Global BuddiesVolunteer Guidelines

Thank you for volunteering for Global Buddies! We are incredibly grateful for the support from our alumni community.

Global Buddies connects Birkbeck alumni with new international students to help them settle in during their first term of study. The aim of Global Buddies is to help international students feel integrated within the Birkbeck community and support their transition to life in the UK.

As a Global Buddy you can make a real difference to a student’s Birkbeck journey by:

Your matches

You will be matched with an individual or small group of incoming international students. Where possible, we try to match buddies based on interests, course of study, shared languages and background, however, this is not guaranteed. We hope that you will enjoy meeting new members of our student community who share your passion for learning.

Common concerns from international students include:  


Global Buddies volunteers provide a warm and friendly welcome to the Birkbeck community, share their experience, and can commit to meeting with new international students at least once during their first term of study.

No previous experience is required however we do ask that all volunteers adhere to the below expectations:

A commitment to:

What we do not expect:

Meeting Guidelines

Although there are no fixed rules about what you should discuss during your meetings, you can use these general guidelines:  


Suggested activities:

Meetings can be virtual, or they can take place in person. In person meetings can take place outside of Birkbeck but must be in London at a mutually convenient location. You might like to:

Confidentiality and Safeguarding

It is up to you how much personal information you wish to share with your buddy. Please do not share any email addresses that are not your own, passwords or bank details with your student. As a Buddy Volunteer you are placed in a position of trust. Your student may confide personal information with you which we ask you not to share with other people. However, there are limits to confidentiality, and in rare instances you might need to speak up to protect your student. If your student mentions that they might be a risk of themselves or others – you must contact us.

The College has a Safeguarding Policy and Procedure which outlines the College’s approach to ensuring the safeguarding of all members of the College community. 

Where there are concerns that children, young people or adults in vulnerable situations are in danger of any of the below, you must report your concern to and your concerns will be passed on to the appropriate team.

Data Protection and Privacy

Birkbeck does not sell or exchange personal details with external organisations for sales or marketing purposes, other than those acting as agents for Birkbeck College on alumni related activities. To understand more about how we use and store personal data, please see our Alumni Privacy policy at