Being a buddy
Being a buddy is a lot of fun as well as having important responsibilities towards your new students and HiOA. You're wearing the logo of HiOA on your buddy t-shirt. You are responsible for helping a group of new students having a good start at their student life in Norway.
A buddy is a/an
- Ambassador: You are the face of HiOA and your study programme during the introduction week(s)
- Role model: The new students are looking up to you and are paying close attention to what you say and do.
- Caregiver: Be considerate, responsible and make sure everyone feels included.
- Guide: Answer questions and refer on to the person/office responsible when needed.
A buddy's tasks
Main task nr. 1 Be inclusive and make sure everyone feels like they are part of the group.
Main task nr 2. Make sure that the new students get to know each other well.
- Guide your group around at the campus and in the neighbourhood.
- Make sure that at every event there's at least one buddy present from your group .
- Be mentally and physically present. Don't be the buddy your students have to walk home. Be on time and don't keep your students waiting.
- Keep all of your students updated on what's on the programme every day.
- Act like a friend. For instance check upon your students to see if they got home safely or if they will attend the next day as well. Always reach out if someone doesn't show up.
- Respect personal boundaries. Especially when it comes to alcohol and intimacy.
- Encourage the students to show up for scheduled tuition.
- Create a good social space in your student group by being positive and enthusiastic.
- Have a buddy on duty each day in your group that can take extra good care of the new students. This duty includes:
Everyone knows that I am todays buddy on duty and main contact person.
I am available if anything happens.
I am visible for the new students.
Always be ready to help and answer questions. What might be quite obvious to you can be both strange and difficult for a new student.
Be a positive role model for your students. Act according to your buddy boards and HiOAs expectations. You will get to know these expectations at the buddy course.
As a buddy you are expected to act decently and follow Norwegian laws.
In case of an accident or other serious incidents contact the police/ambulance/fire department and the buddy on duty.
Why you the buddy are so important to new students.
Having a social network is crucial while you're studying. From the day the new students start you as a buddy play an important role in in creating new friendships. According to research, if an new student participates in activities during the introduction week it increases their chance of being a part of a good social network. And this will again have a positive impact on their mental health, increase the level of academic achievements and general wellbeing. As a buddy you play an important role in giving new students a good start.
Feeling left out is one of the most important reasons new students drop out of their studies. Therefore it's important that you as a buddy make sure that everyone feels included and part of the group.
If you see anyone struggling to find their place in the group be alert and try to take actions to include them. Perhaps you can invite a smaller group on a cup of coffee or tea? Getting together in a more quite environment and in a smaller group can make more quiet or introvert students feel more comfortable. Quite often you do not need much effort before a tough start can be a lot easier for new students.
Do you want to be an international buddy?
If you want to be a buddy for international students, please apply for that when you sign up as a buddy. If you would like more information about being an international buddy, please send us an email at email@example.com
Contract and breach of contract
At the buddy course you sign a buddy contract where you confirm your responsibilities as a buddy. Sanctions will be applied if you fail to comply with the contract.
In the case of serious non-compliance you will lose your right to be a buddy and will no longer have access to events during the introduction week.