Off Campus Support Scheme

During my first week at LSE I found it difficult to adjust and felt quite overwhelmed being in such a different environment to school. It was very reassuring to know that there was someone friendly to whom I could direct questions and small problems.

Off Campus Support Scheme logoIf you do not live in halls of residence, you might sometimes worry that you will feel out of the loop about things going on around campus.

The Off Campus Support Scheme helps all new undergraduate and General Course students who do not live in LSE halls of residence connect with each other and the LSE community.

We're currently recruiting current student mentors for the 2019/20 academic year!

Read the information below before you:

Apply to volunteer as a mentor

All continuing students are eligible to apply

Applications are open until 23:59 on Sunday 3 March

  • Official full name

Applications are open until 23:59 on Sunday 3 March. Regrettably, we cannot accept any late applications.

Information for prospective mentors

Am I eligible to volunteer as a mentor?

  • You must be a continuing LSE undergraduate student in the following academic year
  • You do not need to have lived off campus yourself - just an understanding of the challenges faced by those who do

Why should I volunteer as a mentor?

Volunteering as an Off Campus Mentor is a great way to:

  • Give back to the LSE community
  • Enhance your CV
  • Increase your leadership, communication and interpersonal skills.

What does a mentor do?

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 responses to your mentees throughout the year. Please review the "what is expected of Mentors" section at the bottom of this page.

What would LSE expect from me?

  • 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 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement.

Failure to do any of the above could result in your removal from the Off Campus Support Scheme. 

What support could I expect from LSE?

  • 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 has help them to improve their communication skills; develop their leadership skills and enhance their self-management skills
  • A certificate of recognition of participation
  • A "thank you" event at the end of the year attended by senior members of LSE staff

If you have any questions, please email

What is the Off Campus Support Scheme?

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. It also connects them to the other students in their mentoring group.

Mentors help new students to settle in at LSE. They are allocated one or two group(s) 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(s) 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.

What is a mentor?

Off Campus Mentors are current studeints with experience of LSE. They are here to help you transition into university life.

Mentors will be available to answer their mentees' questions by email before their mentees 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 their mentee to contact.

If you are a continuing undergraduate student who is interested in volunteering as a mentor for the Off Campus Support Scheme, please see "Information for prospective mentors" below.

What is a mentoring group?

Mentees will meet with their Mentor as part of a group, because Mentors have been allocated a number of Mentees who are all living off campus. Group meetings have the additional benefit of helping mentees to broaden their social network and meet other new students who are also living at home/in private housing. Mentees can also ask your Mentor questions about university life in a relaxed group setting.  

If a Mentee would prefer to meet their Mentor on your own, that's fine too - just let them know!

 Information for prospective mentees

Eligibility for the scheme

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 you if you are:

  • A first year undergraduate or General Course student AND
  • Not living in an LSE Hall of Residence (including Urbanest Westminster Bridge and Urbanest Kings Cross). 

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 (or School Representative), Subwardens or Hall Committee for assistance.

How the scheme works

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 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 the Advice Team. If you have any questions about the scheme or your Mentor, you can contact the team at +44 020 7955 6337.

Pre-arrival contact

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. 

Meeting your Mentor

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.

Participation is optional

You are under no obligation to attend meetings with your Mentor, but students 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! 

What to do if you don't hear from your Mentor

If you believe you are eligible for the scheme but haven't received an email from your Mentor by mid-September, there are a number of things you can do:

  1. Confirm your eligibility. Are you a new, undergraduate or General Course student, and not currently holding an offer of LSE owned and operated accommodation?
  2. 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.
  3. 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 and provide your full name and date of birth so we can investigate and allocate you to a Mentor as quickly as possible.


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Contact us


Telephone +44 (0) 20 7955 6337

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Student Services Centre, (Ground Floor) Old Building, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE