Welcome Buddy Scheme

This scheme will match you with a buddy as you start or return to your studies, or during your time at Leeds. You’ll be matched with a new, returning or continuing student from anywhere in the University, to share the experience of settling in (or settling back in), exploring, taking part in activities, and making friends and connections. 

This page was last updated on 9 December 2021

The Welcome Buddy Scheme offers friendship and peer support to help you feel at home and part of our community and to enjoy getting involved in student life. 

Apply for the scheme if you want a buddy with similar interests. The scheme is open to new, returning and continuing students of all study levels, and you may be matched with a new, returning or continuing student. You can join at any point in your student journey. Some people apply for a buddy when they are new to Leeds, or join later if they want to meet new people. We'd also love you to join if you'd like to help new students.

Where possible, the Welcome Buddy Scheme will match you with a student outside your school. If you want to be matched with a student/students from your school, check your school’s welcome page as many schools offer peer support schemes which connect students in the same school. 

Our one-to-one buddy opportunity is adapted from the popular buddy scheme developed by Leeds University Business School.  

How can I apply for a Welcome Buddy? 

Applications have now closed. Check this page regularly to find out when applications will open again for the 2022/23 academic year.

When will I be introduced to my buddy? 

It can take a couple of weeks to match you. Once you’re matched, you’ll receive an email with more information and your buddy’s email address.

Home Groups 

You’ll also be invited to join a small group of buddies that will support you to feel that you belong and are at home at Leeds – your ‘Home Group’. Home Groups are hosted by current students and offer a welcoming space to make friends and connections, find out more about life at Leeds and get ideas to help you have the experiences you’re looking for at Leeds.  

Home Groups will run again in February 2022.


What makes a good buddy? 

Buddying is a relationship built on trust, openness, honesty and mutual respect. A good buddy is someone who is:  

• approachable and supportive  
• able to share experiences 
• proactive about their own development 
• self-aware, non-judgmental and objective.  

An effective buddy will:  

• be a fellow traveller to share the experience of settling in (or settling back in) 
• build rapport and create a safe space to share issues or challenges, hopes and successes 
• explore the purpose of the buddy relationship and what each buddy wants to achieve  
• explore activities and options that will help buddies to move forward.  

How can I get the most out of the buddy relationship? 

1. Be motivated and willing to commit the time and effort to the relationship 
2. Be clear on the purpose of buddying and what you need from the relationship  
3. Be open to new ideas and approaches 
4. Be willing to share your experiences, insights and learning  

How can I prepare for the buddy relationship?  

Think about the following questions:  

1. What have you learnt from previous experiences that can help you prepare for your role as a buddy? For example, being supported by others, receiving feedback, giving advice. 
2. How might the relationship help to provide development and learning opportunities?  
3. What are you expecting from your buddy? 
4. What can you do to enable your buddy to support you? 
5. What makes a successful buddying relationship?  
6. What do you think the buddy will gain from the relationship? 
7. What difficulties and constraints do you feel there will be on the relationship and how can these be resolved?  

What should buddies agree on at the start?  

1. Purpose of the relationship - explore perceptions, expectations, what you both hope to achieve.
2. Goals and objectives - explore things you would like to help each other with or experiences you’d like to share
3. Confidentiality - conversations should remain confidential between both parties. However, if either buddy feels that any information discussed will cause serious harm to their buddy or others, they need to contact welcomebuddy@leeds.ac.uk immediately.
4. Creating a safe space - create a space where you can talk openly and freely without being judged or criticised and can challenge and question without any bad feeling. Explore how you would be honest with each other – what needs to happen to facilitate this? 
5. Meetings
• How will you meet?
• How often you will meet?
• How long will your meetings last? Can you both commit to the time? 
• What will you do if one of you needs to cancel a meeting?
• How will you communicate in between meetings?  

6. Ending the relationship - agree at the beginning that if either partner wants to end the relationship at any stage, this can happen without any bad feelings.  

Contact us  

If you have any questions, email welcomebuddy@leeds.ac.uk