UCCF’s New Student Welcome Pack is designed to help new students settle into uni life and make friends.
These packs are a great way for Christian freshers to grow spiritually and in their own personal evangelism by providing credible resources such as books, food and conversations starters. The aim is to help freshers feel more confident in introducing their new friends to Jesus.
But what’s in it, and how can you help your CUs make the most of it?
First things first – get to know what’s inside the pack. At first, it might seem like a random assortment of things, but each item serves a purpose. Here’s a helpful way to categorise the contents.
Tea towel: This isn’t just to dry your dishes, it’s also got a series of helpful conversation starter questions on it. Leave it lying around for people to use and ask people one of those questions when they use it.
Film selector: Struggling to decide what to watch? Have no fear! The pack comes with some recommended movie options with suggested themes to discuss afterwards. If students are feeling a bit unsure of how to do that, this article on how to run a film discussion might be helpful.
Snacks & drinks: An assortment of edible goodies come in the pack. These aren’t meant for one, but rather to be shared with housemates/corridor mates. They’re great to pair up with a film discussion night.
Recipe book: Beyond Beans & Toast provides a few recipes with stories from students. Perhaps you could encourage new students to cook a meal from this book for their flatmates? This could be an opportunity to try something like a Meal-with-a-Message.
Other books: Everything so far sounds good on paper, but it might all seem a bit intimidating for new students to do. The other two books can help with that. In Have No Fear, John Lennox explains practically how we can winsomely share Jesus with our friends, despite our fears. On the other hand, the devotional book on Daniel provides a close-to-home biblical example on how to live distinct and faithful lives as Christians at university.
UCCF resources: Last but not least, there are resources on how to run other fun activities with friends, and some practical tips on how to make the most of the first few weeks of university.
Now you have a good rundown of what’s in the pack and how to use it, here are a few ideas of how you could incorporate these packs with your CU’s freshers’ week plans:
If your CU has a stall at freshers’ fair, why don’t you put the pack on the stall and get people to sign up to your social media and share your posts to enter into a chance to win a pack? It’s a small way to attract attention to the stall while at the same time promoting your CU’s events.
Running a quiz night and don’t have a prize for the winning team? Why don’t you encourage your students to grab a couple of these packs to give to the winning team?
The last but most simple way to use this pack is to purchase a few to give away to students, no strings attached! It might help to include into the pack a little welcome message/flyer from CU with your upcoming events.
Alternatively, if the CU budget is tight, you could create your own budget New Student Welcome Pack. Even just having a pack of microwavable popcorn and some resources to run a film discussion could go a long way (and don’t forget to put a flyer with a list of upcoming events!).
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