Newsletter for the International Community
Issue 10 - Autumn 2007
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Every year the International Office recruits a group of International Student Helpers who assist with the orientation week, social trips and social events. This year we have had a great bunch of students helping us from all over the world, and here we have some of their stories.
Charlie Cruickshanks - England
My name is Charlie Cruickshanks, I am studying in my second year of Biochemical Engineering here at the University of Bath. I am British and originally come from Birmingham, which is two hours north of Bath. I remember making the decision to come to Bath and I couldn’t really separate the universities I had visited academically, so decided it looked like the nicest place to live in and had the best facilities available. Now that I have studied here, I have realised that I definitely made the correct choice. Although now I can see that the university is incredibly strong academically and offers many amazing placement opportunities that I would have missed out on at another university. There is also a great energy in the university. There are always so many exciting activities available that I wish I could be involved in much more than my schedule allows.
Before coming to university I was lucky enough to travel to many diverse and brilliant places and for my longest trip was away from home for three months. As I moved around different places I quickly realised I missed my home and family, but I was fine so long as I was in welcoming and exciting situations. Since moving to Bath I have found the same conditions apply and I have been fine here. Having experienced and overcome homesickness abroad I felt that being an International Student Helper gave me a great opportunity to help others feel at home in Bath and encourage them to take advantage of all the diverse opportunities that are on offer here at the university.
This year has been my first year (hopefully of many) being an International Student Helper during the “Big Bath Welcome”. I would like to think that I achieved what I aimed to, by helping as many people as possible from all over the world get together and feel comfortable in a foreign place. I have made several good friends through the programme this year and have enjoyed sharing cultures with them. The highlight for me this year has been the pride I have felt at seeing foreign students enjoying themselves in my country effortlessly and immediately. I know they all expected to come here to get a great degree, but I don’t think they expected they would enjoy their time here quite so much!
Qing Zhang - China
My name is Qing Zhang from China and I have just finished my degree in MSc Marketing. I came to the UK last year to further my study in the University of Bath. Maybe same as you, before I came here, I carefully checked the reputation of the University and my course. However, when I arrived, I found the University, the course and the city itself are much more than I expected. I feel so lucky that I chose Bath among all my other offers.
During my one-year study here, I joined several University sports clubs and societies to rich my after-study life; took more than 250-hours volunteer jobs to help people; did some traveling around the UK and Europe, etc. As a result, every time I think about this one-year life here, I feel that it is really rewarding. However, date back to last September, I, same as you, arrived in the UK without knowing anything and hoping there was someone who could help me and tell me all the information about the University and the life here. Also, I have experienced all the difficulties an international student would meet when he first arrives in a country which is totally different from his home. That is why I want to be an international student helper so that I can share my experience with the new international students, especially students from Asian countries, and help them to overcome the difficulties they will meet such as language problems, eastern and western culture shock, different learning styles, etc.
During those two weeks (during Orientation week) working as an international student helper, I not only helped many international students in different ways, but also learned a lot during my work. This experience was very happy and memorable and I loved it so much. All the other helpers are very nice as well; we worked in a team to give our best welcome to the new students. After this work, we all became very good friends. Moreover, when you talked to the new international students, you would learn so many things that are not coming from the book. Some students introduced me to the best places worth going in their countries and some students told me the different culture and life style in their country that broadened my views about the world.
So this is my experience as an international student helper. Dear international students, why not become an international student helper next year to share your experience with the new students and give them your best warm welcome? I bet this experience will be one of the most exciting and memorable experiences during your study in the University of Bath. And, of course, if I am still around in Bath next year, I will definitely be an international student helper again to deliver my help and welcome to the new international students next year!
Jeni Lemen - England
Hola! My name is Jeni Lemen and I am a second year Sport and Exercise Science student at the University of Bath. I am originally from Birmingham (and no, I don’t have the accent), but decided to choose Bath as it fulfilled (and still does) pretty much everything that I wanted from a University ... it is situated in the most beautiful city, coming from a large city I was overjoyed to find a small city surrounded by green fields and picturesque scenery, but with a lively enough atmosphere to keep me busy; the University itself is fantastic, awesome sports facilities (that I pretty much lived in last year) and a course that involves my passion for sport with my interests and previous study of science and psychology.
Arriving in Bath last year for the first time as a new student, was an exciting yet rather overwhelming experience. From this I can begin to imagine what it must be like for an International student, arriving in England for the first time as a student; seeing new people, new places, a new language perhaps, new customs and a slightly ironic sense of humour. During the summer before I came to University I worked as a residential sports coach at an English summer camp where students from all over the world (from France to Kazakhstan, and from Turkey to China!) came to learn English. I met a lot of these students at Heathrow airport, and was their first point of the contact for the majority of their time in the UK. This really helped to make up my mind to apply to be an International Student Helper this year, and has enabled me to meet many new friends from all over the globe and to experience Freshers’ week from a different perspective.
I hope I have been successful in helping new students to find their way around Bath and the University campus, to ask any burning questions about life in the UK and to make friends that will hopefully last for the duration of their time at Bath and beyond. I can’t thank all the new people I’ve met and the staff at the International Office enough for providing an experience that was much more than just a job, it has been an eye opener and something that I won’t forget for a long time!
If you are interested in becoming a International
Student Helper for the 08/09 academic year, the job advert will be
out on the International Student Mailing List and will also be
through Joblink in April 2008.
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