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HANDBOOK September 2013

W elcome and thank you for volunteering to be an Edinburgh Buddy, As an Edinburgh Buddy you will help new international students adjust to life at the University of Edinburgh. We believe that providing peer support to new international students before their arrival and in their first month is crucial to a quality student experience. Your role will be to use your knowledge and experience of life at the University of Edinburgh to support them and help them settle in here in the first semester. As students of the University of Edinburgh you are full of great tips and information for new students, but we don’t expect you to know everything. This handbook is designed to help you out. It contains contacts, pieces of advice and support so that you can help aid a smooth transition for the new incoming international students. Treat is a reference tool for all those ‘What do I do if…?’ questions. We are here to help you in any way that we can, so please feel free to contact us with any questions or ideas. We are really glad that you have chosen to be an Edinburgh Buddy and hope that you really enjoy your experience. Here’s to a great semester,

The Edinburgh Buddies Team

The Edinburgh Buddies Team Mimi Watts Edinburgh Buddies Captain I’m Mimi. I’ve just graduated in Neuroscience from the University of Edinburgh and now I work at EUSA on the Peer Support Team. I love to travel and I took the opportunity to study abroad as part of my degree. Having spent a year in Canada at McGill University I know a lot about the awesome/scary/incredible elements of being a visiting student in another country. I’m so excited to be joining the Buddies Team and am looking forward to helping you support others on their individual exchange adventures in Edinburgh.

Mari Wøien Edinburgh Buddies Captain My name is Mari, and I’m one of EUSAs Global Assistants. I’m a forth-year International Relations student in love with Edinburgh, people and the world. I was an exchange student in Brazil at the age of 17, and it has been an important element in my life, shaping the person I’ve become. It has left me feel more empowered than ever! I think that Buddies is a fantastic opportunity for students to share experiences; experiences that will enhance both home students and international students’ time at our university. Facebook: Email:

Mari Woien EUSA

Who are the buddies? Your role: Edinburgh Buddies are current students are current students who have fromyour studying abroad. Buddies to Edinburgh and the University •returned Welcome International International Buddies are new international visiting students arriving in • Signpost any services they may require September. •

Offer support and encouragement

Help them find activities they may be interested in

You as an Edinburgh Buddy:

• Respect confidentiality, unless you feel that your buddy is at risk to themselves This is an informal scheme so there is no required time commitment. or others We do recommend that you meet weekly for the first month. EUSA Global will be organising events each month for all Buddies and you are welcome to come with your own Buddies or on your own to meet others. It’s a great opportunity to get to know others in the scheme on a regular basis.

You don’t need to know everything. You are full of great tips and information for new students, but we don’t expect you to know everything. If you have any questions you can always contact the Buddy Team (, EUSA’s Advice Place (based at Potterrow).

We try our best to match you based on the profile you created, but no promises! All Buddies are matched based on the information listed in your completed profile so the more you fill out your profile, the better. We try our best to match you based on the listed criteria, but we can't always accommodate everyone's requests. Edinburgh Buddies may be matched with more than one International Buddy, depending on your preference. TALKING ABOUT IMMIGRATION Anyone who provides immigration advice in the UK must be fully trained and authorised to do so. Only staff in the International Office is permitted to provide specialist immigration advice in areas of the immigration system such as student visas, working in the UK during and after your studies, settlement and getting married in the UK.

What we don’t expect from you: •

To pick up your Buddy from the airport!!

Become best friends (but you might!)

Solve their personal/social problems

Put yourself in a situation where you feel uncomfortable

Proofread their work

Be on ‘on call’

• Offer money, skills, or an uncomfortable amount of time Most of our Buddies events will be posted on our Facebook- group: • Advice on accommodation, immigration, careers, academic etc. The Advice Place and International Office are here to help Buddies Events

Edinburgh Buddies 2013-2014 Buddies Training Day Want to be the perfect Buddy? Our training day will make sure you feel confident about your Edinburgh Buddy-role. You will only have to attend one of the following days. Friday, 6th of September, Monday 9th of September JCMB, room 3217: 2:30-5pm Buddies Meet and Greet A first chance to meet both Edinburgh and International Buddies Wednesday, 11th of September: 7pm Teviot: 7pm Buddies does Speed Lingua Know other languages? Want to exchange it and practice another? Speed Lingua is a great way to practise and meet students from all around the world. Friday 29th of November Teviot, New Amphion: 6pm- 10pm

For all other events, please join our Buddies 2013-2014 group on Facebook. We will also be sending out emails in advance of upcoming events. It is your responsibility to ensure that the message has also reached your international buddy.

Useful contact details The following pages are filled with useful contact details which may be useful to you and your International buddies.

Support Services: Edinburgh Buddies Team! The Edinburgh Buddies team is here for you! Let us know if you have any questions or want to tell us how you are doing. Phone: 0131 650 9394 Email:

General Support:

Online guide for new students at the University Check out the University’s thorough guide for new students. Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) EUSA is an integral part of student life and is there for students from the very start. We provide information to help you before you come here, support and advice when you get here, and help you to settle in. From weekly events and bars to representation and student support (not to mention a vibrant society and volunteering community), we are here for you! The Advice Place EUSA’s Advice Place is an impartial, accessible, free, confidential advisory service for all University of Edinburgh students irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief or age. The Academic Advice Team EUSA's Academic Advice team provides independent, confidential advice and support to students who are facing academic difficulties. These can be anything from concerns about programme to academic appeals and complaints. International Office The International Office supports University staff and offers advice to enquirers, applicants, new students and current students who are from outside the UK. The International Office have advisers who offer immigration advice. English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) ELTC offers free academic English tuition, self-study materials, and advice for international students requiring help with their English language The Chaplaincy Centre The Chaplaincy Team offer confidential non-judgemental support for students and staff to help deal with life's questions, explorations and times of crisis. Student Disability Service The Student Disability Service supports disabled students. Our main focus is providing advice and support. The students we support include students with dyslexia, mental health issues and students on the autistic spectrum, as well as physical and sensory impairments. Counselling A confidential counselling service is offered to all students of the University. Health Centre The University's Health Centre is an independent National Health Service partnership and offers full GP services to patients who live within the practice area, and who choose to register with the practice. Career Services The Careers Service provides careers advice and information on current vacancies.

Academic Support: Institute for Academic Development (IAD) Supporting success: IAD helps students to succeed in their studies. This includes: student study skills workshops, courses and other learning opportunities about information and IT Skills and an innovative learning week. Peer Proofreading EUSA runs a volunteer-powered proofreading service for non-native English speakers.

Get Involved: EUSA Societies With nearly 300 student societies at EUSA, Edinburgh is quite possibly the most exciting place to be... ever! EUSA Volunteering Volunteering is a great way to get to know your local community, enhance your skills, do something worthwhile and have fun all at the same time! Tandem Language Programme Tandem is a popular language exchange programme run by EUSA and is designed to help you meet people and learn languages in a fun, relaxed, social environment without tutors, exams or lectures.

International Student Centre (ISC) The International Student Centre is a place for all international students to meet and have fun. The ISC runs trips, tours and events, ensuring students receive a warm welcome. Edinburgh University Sports Union Edinburgh University Sports Union is the student-run body for the organisation of sport at Edinburgh University. There are 63 sports clubs ranging from Football and Hockey to Rowing and Fencing.

Buddies Handbook  

The Buddies handbook for all our great Buddies volunteers!