FAQ

 

Please check your university email account if you are expecting an email about Global Buddies, as this is how we will contact you. You can access your email via MyEd or here.

   

What is a Buddy?

Any student participating in the Global Buddies programme is a Buddy. So, a Buddy can either be an international student visiting the University of Edinburgh for one or two semesters as part of completing a degree at their home university, or a full-degree student at the University of Edinburgh who is volunteering as a Buddy Group Leader or Supergroup Leader.

 

What is a Buddy Group?

Each Buddy Group is made up of six visiting students and two Buddy Group Leaders. The Buddy Group is your most direct point of contact with the Global Buddies programme. You can contact them before you arrive in Edinburgh and will then meet up with them on a regular basis whilst you’re here. It can really help with settling into life in a new city, country and University to have a ready-made group of contacts to explore the city or to hang out with and to share tips and experiences. Many Buddy Groups become friends and even stay in touch once they’ve left Edinburgh!

 

What is a Supergroup?

Six Buddy Groups make up a Supergroup – so there are 48 Buddies in total in each Supergroup! Each Supergroup is being looked after by two Supergroup Leaders who organise activities for their Supergroup and check in with Buddy Group Leaders on a regular basis to make sure everyone can enjoy the programme.

 

What is a Buddy Group 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. Buddy Group Leader positions are for one semester only (but you can re-apply for another semester!)

 

What is a Supergroup Leader?

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. Supergroup Leaders act as the liaison between their Supergroup and the Committee. Supergroup Leader positions are for the full academic year.

 

Who can become a Buddy? How do I apply?

If you are doing your full undergraduate or postgraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh, have spent at least a semester in Edinburgh already, and will be in Edinburgh for Semester 1 (Buddy Group Leaders) or the whole of the academic year (Supergroup Leaders), you can apply to become a Buddy Group Leader or Supergroup Leader. Go to the Volunteer with Global Buddies page for more information.

 

If you are visiting the University of Edinburgh for Semester 1 or the full academic year as part of completing your degree at a university in another country, you are welcome to apply for a Buddy Group. Go to the Sign Up for a Buddy Group page for more information.

 

How are Buddies matched?

All Buddies are matched based on the information you have submitted as part of your application via a database, which is matched via an algorithm. Two Buddy Group Leaders will be matched with six Buddies to make a group of eight.

 

How much time will it require?

We expect that your Buddy Group will meet weekly for the first month. In the past, this has meant an hour or two each week. The Global Buddies Committee will be organising events regularly for all Buddies and you are welcome to come with your Buddies or on your own to meet others.  It’s a great opportunity to get to know others in the programme on a regular basis.

 

Are there events during the semester?

We will be running regular events throughout the semester for all Buddies. The first event of these will be the big Global Buddies Meet and Greet. You’ll receive more information about this as well as all the other events once you’ve been admitted into the programme.

 

I am an international student myself and/or am just returning from my year abroad. Can I apply?

Yes! If you are doing your full undergraduate or postgraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh and have spent at least a semester in Edinburgh already, you can apply to become a Buddy Group Leader or Supergroup Leader, regardless of where you’re from and whether you have spent time abroad during your studies or not. Being an international student or having spent time abroad yourself will give you a good understanding of some of the challenges your Buddies might face when coming to Edinburgh (but don’t worry, even if you’re Edinburgh-born and bred and have never set foot outside Scotland, there’ll be plenty of training to put you in your Buddies’ shoes, and you’re sure to gain an international perspective by being involved with Global Buddies). Have a look at this page to find out more.

 

If you are visiting the University of Edinburgh for Semester 1 or the full academic year  as part of completing your degree at a university in another country, you are welcome to apply for a Buddy Group. More info here.

 

If you are an international student who will be starting to study towards a degree at the University of Edinburgh in 2018-2019, you currently can’t apply to be a Buddy, unfortunately. Why not have a look at some of the other programmes you could get involved with whilst here, e.g. the Tandem Language Exchange, Volunteering, Societies or Peer Support?

 

 

I've applied to be a Buddy Group Leader or Supergroup Leader. What now?

 

  1. All Buddy Group Leaders and Supergroup Leaders will be invited to complete online training and an in-person training session. Both the online training and the in-person training are compulsory.
  2. You will be matched into a Buddy Group at the beginning of September, you will be given information about the form.
  3. Following this, you will be able to see who your Buddies are online - be sure to contact them as soon as possible!

 

I’ve applied to join a Buddy Group! What now?

  1. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. We will get in touch to let you know if you've been successful in securing a place or if you’ve been added to the waiting list.
  2. The Global Buddies Committee will match you into a Buddy Group at the beginning of September.
  3. Following this, you will be able to see who your Buddies are online - be sure to contact them as soon as possible!

 

What if I can't be there for the Meet and Greet at the start of the semester?

It’s an important meeting-up point and a great chance to meet your Buddy Group for the first time. If you can’t be there, be sure you are in contact with your Buddy Group so they know your plans and arrange to meet up when you are in Edinburgh.

 

What if I haven't heard from my Buddy yet?

If you haven’t heard from your Buddies by the beginning of Welcome Week, please get in touch with us – we want to make sure all Buddies can benefit from the programme.

Email buddies@eusa.ed.ac.uk

 

Who runs the Global Buddies Programme?

Global Buddies is organised by the Global Buddies Committee, which is made up of current students who are here to make sure all Buddies have a great experience. You can find out more on who they are here. The Committee is supported by Global Students at the Students' Association. If you would like to get involved in the committee for next year, get in touch with us.

 

My Buddy has questions about their visa. What should I say?

The Student Immigration Service will be able to give them specialist advice.

 

Will I need to pick up my Buddy from the airport?

No, you are not expected to pick up your Buddies from the airport. Lothian Buses operate buses and trams between Edinburgh Airport and the city centre.

 

What advice can I give my Buddy on finding private accommodation?

Finding private accommodation in Edinburgh can be confusing, but the Advice Place has some really good tips.

 

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have any questions, please contact the Global Buddies Committee on buddies@eusa.ed.ac.uk.