Almost 5,000 first-time students have been given a helping hand settling in to their surroundings through a novel Students’ Union scheme. The Freshers’ Angels initiative was set up to help new arrivals adapt to life on Kingston’s campuses. As part of the programme, 30 mentors, who have all been at the University for more than a year, have been offering support and guidance to Freshers during their initial few weeks of study.
The Freshers’ Angels have been on hand at each site answering first years’ questions and providing them with information about the Union’s social activities. Angel Ajay Nayyar, a business and finance student, said moving on to higher education could be a daunting prospect. “We’ve been making sure Freshers know exactly what’s been going on in and around the University and encouraging them to get out and about. We all know from our own experiences that can be one of the easiest ways to meet people and make new friends,” he said. Student welfare had also been high on the agenda, drama with English literature student Gareth Beavis explained. “As well as looking after a group of students and taking them to various events, each Freshers’ Angel has also been responsible for seeing they get home safely at night,” he said.
The scheme would help ensure first years got the most out of their time at Kingston, Students’ Union President Arnold Kemevor said. “Being away from home for the first time can be a big shock and there is a lot of information to take in, so this was a proactive way for us to be able to support students finding their feet,” he said. “The idea has proven very popular and will definitely be repeated next year.”