The Off Campus Support Scheme connects new students who are not living in LSE halls of residence with an experienced LSE student to act as a mentor and others in a similar position.
Mentors help new students to settle in at LSE. They are allocated a group of 8-10 mentees, usually in the same department as them, and send them an email towards the end of the summer to welcome them to LSE and answer any of their mentees' pre-arrival questions.
Mentors will then arrange to meet with their mentoring group during Welcome Week, a couple of times during the rest of Michaelmas Term and occasionally throughout their mentees' first academic year. It's not particularly time intensive, but mentors have considerable impact in terms of providing support / signposting for their mentees.
Off Campus Mentors are students like you, but with more experience of LSE. They are here to help you transition into university life.
Your mentor will be available to answer your questions by email before you arrive at LSE and throughout the academic year, in person or by email.
Off Campus mentors are not counsellors or supervisors, so they may not be able to answer questions on academic or legal matters, for example. However, in cases where they cannot answer your question, they can still help by identifying the appropriate service for you to contact.
You will meet with your mentor as part of a group, because your mentor has been allocated a number of mentees who are all living off campus. Group meetings have the additional benefit of helping you to broaden your social network and meet other new students who are also living at home / in private housing. You can also ask your mentor questions about university life in a relaxed group setting.
If you prefer to meet your mentor on your own, that's fine too - just let them know!
Although all LSE students technically live off campus (there are no Halls of Residence immediately on campus), the Off Campus Support Scheme is here to support students who fall under these categories:
Undergraduate or General Course Student AND
Not living in an LSE Hall of Residence.
If you are living in an LSE hall but feel like you would benefit from additional help with settling in, please do consider approaching your Warden, Subwardens or Hall Committee for assistance.
LSE will allocate all students who have been identified as not living in LSE-owned accommodation to a trained student mentor in early September. Mentors are second or third year students in the same department as their mentees (whenever possible).
Mentors will be given a list of their mentees' personal email addresses and LSE email addresses. The introductory emails will be sent to both the mentees' personal and LSE email addresses, but after Welcome Week has passed all correspondence should take place via LSE email.
Most of the contact mentees have with the scheme will be through their mentor, however the Off Campus Support Scheme is coordinated by Lydia Halls, who works full time in the Student Services Centre. If you have any questions about the scheme or your mentee, you can contact Lydia by email (email@example.com) or telephone (+44 020 7955 6337).
Your mentor will contact you via email prior to Welcome Week to introduce themselves, share information about starting at LSE and arrange to meet with you during Welcome Week.
It is important that you keep your personal email address updated in LSE for You and activate your LSE IT account as early as possible to avoid missing your mentor's introduction.
Your mentor will arrange a meeting during Welcome Week.
They will arrange further meetings at minimum in weeks 2 and 7 of Michaelmas Term, then at the beginning and end of subsequent terms. If you need to speak to your mentor outside of these times, they are available to answer questions via email throughout the academic year.
It is a good idea to meet your mentor or group during the day in public areas. Rooms are set aside on campus during Welcome Week for this purpose, but your mentor may choose to meet somewhere else, such as one of the LSE cafes.
You are under no obligation to attend meetings with your mentor, but those who do tell us that it really helped them to settle in.
Whether you choose to meet your mentor in person or not, they are always available by email throughout the year to answer any questions that come up. Don't feel shy about getting in touch!
If you believe you are eligible for the scheme but haven't received an email from your mentor by Friday 9 September 2016, there are a number of things you can do:
Confirm your eligibility. Are you a new, undergraduate or General Course, and not currently holding an offer of LSE-owned accommodation?
Check your junk folder. If you have applied to LSE using a gmail address (for example) your mentor's introduction may have been misidentified as spam / junk.
Ensure your email address is correct in LSE for You.
If you have done all of these things but still haven't received an email from your mentor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your full name and date of birth so we can investigate and allocate you to a mentor as quickly as possible.
Volunteering as an Off Campus Mentor is a great way to:
Give back to the LSE community
Enhance your CV
Increase your leadsership, communication and interpersonal skills.
Mentors help new students to settle in at LSE by providing pre-arrival support and staying in contact to answer questions / offer tips throughout the first academic year. They also help to facilitate the establishment of a social network among off campus students.
You don't need to have lived off campus in your first year to be eligible to become a Mentor. Having experienced living off campus first hand may be useful, but all we require is an appreciation of the different experience of students not living in an LSE hall of residence and an interest in helping them.
The scheme is not particularly time-intensive beyond Welcome Week, however you are expected to arrange termly meetings with your mentees (if they wish to meet) and provide prompt and knowledgeable responsive to your mentees throughout the year. Please review the "what is expected of mentors" section at the bottom of this page.
LSE will provide mentors with:
The informative, targeted training required to succeed in your role
Full support throughout the year
Opportunities for personal development. Mentors have reported their time on the scheme:
- Improved their communication skills
- Developed their leadership skills
- Enhanced their self-management skills
A record of your participation in the scheme in your Personal Development Aide Memoire (PDAM)
A certificate of recognition of participation
A "thank you" event at the end of the year attended by senior members of LSE staff
Applications to become a mentor in the 2016-17 academic year have now closed.
Applications for the 2017-18 academic year will open in January 2017.
Register your interest in becoming a mentor by email: offCampusSupport@lse.ac.uk
Provide pre-arrival support to mentees via LSE email to help smooth their arrival on campus. (Mentors must have regular access to LSE email from the end of August)
Be present on campus during Welcome Week. This is a firm requirement of the Scheme. If you will be delayed in arriving, you must contact the scheme co-ordinator immediately
Arrange and attend group meetings (or individual meetings when requested) during Welcome Week, offering further meetings in weeks 2 and 7 of Michaelmas Term, the beginning and end of the Lent Term and prior to exams in the Summer Term, at a minimum
Provide a friendly and informative introduction to your mentees and help them to get to know one another
Take your mentees on a tour during Welcome Week
Respect confidences and only share anything mentees tell you if you are worried your mentee may be doing something illegal or harming themselves or others. In this instance you should inform the scheme co-ordinator immediately
Provide prompt, ad hoc guidance to mentees via LSE email for the whole of the first academic year
Promptly distribute essential information to your mentees as it is sent to you by the scheme coordinator
Make yourself available for events that you are invited to by your department, and be prepared with something to say about the scheme. Abide by the Terms and Conditions of the School, in particular those governing The Equality and Diversity Policy.
Failure to do any of the above could result in your removal from the Off Campus Support Scheme.