Putting the Welcome into Welcome Week
We talk to two Welcome Week helpers about meeting and greeting new students and helping them settle in to LLC.
Each year, a willing band of helpers gets involved in welcoming new students to the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC). This year, we had a fantastic group of 12 undergraduates from all subject areas and years within the School.
Having packed around 600 welcome bags in advance of Welcome Week, the helpers were on hand to greet new students and show them to the Welcome Talk, chat to them during the Welcome Fair, and help them get to grips with University online systems in drop-in sessions throughout the week.
We spoke to two of the students about why they chose to get involved, and what they feel they gained from the experience.
Pictured standing in the centre of the back row.
Natasha is a second year Japanese and Linguistics student. For her, the experience was a chance, not only “to become more involved with my university and particularly with LLC”, but to “create more links between the different year groups of Japanese Studies students, as well as with students of other subjects”.
“Being a student helper was a very rewarding experience, as it allowed us to pass on information and our own student experience to new students to help them settle into their new environment and welcome them to both LLC and the University of Edinburgh”.
Creating linkages across year groups “will, I feel, be beneficial to all of us throughout the course of our degrees”.
Pictured seated to the left, behind the front row.
Amber is a third year English Literature and History student. She says “I was attracted to the role of student helper, because I thought it would create a new space for me to practice skills I already have, as well as gain new ones”.
“The role is all about being a friendly face for the incoming students, helping them meet new people within their department, and sharing your own experiences with them. I already work with the PALS scheme for Literature (LitPALS), assisting first year students with their transition to university, and so the student helper role appealed to me for the same reason”.
“Coming to university can be daunting, and I know from personal experience that it can feel very isolating. Having current students around to reassure you that you are not the only one who feels like this makes all the difference, and they can talk to you about how to use your time in Edinburgh to the fullest”.
“As a student helper, I was able to give back to the university, and this is incredibly important to me, as the students who were around during my own Welcome Week certainly put my mind at ease, and made me excited for the year ahead. I hope that I was able to do the same for some of the incoming students, and I hope they really do enjoy their first year at university as much as I did!”
We’d like to say thank you to all 12 student helpers: Harry Banks; Linda Casey; Amber Isaacs; Euan Lownie; Arron Mark; Emma Roxby; Pratyusha Prakash; Marleena Makkonen; Ruby Kelman; Sarah Hawes-Iafrate; Dominic Sunderland; and Natasha Swan.
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