Safety during the Start of Studies

Me as a buddy

Be a role model

When you are wearing your buddy t-shirt, you represent your educational institution. You are a role model for new students who will look up to you. This also applies in difficult situations. Take your role as a buddy seriously.

Be available

Do not take on more responsibility than you can handle. Be available for your group and other buddies.

Be prepared

Familiarise yourself with the programme for the Start of Studies and where new students can go for questions, so you can refer to the right place if you get questions you can't answer.

Attend events in groups. If an unfortunate incident occurs, you will be able to look after each other or call for help.

Getting to know each other

As a buddy, it is your job to include everyone. Remember to keep a close eye on anyone who is shy or keeps to themselves. Greeting them might help them to feel more secure. Learn their names and use them. Take initiative for icebreaker games that everyone can join.

Bear in mind that many of the new students have come to their new educational institution on their own, and that they do not know anyone else.The new students expect that, as a buddy, you will help them to get to know each other, the campus and the city they are going to study in.


New students have different wishes and expectations. Be open to input from your group and adapt the programme to their needs. Make sure you have other options for those who, for example, do not drink alcohol have dietary needs. As a Buddy, you can help create a safe group where it is ok to say "no" if you there is something you are uncomfortable with.

‘Optimal buzz’

Four out of five students think that parties are more fun if there is alcohol involved. At the same time, three out of five students think there is too much alcohol in the student community.

The pleasure centres in the brain are most stimulated with a blood alcohol percentage of between 0.05 and 0.1. That corresponds to 2-3 glasses of wine or small beers for women and 3-4 for men. If you are drinking pints of beer, you will have reached your ‘optimal buzz’ when you start sipping your third pint.

You can keep track of your ‘optimal buzz’ at RUPissed? 

Tips for staying in control at parties

  • Eat when you are drinking alcohol and do not drink on an empty stomach.
  • Surf on the buzz from the drink you just had before you open a new one or buy more.
  • Remember to drink water! An added bonus is less of a hangover.
  • Do not down your beer when the group leaves for the next place. Just leave it.
  • Look after your friends, check that they don't do anything stupid, and that they are safe.
  • Stop drinking alcohol when you are having the most fun.

Respect other people’s decision not to drink alcohol. Prevent people from being pressured into drinking.

Sex and consent

Sex is a natural part of life and should be enjoyable and safe. It may be wise to take some precautions before engaging in sex:

  • Make sure that this is something you genuinely want. It's okay to change your mind.
  • Consent should be present before engaging in sex. A person who is excessively intoxicated, asleep, or unconscious cannot consent to sex.
  • Use appropriate protection for casual sex. Remember that only a condom protects against sexually transmitted infections.

Finally, 40% of all reported rapes occur in connection with parties. Be a good friend and speak up if someone is losing control or crossing boundaries. If someone is a victim of assault, go to the nearest sexual assault center. They provide free medical assistance and counseling. You don't need a referral and can go even if you're unsure about what actually happened.

Mental health

Many new students are nervous about starting their studies. Adult life, a new educational institution, a new city, new accommodation and many new people can be overwhelming.

As a buddy, you must be a decent fellow human being. That means that you must be kind and talk to new students if you see that someone is struggling, but you are not supposed to be an amateur psychologist. If you see that someone needs more follow-up than you can give, suggest that they should to seek help.

Obtain an overview of the support services that are available at your educational institution, e.g. adviser, counsellor or Student Chaplain. The Student Welfare Organisation of Oslo and Akershus also offers health services.

Learn more

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Last updated: 11. March 2024