Volunteer with Global Buddies


Applications are now open and will close on the 12th of January. In order to apply, please register here. Note that if you are applying to be a leader you need to select either 'buddy group leader' or 'supergroup leader'.


Global Buddies is a fun programme to be involved with − you’ll get to know some amazing people, take part in regular social events and activities, and really make a difference in visiting students' lives. Depending on whether you are a Buddy Group Leader or a Supergroup Leader, it takes 1-3 hours per week and most of this is spent doing nice things with nice people, in small, or larger, group settings.


You don’t have to be an extrovert − it’s more important to be welcoming and friendly, as well as interested in, and understanding of, cultural differences. As a volunteer, you will get a chance to meet people from all over the world, be a friendly face for visiting students, and help them adjust to their new life at Edinburgh. We don’t expect you to know everything, but you’re likely to have a wealth of knowledge to share!


'Being a Buddy Group Leader this year was a fantastic opportunity. Not only in getting to know foreign students and helping them to enjoy Edinburgh, but I also got to know the the city better and was enriched by the new insights and friendships I made. It is an invaluable experience I would recommend to everyone and am looking forward to continuing it next year!' − Anna Manford, Buddy Group Leader 2017/18 and 2018/19


'Global Buddies is a great opportunity to meet and work with amazing people whilst experiencing world cultures.' − Thomas Evans, Buddy Group Leader 2017/18, Supergroup Leader 2018/19 


What is involved as a Global Buddies volunteer?



You can apply to be either a Buddy Group Leader or a Supergroup Leader.


The role of a Buddy Group Leader is to help other students in their Buddy Group to have a great time at the University of Edinburgh. Together with a second Buddy Group Leader and six visiting students, they make up a Buddy Group. You will likely spend around 1-2 hours per week on this role. 


Like a Buddy Group Leader, a Supergroup Leader’s role is to help other students in their Buddy Group to have a great time at the University of Edinburgh. In addition, they organise activities for their Supergroup and have a pastoral role in making sure all Buddies in their Supergroup can enjoy the programme. The time commitment required of a Supergroup Leader is slightly higher than that required of a Buddy Group Leader,  you will likely spend around 2-3 hours per week on this role. Supergroup Leader positions are for the full academic year.





Training and the Meet and Greet


All volunteers will complete online and in-person training. During training, you'll receive more information to be sure that you feel comfortable in your role and meet other Buddy Group Leaders and Supergroup Leaders. You will also need to be available for a Global Buddies Meet and Greet where you will meet your Buddy Group for the first time.


What will you gain as a Global Buddies volunteer?


  • 1) The chance to meet people from all over the world and to develop your intercultural skills and awareness
  • 2) The opportunity to receive role-specific training as well as the chance to focus on developing specific skills. For example, develop your interpersonal and listening skills through supporting students who are non-native English-speakers and communicating regularly with your Supergroup Leaders or the Committee
  • 3) Learn to balance your time effectively alongside a voluntary role
  • 4) Recognition on your Higher Education Achievement Report
  • 5) The chance to participate in the Edinburgh Award for Global Citizenship (on campus) to reflect on your skill development
  • 6) A valuable addition to your CV.


Once your application has been assessed, the Committee will be in touch to say whether you have been successful. If so, you will be invited to complete online training and be sent more information about the in-person training session and the Meet and Greet.


If you have any questions about Global Buddies, you can email us at buddies@eusa.ed.ac.uk or visit our FAQ page.