let us know if you have any problems – this is why we are here! We cannot rectify things if we do not know about them.
Here are the many ways we can be contacted:
– By emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Come and see us in the Activities Office, First Floor, Falmer House. Open 11am – 4.30pm weekdays during term time.
- Email via the website
- Message us on Facebook
We received some feedback suggesting that students expected to be matched with a UK student and were disappointed to be matched with an international/EU student instead. The purpose of the Buddy Scheme is to help new students settle in at Sussex and any student that has been at Sussex for at least a term has gained the knowledge to do this regardless of their nationality. As not all our Buddy Volunteers are UK students this not feasible or necessary.
It was mentioned that you did not know where to find out about our events. At present they are listed on:
- Weekly email newsletter
- Students’ Union newsletter
Some new students felt that their buddy volunteer should be the first to make contact with them, and yes this is the ideal scenario. However, it is absolutely fine for new students to take that first step if they feel able to, but if they would prefer to go via the Buddy Scheme team then please get in touch!
There is a Frequently Asked Questions section on the website that answers some of these questions which you might want to have a look at our FAQs.