Supporting the transition to Higher Education

Welcome for new students

There is a College-wide welcome event for all new students in Arts and Law which includes an address from the University’s Vice-Chancellor and the Head of College. The College’s careers team representatives will also be there to help you start planning how to get the most out of your time here right from the start.

CAL Welcome mug

In the past few years, students have been given a welcome gift of a mug, which has proved popular.

  • University of Birmingham welcome website

Students 'Staying Local'

There is a College-wide ‘Staying Local’ welcome event which is organised for all new students in Arts and Law who live at home or off-campus in their first year. It is important to us that our local students have the opportunity to meet with other new and existing local students beginning of welcome week in a similar way to on-campus students when they meet with other students in their Halls - our local students have reported how much they appreciate the opportunity to ease into welcome week with this relaxed event.

Mature Students event

Arts and Law stand in marquee during Welcome

This was a new event for 2013. Aimed at students aged 25 or over, this is an opportunity for students to meet with others who have chosen to come to university slightly later in life than at 18 or 19. Including talks from the College of Arts and Law (CAL) staff, the Guild’s Postgraduate and Mature Student representative and a current mature student, along with a quiz and buffet, this event is the perfect opportunity to make friends, network and gain some reassurance.

Arts and Law stand in marquee during Welcome

This was new for 2013. This is a central point of contact during Welcome for all Arts and Law students where you can find out about events, services, schemes and initiatives and have your questions answered by our friendly Arts and Law ambassadors. With information about Welcome events, our Student Engagement Facilitators, the CAL Writing Advisory Service, leaflets from societies,free ‘bookcrossing’ books and information about places of interest on and off campus, this is not to be missed.

CAL International DayInternational Day

This was a new University-wide event for 2013 with activities happening across campus. In Arts and Law, we joined in by organising a book recommendation exchange where students, staff and visitors could connect with each other by recommending a book, receiving a recommendation in return and then marking where they are from on the world map.

Student mentor and buddy schemes

Support for your learning at university doesn’t just come from your tutors, many of our enthusiastic current students act as mentors or buddies to new students. There are a number of schemes across the Schools/departments in the College:

You may be provided with a welcome buddy to provide a friendly face for your first few weeks at University (e.g. German Studies and Law)

Some modules offer Peer-Assisted Support Sessions, known simply as PASS, which are weekly study groups run by higher year students who have already successfully completed the module. This year, PASS study group were run by and for students in Archaeology, English, Drama and Theatre Arts, History and Theology.

If you choose to study a Language you may also be offered a Language buddy – an Erasmus or International exchange student who is a native speaker of the language you are studying and who you can help with English language practice.

Professional services Staff-Student mentoring scheme

New for 2014.  We know that settling in to university life is not straightforward for everyone and some people may need a bit of extra support. This pilot mentoring scheme brings together non-teaching members of staff from across the university with new Arts and Law students for mentoring either on a 1:1 basis or in small groups. 

Running for the first term, our trained mentors will welcome students to their new community by helping them to settle in, by sharing a bit of local knowledge and by signposting them to appropriate services and support.  Find out more.