Peer mentoring

Peer mentoring is for any first year undergraduate who would like to talk to a current student before and during the first few months of university.

Your mentor will usually study a similar subject to you. They are there to listen when you need to talk, and to answer any questions you have about your course or university life.

Many students say that it is nice to know that there is someone to talk to, even if you don’t need them. Last year over 1,500 students had a peer mentor and 84% said their peer mentor had improved their student experience.

Peer mentoring is also available for all undergraduate students waiting for one-to-one counselling. Read more details below and email student-peer-support@bristol.ac.uk with any queries.

About the scheme

The aim of the scheme is to help you settle in to the University. Your peer mentor is available from before you start university until the end of January. We can extend the scheme on an individual basis if you feel it would benefit you.

Although the main scheme ends in January, you can request a peer mentor at any point during your first year by emailing student-peer-support@bristol.ac.uk.

The scheme is opt-in, so if you have settled into university and no longer need a peer mentor you can tell them in person, or email student-peer-support@bristol.ac.uk.

Contact time

Peer mentors can spend up to an hour per week in contact with you. This varies from person to person. You may find you need less contact at some times and your mentor will understand that. Each mentoring relationship is different.

Finding the right peer mentor

When you apply, you provide basic details about yourself and we use this to match you with a peer mentor. Matching is done on a first-come first-served basis.

We try to match you with a mentor who is doing the same or similar course to you. If we don’t have a mentor from your course available then we will match you with someone from the same faculty.

The role of a peer mentor

A peer mentor is someone who is trained to be a mentor to you. In order to provide you with good quality mentoring support, peer mentors should only mentor you for about one hour at a time.

Peer mentors are unable to spend long periods of time with you, such as an evening out for dinner. Instead they are there to listen and direct you to help yourself. If you want to know more about mentoring skills, you could apply to become a peer mentor for the next academic year.

Peer mentors are not academic tutors. If you need academic support or tutorials, you can speak to your personal tutor. Your peer mentor can talk to you about the course in general and what to expect from it. However, they can’t look through your work or do revision with you.

Who to contact if you haven’t heard from your peer mentor

If you haven’t heard from your mentor, first check your junk email mailbox.

If you haven’t heard from your peer mentor by the start of Welcome Week, please email student-peer-support@bristol.ac.uk.

Peer mentors for mature students

Some of our peer mentor team are mature students. If you are 21-years-old or over and prefer to be matched with one of our mature peer mentors, please indicate this when you sign up for the scheme.

Students waiting for one-to-one counselling

All undergraduate students waiting for one-to-one counselling can request a peer mentor. Peer mentors are fellow students who:

  • are there to listen
  • are non-judgmental
  • are someone to talk to
  • will respect your privacy.

The peer mentor can meet up with you for around 1-2 hours a week for up to eight weeks while you are waiting for counselling. You could go for a coffee, exchange emails, or talk to your peer mentor in private.

The counselling service will give you details about how to request a peer mentor after your initial assessment. Speak to your counsellor in your initial assessment about how you can request a peer mentor.

Sign up for a peer mentor

You can sign up for a peer mentor by Friday 8 September.

We will match you with a peer mentor as soon as possible and they should be in touch before the start of term.

Peer mentoring welcome event

At our welcome event, you’ll meet your peer mentor and other first year students.

The welcome event will take place on Wednesday 27 September 2017 in Room 1.11/1.11a Merchant Venturers Building.

Your peer mentor will have more details on the event and how to sign up.

Activities

You can choose to do a variety of activities with your peer mentor, you might like to do the following:

  • Meet for a chat
  • Exchange emails and messages
  • A campus tour
  • Go for a coffee
  • Meet up with other first-year students.

Peer support

Peer support at the University is made up of two schemes:

Peer mentoring is only available for new undergraduate students.

Become a peer mentor

We recruit peer mentors between February and May. Find out about student job opportunities, including being a peer mentor.

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