This summer the University ran the first ever alumni student welcome programme. The aim of the programme was to put incoming students in touch with local alumni who could act as contacts for any enquiries or help as they settle into live in the UK.
Warwick alumna Joan Cole (BA English and American Literature 1978-81) let us know her experience of the programme.
When I was contacted by Nathalie Woods from the alumni office, she asked me if, as an alumna who lived fairly close to the University, I would help with a new project. The office was inviting alumni to help new international students settle at Warwick. I said that I would help if I could.
The project was to engage alumni and get them to help in reducing the anxiety experienced by many international students when they prepare to leave their families, friends and culture. The idea was to give each student, who wished to participate, a contact here in the UK, someone who could hopefully answer any questions they may have. However tenuous the link, having someone that you have been in contact with before leaving home can be reassuring if you are even slightly anxious.
Local alumni were asked to give their contact details to Nathalie so that she could forward their details to students. We were given "our" students details and contacted them with a message of welcome to Warwick which also mentioned that they could get in touch with us either before arriving or when they arrived if they had any questions or even just for a chat.
I personally had three students but only heard from one of them. She sent me am email saying, "I will not be lonely right?"
I replied that I didn't think that she would be, but, that if at any time in the future she should find herself missing her home and family then that would be the time to get in touch with me because we could get together for a cup of tea and she could tell me about her home and family.
If the office runs this programme in the future I shall definitely put my name forward to participate.