Help for new and prospective students
Who are the Peer Guides?
The Peer Guides are current students who have volunteered to help all our new students settle in at Bangor. They have all been trained and referenced in order to maintain a high standard of Peer Guiding.
Being current students it’s not that long since they were facing university for the first time so they know what it feels like. They can help you with loads of general information from where is the nearest shop to how you get your timetable.
There are all sorts of students at Bangor and our Peer Guides reflect this as we recruit from the whole institution regardless of age, gender and nationality. Whether you’re from the UK or from further afield, a teenager leaving home for the first time or a mature student with family responsibilities, living in university residences or travelling in each day, there will be someone in a similar situation to you amongst the Peer Guides who will understand what you’re facing and be able to offer some friendly support.
During training, we make sure they know how best to help you, whether it is something they can do themselves or whether it is helping you to access extra information or support if needed.
When you arrive you will meet lots of Peer Guides at the various events but in most cases you will also have one allocated to you who will keep in closer contact with you.
What to expect from your Peer Guide
Peer Guides are current students who have settled in and have now volunteered to help others through that process.
Each Academic School runs the scheme slightly differently to suit itself. Some keep Peer Guide activities as large gatherings while others tend to rely more on the smaller allocated groups , so that meetings tend to be more personal.
However the scheme is run in your Academic School, the Peer Guides will be of great help to you. During Welcome Week you’re likely to see them:
- at the Halls of Residence
- in the academic school helping at various sessions
- at central events such as the Formal Welcome and Serendipity
- giving guided tours of the department, campus and the town
- at social events
They are there to help you and will:
- listen to any worries you may have – eg feeling homesick, disorientated, or just a bit low – many people feel like this, and that’s one of the reasons the Peer Guide scheme exists!
- answer your questions (important or trivial!) as best they can. They can help you with most things, whether it’s information about the course or more general things such as a taxi number or directions to the laundrette – but may recognise in certain situations that they are not qualified to give advice. If this is the case they will guide you to the people who can help you.
- respect your privacy, and will treat what you tell them in confidence.
But it doesn’t all stop after Welcome Week – we hope you will choose to keep in contact with your Peer Guide, who will be happy to help for as long as you want.
Everyone has a Peer Guide unless we are told otherwise. While most people find them really helpful, if you really don’t want a Peer Guide just let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have not met your Peer Guide or are unhappy with the one you have, please talk to the Co-ordinator in your Academic School who will deal with the situation. If you don’t know who that is please visit this web page
Meeting your Peer Guide?
This can vary depending which Academic School you will be studying in, where you intend to live as a student or even how you came through the recruitment process.
Those of you who visit Bangor for an Open Day or for an interview may meet some of the Peer Guides who will show you around and answer any questions you may have. One of these may be the actual Peer Guide you will be allocated when you arrive here but even if that isn’t the case it gives you a taste of how friendly and helpful they are.
Contact before you move in
Many Peer Guides establish contact before you arrive. This may be via letter, text, email or more often these days by Facebook. This lets you start to get to know each other and more importantly, you can let the Peer Guide know when you expect to arrive in Bangor. Don’t forget to check your Bangor University email in case they’ve left you a message there.
The Peer Guides will be out in force at the Halls of Residence over the Welcome Weekend. They will have your room details from the Academic School and will give you a knock and introduce themselves. There will be plenty of social events going on over the weekend to start you making friends and they will make sure you know the arrangements so you can join in. They’ll also remind you of what’s happening during the Welcome Week.
If you’re not living in Halls, are a late arrival or miss your Peer Guide at the Halls of Residence at the weekend it might be on the first Monday that you meet your Peer Guide at the events in your Academic School. However, many of them will be waiting outside the Official Welcome to escort you to the Academic School so look out for the sign with your Academic School on and wander over to the group there.
Having trouble settling?
Peer Guides know the move to Bangor can cause concerns and anxieties and will help you with many of them.
However, please realise that they are fellow students and, as such, their role does have its limits. If you are experiencing particular problems or personal issues, they may feel out of their depth or be unqualified to help you. Sometimes the best way they can help is by directing you to someone better able to support you.
Depending what your concerns are they might suggest you visit your Personal Tutor, Student Services, (which includes a whole range of services from counselling to study skills – check out their main web page), the Student Union, or the Wardens. They will be able to help you access help and will continue to befriend you in a general way.
It might be that you’re feeling homesick and, if so, it might feel as if you are alone. But believe us, you are not – many students take time to adjust to the move. Why not come along for a friendly confidential chat about it with one of the counselling team or look at our website for other sources of help?