The end of the year is fast approaching and this is the last Peer Support News of the Year. It’s been an incredibly busy year in Peer Support, with over 1100 students providing support for their fellow students. Thank you to everyone who has been involved and best of luck with everything you go on to do.
Our Peer Support Awards were handed out at the start of April, at the Community Awards. Congratulations to our winners and highly commended students and schemes. You can find out more about the event, including a list of the winners, on our event page.
With PAL sessions now finished ready for exams, we are delighted to see that over 842 students have attended a PAL session this year, either in their department or in Foreign Languages. Also, peer mentor training has continued, with 796 first year students ready to mentor new students when they return to campus next year.
In May, the University hosted EduFest, the annual conference around learning and teaching for staff across the organisation. The event included a masterclass on developing intercultural understanding and featured a talk from Clara, one of our Portuguese PAL Leaders. She focused on how PAL can help students to share their different experiences, cultures and viewpoints and enable students to learn from each other. Find out more about Clara’s experience as a PAL Leader here.
As a Postgraduate Peer Mentor, Peter has helped new MRes students to adapt to studying at a postgraduate level and settle into life and study at Bath.
What made you decide to get involved with the mentoring scheme?
I decided to get involved as I wanted to help others in the position I was. I think every little piece of mentoring, support and advice can add up to really help people get through challenging courses.
What sort of support have you been giving your mentees?
To link my roles as a mentor for MRes and Doctoral students I've tried to help in the application and induction process. This has entailed introducing people to necessary contacts, instructing them about deadlines and opportunities and helping with writing/interviewing.
What has been the most positive aspect of being a mentor?
I think seeing the mentees succeeding in things I've helped them with, such as applications, is certainly satisfying.
What skills have you developed /further developed as a result of being a mentor?
I think networking has been a crucial skill. Additionally, that skill of really trying to understand someone's unique problem and trying to help solve that is very worthwhile and a lot of fun.
How would you describe being a mentor in three words?
Fun, rewarding, support.
As we enter the summer, our attention turns to getting ready for the new academic year. Recruitment will be open for a number of roles, including PAL Leaders, Postgraduate Peer Mentors and more.
Lead Peer Mentors will be working with their departments to prepare for the arrival of the new cohort, with matching, welcome events and other activities for the year. We are looking forward to seeing what you have planned for the next year.
One of our newest schemes will be running over the summer. The Pre-Sessional English PAL scheme supports students improving their English skills ready to start their course in September. The PAL sessions will be led by native English speakers and give students the opportunity to practice their English skills as well as learn about UK culture. Recruitment is still open and you can find out more about the role and apply via our website.
Finally, we are delighted that Maria has joined the team as a Peer Support Administrator. Maria will be supporting the smooth-running of our many schemes and focusing on how we communicate and develop our amazing volunteers.
Peer Support News will return in October. Good luck to those with exams and assignments left and we hope you have an amazing summer.