A person smiling, they are wearing a black coat with a yellow shirt underneath.

Buddy Up

Welcome to Buddy Up! An initiative (originally coined ‘The Companion Scheme’) designed to support students in staying connected.

What is Buddy Up?

The premise is really simple - send us a few details and we match you up with a new friend at UAL!

We match UAL students in pairs, based on a few preferences that you provide us with when you sign up. We'll send you both an introduction email and after that, it’s up to you! You can email, video call, swap phone numbers or meet in person… whatever works best for you both.

Take a look at our FAQ below for some more details and sign up when you're ready!


Who can use Buddy Up? 

Any student at UAL can use Buddy Up. We have students involved ranging from age 16-60+ from every college at UAL across all study levels from Foundation to PhD. 


How do you match us up? 

We match up students based on preferences such as age and college. You can choose if you’d like someone from the same college and someone of a similar age. We also ask if you are an international student who would like to be matched with another international student! We’ll then look at our list and try and find you someone who meets your criteria. We try our best to do this, but please bear with us as it may take a little longer than someone with no preferences. 


Why can’t I add more preferences to my form?

At the moment, the most efficient way for us to match you up with a new UAL friend is to ask just a few questions and preferences. This ensures that we can match you up with a friend sooner. It also means that you don’t know everything about your buddy when you are introduced, leaving more for you to talk about later!

Is Buddy Up free?

Buddy Up is completely free! We at the Arts SU Advice Team run it ourselves as a part of our work, to improve the wellbeing of students.

How do I contact my buddy? 

We will send you both an introduction email. After that, it’s up to you! You can email, video call, swap phone numbers or meet in person… whatever works best for you both. 


I’ve been matched with my buddy, but I don’t know what to say! Do you have any suggestions?

We know speaking to somebody new can be nerve-wracking or leave some people feeling awkward. Here are a few suggestions of things to ask or answer when introducing yourself to your new buddy:
1.    What are you watching or reading at the moment? 
2.    A hobby of yours 
3.    Your favourite food 
4.    Have you been to any good galleries or museums or exhibitions recently? 
5.    What is your current favourite song?

What if my buddy doesn’t reply? 

We hope that students sign up because they want to communicate and meet someone new! However, we understand that some people may not reply or choose not to continue with Buddy Up. If this happens, you are very welcome to sign up again. If you no longer wish to be part of Buddy Up, we would appreciate you letting us know via buddyup@su.arts.ac.uk so we can remove you from any further comms etc. 


What if my buddy is disrespectful towards me? 

We hope that your experience of Buddy Up will be positive and fun. However, if you have any concerns about another student’s behaviour, please let us know via buddyup@su.arts.ac.uk . We can talk through your options and support you. 


Can I find a buddy who wants to communicate in another language? 

At present, we don’t offer a language preference and therefore assume students will communicate in English. However, UAL now has a Language Exchange Scheme. More information on their scheme is here. 


Can I get a new buddy?

We hope that you’ll get on great with your new friend, but we understand that meeting someone new isn’t always the perfect match! If you're looking for a new buddy, you can sign back up to Buddy Up. You could also let your current buddy know that you’ll be doing this so that they can do the same if they want to.


Does Buddy Up organise events, like activities or sports? 

Buddy Up is for socialising directly with your buddy or in the online groups. We don't run any activities or events for students to join, but other teams within the SU do!

Arts SU has many societies and sports clubs you can join outside of Buddy Up. Student societies and clubs provide opportunities for you to meet like-minded people, explore your interests, play sports and develop your creative practice. There is something for everyone at Arts SU – from curation and culture to basketball! To find out more about these, please do explore our website here. 

And even better, our sports clubs and societies are either free or heavily discounted this year! 

Arts SU run many events throughout the academic year on a whole range of different topics and interests. You can keep up to date with our events and activities via our calendar here and we hope to see you at some of these in the future. 


Why did Arts SU start Buddy Up?

Buddy Up is an initiative which was originally coined ‘The Companion Scheme’ by the Arts SU Advice Team in 2020. It was designed to support students in staying connected during the pandemic.
The initiative was such a hit that it continued as COVID restrictions eased. The premise is really simple - send us a few details and we match you up with a new friend at UAL! 

Where can I send feedback that I have about Buddy Up?

If you have any feedback about Buddy Up and how we can improve or advance the initiative, please send it to us on buddyup@su.arts.ac.uk. Please note that this inbox is not regularly monitored and so please do not send any time sensitive queries here.


Contact the SU Advice Service

Email us

Usually the fastest way to contact us is to email using our contact form.

We always aim to reply within 5 working days, but often reply much sooner.

We generally answer in chronological order but if your issue is very time sensitive please mark your email 'Urgent' and we will try to get back to you as soon as we can.

Email us

Book an appointment (new clients only)

If you prefer to speak to someone directly, and you have not spoken to us previously about the issue, you can book an appointment with an Advisor.

If you already have an Advisor assigned to you and you would like to speak to them please just email them directly - this will be usually be much faster than using the booking form!

Book an appointment