The University of Sussex has been highly commended for its arrival and welcome programme for new international students.
The University has announced their International Student Support team has been shortlisted for the NUS/UKCISA Internationalisation Awards 2016 for their international students’ arrival & welcome programme
The annual awards are supported by the NUS (National Union of Students) and aim to recognise the great work universities and students’ unions put into supporting and improving the international student experience.
A major part of the university’s recognition for the award can be attributed to the amazing work done by Buddy Scheme volunteers, supported by the Students’ Union.The University’s initiative to improve the support available to new international students has had excellent results, manifested in a 15% improvement (to 96%) in the number of international students satisfied with their ‘arrival experience’ since 2010.
The Students’ Union’s Buddy Scheme team work closely with the University’s International Support Team, welcoming students who may have never visited the U.K before and introducing them to the multi-faceted experience of student life at Sussex. They act as a point of contact for all new students at the University as well as being there in an informal manner and ensuring that nobody feels isolated in their new surroundings. They work alongside the International Student Support team, which promotes and hosts events between the Buddy Scheme and the University to help international students struggling to settle in.
“I think it is a very helpful and useful scheme for new students to integrate into a new environment well - especially those that may have difficulty to make new friends. Likewise, for buddy volunteers, it is the opportunity to meet people from different countries, cultures, interests, and possibly make a new friend.”
“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 Students’ Union’s new Activities officer, Adele was an international student when she first arrived, and went on record with her praise for the buddy scheme:
“ I was so glad to find out about the buddy scheme during my first week at uni, it really helped me to settle in smoothly!
This shortlisting is a credit to students who have been involved with the Buddy Scheme, and it is as a result of their hard work that the vast majority of international students feel very positive about their settling-in period at Sussex. The winner of the award will be announced at the UKCISA conference, at the University of Sheffield on 1 July.
If you’re interested in the Buddy Scheme, you can find out more information including how to become a Buddy on the Buddy Scheme website; or by emailing email@example.com.