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 new undergraduate and General Course students who do not live in LSE halls of residence connect with each other and the LSE community.

Eligible students can now opt-in to be allocated a mentor in the Off Campus Support Scheme 2020/21.

Although you can opt-in at any time throughout the academic year, please make sure that you apply before midnight on Friday 4 September 2020 if you wish to receive pre-arrival support. 

Request a mentor

2020/21 academic year

  • Official full name


What is the Off Campus Support Scheme?

The Off Campus Support Scheme recognises that students living off campus can sometimes experience a different set of challenges to those living in LSE halls of residence. It  connects new first year and General Course students who are not living in LSE halls of residence with an experienced undergraduate student mentor. Their mentor connects them to the other students in their mentoring group who also live off campus.

Mentors act as a source of support and help new students to settle into life at LSE. They are allocated a mentee group of 8-10 mentees, usually in the same department as them. Once mentees opt-in before 4 September 2020, their mentor sends them an email towards the end of the summer to welcome them to LSE and answer any of their pre-arrival questions. Students may choose to opt-in to the Scheme at any point during the year. In this case, they will be allocated to a mentor at the next allocation date. 

Mentors will arrange an online meeting with their mentoring group during the main Welcome period (Monday 21 - Friday 25 September). They also hold further meetings a couple of times during the rest of Michaelmas Term and occasionally throughout their mentees' first academic year. Mentors have been advised to prioritise holding meetings online. It is up to the mentee how much they want to engage with the Scheme. It's not particularly time intensive, but mentors have considerable impact in terms of providing support, facilitating social networks and signposting their mentees to other LSE services.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is a fellow senior undergraduate student with experience of LSE. They are here to help you transition into university life and assist you with navigating the challenges of living off campus and forming a social network. All mentors have received training from the Student Services Centre. 

Mentors will be available to answer their mentees' questions by email before their mentees arrive at LSE once a mentee opts-in before 4 September. They are also available to answer questions via email throughout the academic year. 

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 a question, they can still help by identifying the appropriate service for their mentee to contact.

What is a mentoring group?

Mentees will interact 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 not living in LSE halls of residence. Mentees can also ask their mentor questions about university life and also learn from the experiences of other students who are living of campus. The first mentee meeting will be held online.  

If a mentee would like to interact with their mentor alone, they can always ask their mentor to set-up a separate call, or send them an email.

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

All students who have been identified as not living in LSE-owned accommodation can opt-in to be assigned a trained student mentor. Mentors are second or third year students in the same department as their mentees (whenever possible).

The deadline for opting in to receive pre-arrival contact is 23.59 on Friday 4 September 2020. Any applications made after this time will be processed on a rolling basis, but may not be in time for you to receive pre-arrival support. If you are planning on arriving to LSE later in Michaelmas Term, communication with your mentor and access to the Scheme will only begin once you arrive in London. 

Most of the contact mentees have with the Scheme will be through their mentor, however the Off Campus Support Scheme is coordinated by the Communications & Events Team. If you have any questions about the Scheme or your mentor, you can submit an enquiry to the team or call +44 020 7955 6337.

Pre-arrival contact

Once you have opted-in before Friday 4 September, your mentor will contact you via email prior to the main Welcome period (Monday 21 - Friday 25 September) to introduce themselves, share information about starting at LSE and arrange an online meeting during the main Welcome period.

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. 

Mentor Allocation Dates

If you have opted-in after 4 September, you will be allocated a mentor at the next allocation date as follows: 

- Opt-in before Moday 28 September to be allocated a mentor by Friday 2 October

- Opt-in before Monday 2 November to be allocated a mentor by Friday 6 November

Applications after these dates will be processed on a rolling basis.

Meeting your mentor

Your mentor will arrange an online meeting during the main Welcome period (Monday 21 - Friday 25 September). 

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.  

Participation is optional

You can choose how much you want to engage with the Scheme. You are under no obligation to attend online meetings with your mentor, but students do tell us that it really helped them to settle in. If, for any reason, you decide that you no longer want to participate in the Scheme, it is important that you inform your mentor. 

Whether you choose to attend meetings or not, your mentor is 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 have applied to 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 submit an enquiry and provide your full name and date of birth so we can investigate and allocate you to a mentor as quickly as possible.

Timeline of a mentee's journey

Download this map to see the timeline of a mentee's journey throughout the academic year. Note that this timeline is indicative of a mentee's journey who has opted-in before Friday 4 September. 


LSE Off Campus Support LSEOffCampus

Want to check out some of London's coolest attractions and events with new LSE friends? Check out LSE LIFE's LIFE i……

Reply Retweet Favorite

LSE Off Campus Support LSEOffCampus

This term will be very busy for you on the academic front, but that doesn't mean you can't make time to relax, unwi……

Reply Retweet Favorite

Contact us


Telephone +44 (0) 20 7955 6337

Address View on Google maps

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