Studying abroad: Renée’s story

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Renée Marston studied at UWE Bristol on the BA(Hons) Business Management with Accounting and Finance course. This blog is about Renée’s experience of studying abroad whilst at UWE Bristol.

I chose to take a year out to study overseas as part of my course. And through the Erasmus+ scheme and UWE Bristol, I attended Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (JAMK) in Finland.

I have to say that this experience has already enhanced my prospects for the future, both personally and professionally as I was able to take part in a volunteering experience which enabled me to gain international experience within a place of work, whilst also helping others. I was also able to take a language course as part of my studies which employers really value.

Something that was very important to me personally, was that I was also able to significantly increase my confidence and adaptability to a brand-new environment. This has and will continue to help me personally and professionally in the future when applying for graduate roles.

Socially, I took some amazing trips and got involved in different activities. I went to Lapland and saw the Northern Lights. I also joined the University’s dance team. Stepping outside of my comfort zone enabled me to make new friends from countries all around the world.

“This experience has already enhanced my prospects for the future, both personally and professionally”

Top tips for students thinking about study year abroad

The main advice I would give to students wanting to go abroad, particularly to study, is to believe in yourself and believe you can do it. Be bold; get involved and use your time overseas to the fullest.

On a practical level, do your research. Look into things that are important to you about the university and the country. This could be checking out the sports facilities, what food outlets are on campus or the support facilities such as the library. You want to be able to find comfort in the place you will be living in for a significant amount of time.

Don’t miss out

Whatever your decision, do this for yourself and not based on what your friends are doing. None of my friends applied to study abroad and I nearly followed them, even though I knew I wanted to get more information and apply. If I did follow my friends, then I would have never had the experiences that I did.

“Studying abroad has been the best time of my life. Thankyou UWE, JAMK and Erasmus+ for allowing me to have this opportunity of a lifetime.”

UWE Bristol alumni launch new Family Wellbeing app

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Benjamin Draper, Business Management with Economics graduate and William Testeil, International Business graduate, have created an app that makes it fun and simple for families to improve their wellbeing by encouraging them to exercise, eat well and stay mentally active together, and all within their own home if necessary – very pertinent in the current climate and beyond.

The app differentiates from what currently exists in 2 primary ways:

Firstly, it is the first app specifically catered to families, covering all 3 fundamental elements of wellbeing, exercise, nutrition, and mental health.  Within each category is a variety of challenges and activities, appropriate for both children and parents. These range from simple workouts to more innovative challenges with different difficulty levels and time taken to complete them. This range of activities means the app can adapt to a busy family lifestyle and diverse needs. This allows families to easily implement health habits into their routine to achieve their desired health and effortlessly spend more quality time together.

Secondly, the app combines health activities with gamification through an engaging personal avatar that tracks their progress. This enables the family members to visualise the positive impact their healthier lifestyle is having on them, providing a fun and motivation experience to improve wellbeing as a family. Keeping everyone’s character healthy = keeping the family healthy! Additionally, to further motivate each family member, the app also contains a simple and engaging rewards system. Each time you successfully complete a challenge you gain a seed, collect multiple seeds in a row and you can earn a wellbeing flower! The aim is essentially to grow and collect as many wellbeing flowers as possible while enhancing your own health and happiness.

As we all know having a healthy family unit is incredibly important. When a family spends more time together and keeps a healthy routine, they tend to be much happier.

Benjamin and William say that “while there are a significant amount of health and fitness resources to help individuals, we have recognised a lack of solutions and support available to families. The current lack of solutions to this problem can result in children becoming disinterested to engage in healthy activities, and with parents having numerous responsibilities and limited time, it can be a challenge to implement essential health habits into a family routine.”  

From this realisation, they believed it was time to fill this gap in the market and provide the tool families deserve to help them stay healthy and happy.

After a full year of extensive market research, they have been able to gain invaluable insights from talking directly with children and parents. “Through this customer-centric research approach, we built numerous prototypes, to test our assumptions and allow families to give us feedback to develop a compelling concept. In turn, the combination of our passion for health, helping others and our research has led us to leveraging modern technology to provide this simple and engaging mobile application with one objective in mind – help children and parents collectively achieve their desired health in a fun and convenient way.”

The app has had very encouraging feedback from both children and parents:

Parent’s feedback;

“This is a great idea and would have been amazing when my kids were younger. I searched for similar at the time and never found anything like this”

“I love this idea, my girl is 6 and she loves anything that may be a challenge!”

“Translating the health of the app-user into a facial expression is a great way to motivate the user to care for themselves”

“I really like the selection of challenges. Cleaning or climbing upstairs is something you do every day without realising the benefits”

Children’s feedback;

“I think it is really cool to take care of your own character, and it has definitely motivated me to be healthier”

“This makes improving my health fun and not so boring sometimes!”

“Downloaded the app 15 minutes ago, we have completed something out of each category. I think the workout 1 is the most I’ve been able to happily get my 5-year-old to move during lockdown. Also the food lucky dip he has just happily eaten an apple. He’s already asking what else we can do next. Really enjoying it so far. “Yep I’m enjoying it” – George 5 years”

What was your biggest challenge?

“One of the biggest challenges so far has been funding for the project. While we are very driven individuals, we have only recently graduated university and lacked the start-up capital we needed for this amazing project. That is why we set up our Kickstarter campaign, to present our idea to the public and get people as excited about it as we are. Fortunately, the campaign got amazing support and we achieved 115% of our funding goal.”

“Another challenge we face concerns choosing features to include in the app to further its development. We want to make sure we are providing families with exactly what they need and want to achieve their wellbeing goals, so making sure the correct features are included is very important to us. While we have conducted extensive research on this, there is still room for more improvement by testing not just what features will be included but also how they are integrated to provide families with maximum value.”

How does it feel to have launched the app and secured funding?

“We were completely blown away by the community involvement in our app, as well as the belief in us and this project. Securing 115% of our funding goal was amazing and we did not take it lightly!”

“Since then, we have worked very hard to create something that truly helps families and that we would be proud of. To have all this hard work come to fruition and get the reactions we have already had from parents and children feels amazing. It is a very fulfilling feeling to see and be told by your own customers about the positive impact that we are making on their lives.”

“One of the most exciting things for us is that we are only at the very beginning of this exciting journey and we are only going to improve what we provide from here. We cannot wait to introduce the app to more and more families to help them achieve the health and happiness they have always wanted.”

What are your hopes for the future?

“Our ambition is to be the go-to, trusted platform, families can easily access to effectively improve their health in an enjoyable way. Offering a simple solution to a large problem.”

“We also hope to create partnerships with schools, as well as local gyms, to reach and positively impact tens of thousands of families on a global scale. On a personal level, we cannot wait to continue positively impacting families lives and get more people healthier and happier. At the moment we are only able to work on this part time so getting funding to enable us to have this as our full-time work would be amazing. These are our goals over the next 12 months.”

Find out more on the family wellbeing website.

Case study: Jerry Barnor, BA(Hons) Banking and Finance

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Jerry Barnor is a final year BA Banking and Finance student studying at UWE Bristol.

I always knew I would study Finance at University, it’s something that I’ve always been interested in. I would regularly follow the financial news and read articles about inflation and interest rates and how this affected the economy. It was fascinating to me even though at that time, I didn’t fully comprehend what it all meant.

As I’ve progressed through my course this has all fallen into place and I have a much deeper understanding of the subject matter. I still continue to follow the financial news the difference now is that it makes complete sense to me.

Friends, finance and facilities

My time here at UWE has been really good – I’m close with all my classmates and the teaching and staff have been great. Very different from what I was used to previously (at college). There’s a good mix of lectures which focus on both theory and practical application. I’ve been involved in debates and presented both individually and as part of a group. This was something I had never done before. I’ve also been involved in reflective essays critiquing my work to understand how this could be improved.

“I’ve made some very good friends both in and out of class and I’ve taken advantage of the facilities such as the Bloomberg Trading Room. The data you have access to is incredible and has been valuable to support my studies, in particular with writing my dissertation.”

From Bristol to Barcelona

The great thing about UWE is there’s always something going on. And I had heard about an event called Go Global. Go Global is an opportunity for students to work on a short-term internship in a different country.

There was a position at a tech firm in Barcelona which I applied for and got the job! The firm specialised in gaming which is something I know about (being an avid gamer myself).

The placement was over two months in the summer and through Go Global and Erasmus I was given a bursary of £1,500 which helped finance my flights and accommodation.

The role was quite varied, I was working in the marketing department supporting recruitment of new clients. This involved writing emails and setting-up meetings. I was also lucky enough to attend some of these meetings and present to prospective clients. I would create estimates, getting the balance of each pricing model depending on the needs of each client, which was a great way of bringing my financial knowledge to the role.

Being in a working environment you learn so much. I feel I had a good grasp of different software (Word, Excel etc), but using this in a real scenario was very different! I feel like I’ve learnt a lot.

“Taking part in the Go Global scheme was such a fantastic experience and I made new friends who I’m still in touch with now.”

Life after University and my advice to current students

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Blog written by Isabelle Peters, UWE Bristol Marketing & Communications Alumni and Marketing Executive at Moxie and Mettle.

Isabelle Peters, former UWE Bristol Marketing and Communications student has written a guest blog with her advice for current students looking to get into a Marketing role after University.

There comes a time when all good things must come to an end, and that includes school and then University. 

Most people leave school and go straight to University without actually being exposed to all their options and end up regretting their course and being stuck with a degree in something useless and not knowing what to do. 

That nearly happened to me.

I was just about to head to Manchester to study History when I stopped and asked myself: what do I need this degree for? I took two years out to figure it out and landed on a Marketing & Communications course at UWE instead (best decision ever by the way).

I studied (and partied) hard for three years to get my degree, and then the realisation kicked in that I had to find a job, and that it should be in the field I’ve spent a lot of time and money on during University. It should be easy right? You study for your degree, and now it’s your time to shine and get your dream job and salary and begin your life…

Well, sadly no.

Getting a job is very difficult, and I wasn’t enlightened about how hard it would be, nor did I listen. I must have applied for over 60 jobs before I even started to get interviews, and my experience still wasn’t enough. This is an essential piece of information that I HAVE to express to current students: if you don’t have actual real-world experience in your desired industry, good luck trying to find a job because it will be hard.

If you are serious about a career in Marketing, PR, Comms, Journalism or anything related, I would 100% suggest doing a placement year or at least a few weeks unpaid work experience here and there during holidays. I’ve found the best way to approach this type of work experience is to build a solid LinkedIn page, do some research and connect with the MD/CEO of the company expressing your interest in working unpaid/work experience.

If you need assistance with finding a workplace/work experience, Moxie & Mettle offer a unique Graduate Plus scheme for entry-level graduates and current students. They aim signpost candidates to their clients who are looking for students or graduates to fulfil a work placement and hopefully help more people get opportunities. 

My second piece of advice is to familiarise yourself with extra marketing blogs and materials on the internet – all posted at the bottom. A big part of marketing is understanding the current market, keeping on top of changes and understanding constant developments. Not only will this increase your knowledge, but it will accustom you to the language of marketing and develop your copywriting skills. 

This brings me on to my third piece of advice. Copywriting is at the heart of what you do. (When I first started at Moxie & Mettle, I didn’t even really know what this meant, and I actually had to Google it discretely). It is the activity or occupation of writing the text of advertisements or publicity material. It comes in all shapes and sizes from a blog to a post on social media! Usually, we’re taught to write academically for essays and reports, while in the real world, we should be writing in a style that’s accessible for our target audience. Meaning it should probably be more colloquial, simpler and ENGAGING.

Marketing is moving away from theory-heavy academia and newspapers to digital platforms, which means our consumer is changing the way they take in information.

Blogging is a big part of content marketing; it promotes and raises brand awareness. I know blogging can’t necessarily be taught, but practise helps, and the process of understanding different audiences can be tricky. I struggled a lot when I first started writing blogs for Moxie & Mettle, I was unsure how to lay it out, and the tone was all wrong. My advice is to read a lot of these style blogs and practise writing whenever you can.

Finally, my last piece of advice is to try and build your confidence up as much as you can. University can’t teach you to be a people person but testing yourself by joining clubs and societies can! 

I’m a firm believer in the ‘people hire people’ concept, which pretty much suggests if you leave a great impression you will be remembered. A significant part of my job is attending any slightly relevant events to act as a brand ambassador for my company; this helps us generate leads and meet new clients.

I have currently been working for Moxie & Mettle for almost a year, and honestly, I have learnt so much about marketing and myself; what I’m good at and what I can improve on; but weirdly enough what marketing really is.

Study Abroad Case Study: Edina – BA International Business student

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The exciting adventures of Edina

The below blog post has been co-authored by Edina Opoczki (BA International Business student) and Hayley Iovannelli- International Recruitment Manager for the Faculty of Business and Law.

Hi! My name is Edina and I’m currently studying the International Business programme here, at UWE Bristol. Now I’m in my final year, I decided to continue my studies overseas as part of the ‘Study Abroad’ scheme. I chose to study at one of UWE’s partner institutions (ESSCA) as it provided me with the opportunity to study in two countries; Angers (a city in western France, about 300 km (190 mi) southwest of Paris) and I’m currently in Shanghai, China.

It has been an interesting journey so far, and I wanted to share my experiences to help anyone who may be thinking about doing this.

Things I now know (that I did not know before)

I spent a lot of time researching the institution and the area in France and China. But, as I discovered, there’s always more you can and should do!

Here are my top tips:

  • Try to learn a bit of the language before you go – not everyone will speak English and if you can speak even the basics this will really help. And your language skills will evolve as you’ll have lots of opportunities to speak with other students.
  • Find out about the local amenities and services – I needed a dentist quite urgently when I was in France and it just wasn’t something I’d considered before, so well worth finding out about local English speaking amenities
  • Work out your budget – some areas are more cost effective than others so it’s worth scoping out the different places to live and eat
  • Reach out and speak to students who have done this before – they can give you valuable information about what to expect, places to visit to really make the most out of your time there
  • Be prepared for the cultural differences – find out the basics about how you should meet and greet people, restaurant etiquette, tipping etc. as each country is different
  • Enjoy yourself! – take every opportunity to explore, discover, practice the language and make the most of it!

Things I wish I had done differently

While I was in Angers during my first semester, I felt like I was missing out on the opportunity to make close friendships with the other international students because I found my accommodation privately rather than staying in the dormitory where most of the students were. On the other hand, in terms of money – value proposition, my room seemed to be the better option and that is why I choose it in the end.

When preparing to head out to Shanghai, the only thing I wish I had done even more before arriving was saving up money for travelling around the country. Life in Shanghai is more expensive than in Bristol so be prepared. Travelling around this huge country is costly and time-consuming because of the distances so I would advise everyone planning to study in Shanghai to save up as much as you can.

Why France and China?

The reason why I chose France to study is because I wanted to make sure I can build more international experience through my ‘Year Abroad’ scheme and France just seemed to be one of the perfect locations to do so. My goal was to live in a country which is a founding member of the EU and is totally different from the UK in terms of culture.

China has always been one of those destinations I have been dreaming about ever since I was a child. When I found out ESSCA has a campus in Shanghai I was beyond happy. China for me is the Rome of business world where all businesses leads to China. Because of the nature of my international business studies, I wanted to further build my experiences in a country taking a lead of newness, innovation and world trade.

How do I find my way around in Shanghai?

Before I came to China, I already downloaded multiple apps on my phone, saved all important addresses both in English and Chinese, made sure I always had a copy of UWE Travel Insurance on my phone and I already familiarized myself with the metro lines. There are several websites and apps you can take advantage of, and these are the ones that I found to be the most helpful:

  • TripAdvisor (guidance when visiting other cities)
  • Bon App! (like TA but more complex with local metro map)
  • SmartShanghai (detailed list of services, shops, information about SH)
  • Moovit (navigation app)
  • Sherpa’s (food delivery)
  • Epermarket (online supermarket for Western style grocery shopping)

This list is not full and there are many other apps and websites available.

How did I develop personally and professionally during ‘Study Abroad’?

‘Study Year Abroad’ allows me to further extend my knowledge and experience on the following topics: cross-cultural management, international human resources, international marketing, artificial intelligence, the energy sector, old and contemporary European and Chinese history and politics, the European Union, French and Chinese languages, doing business in China and many more.

As well as personal development, I have gained and further extended my academic skills and abilities. Both France and China have prepared me to take on the next challenges. I believe, with cultural awareness my ability to adapt to change of circumstances and openness for newness has prepared me to gain new experiences and makes me brave enough to apply for international jobs in the future.

Kick start your 2019 with an Executive Education short course from UWE Bristol

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Looking for a new challenge in 2019? Or simply want to learn something new? As a new year’s treat, we have early bird discounts on several of our executive education short courses.

Below we’ve included some information on some of the courses but there are loads more on our website

Coaching and Mentoring (ILM Level 5 and 7) 

Aimed at anyone who undertakes coaching and/or mentoring in their workplace, this short course is ideal for managers with significant responsibility for coaching and mentoring as part of their day-to-day role working with employees and colleagues. It is also designed to develop learners planning to move into a development role or start a career as a freelance coach or mentor offering coaching and mentoring to people within work settings.

Next course date: February 2019. Early bird discount ends: 20 January. Find out more here.

Professional Certification in Digital Marketing

Whether you are a business owner who wants to improve online engagement, a professional marketer, or a complete beginner, this certification will provide you with an introduction to key digital specialisms, from mobile and social media marketing, to email, PPC and SEO.

Validated by the Digital Marketing Institute, the certification is delivered here in Bristol by experienced academics and consultants who apply our expertise and cutting-edge thinking with a practical focus

Next course date: February 2019. Early bird discount ends: 16 January. Find out more here

New Leaders Programme (ILM Level 3)

Our New Leaders Programme is an exciting interactive course blending theoretical knowledge with practical skills, designed to give those new to management or looking to obtain their first line management qualification the core skills needed to succeed in a role as an effective team manager. You will be given the space to work closely with your course peers and to explore real life examples of your management practice.

Structured over a four month period the programme offers you the opportunity to take away learning from the training sessions to apply in your workplace; in addition to the opportunity to reflect on and assess your impact as a manager.

Next course date: March 2019. Early bird discount ends: 22 January. Find out more here

Finance for Non-Financial Managers

 As a decision-maker in a small or medium sized business you can use financial information to resolve problems and improve performance. This programme will provide you with the basic skills and understanding of how to do this.

This programme is specifically designed for managers and supervisors who need a basic understanding of the principles of finance, those new to a role with responsibility for financial control, or anyone working with finance and accounting staff.   

Next course date: March 2019 Early bird discount ends: 28 January. Find out more here

Design Thinking for Managers

Design Thinking has emerged as a human-centred, creative and robust approach to solving problems and identifying opportunities in business and social contexts.

Rooted in the creative strategies that professional designers use in the process of designing products and/or services, Design Thinking is an approach without boundaries. Everybody is creative given the right process to ‘unlock’ their creativity and provide an alternative mindset in approaching a challenge.

This highly practical programme will introduce you to Design Thinking as a process for finding new, relevant and transformative solutions that create a positive impact

Next course date: April 2019. Early bird discount ends: 6 February. Find out more here

Successful Events Management

This highly practical course focuses on utilising the potential power of events to achieve personal, organisational and social outcomes for both the public and private sectors.  It explores the purpose of events and how event managers can develop appropriate experiences for their intended audiences and clients.

This course is purposely designed to immerse you in developing event ideas, pitching concepts and designing research to capture event outcomes.  The course will incorporate a site visit within Bristol as part of a fieldwork activity relating to event design.

Next course date: April 2019. Early bird discount ends: 6 February. Find out more here

Institute of Directors’ prize awarded to Bristol Business School student for second successive year

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A student who launched an innovative healthy meals delivery service while studying at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has won a prestigious national Institute of Directors (IoD) award.

Alex Gatehouse, founder of start-up company Pelico, was named Student Director of the Year at an annual awards ceremony in London celebrating directors at the forefront of leadership excellence.

His success follows that of fellow former UWE Bristol student Jamie Rawsthorne, founder of higher education analytics business Unique Insights, who won the prize in 2016. Both graduated from the pioneering Team Entrepreneurship degree programme, where undergraduates are encouraged to set up and develop their own businesses as part of their studies.

Pelico, whose co-directors are current Team Entrepreneurship students, offers its customers nutritious, chef-made meals delivered within 30 minutes for under £6. The company’s aim is to make it as easy as possible for busy professionals to eat well. Alex has steered the company’s growth and development over the past three years, helping create a successful food technology venture.

The Student Director of the Year award recognises students who have implemented brilliant and innovative projects that have created real tangible value for their audience.

Adrian Rivers, Programme Lead for the Team Entrepreneurship programme, said: “These awards are major achievements and provide added evidence of the ability of the students on our programme. Well done Alex!

“Jamie was a member of the first cohort of students to join the programme in 2013 and Alex was in the second cohort. Both graduated with good degrees. Alex’s 1st Class Honours degree classification was boosted by an outstanding dissertation in his final year, based around the future development of Pelico as a business.”

Nick Sturge, regional chair of Institute of Directors South West, said: “Our student membership has been incredibly successful and we’re delighted to have brought the award back to the South West and to UWE Bristol for a second year. The feedback we get is that the membership really helps entrepreneurial students make valuable connections, gives them access to mentoring and ensures they develop not only a portfolio of practical business tools but also an understanding of the role of effective directors in a business that will stay with them for the rest of their career.”

The BA (Hons) Team Entrepreneurship course is one of only a handful of its type in the UK dedicated to giving undergraduates the practical experience to launch and run their own ventures.

An alternative to a traditional degree, students work to a tailored programme to equip themselves with entrepreneurial and teamwork skills ready to start businesses or become effective team players within dynamic and changing organisations. The course was inspired by successful methods pioneered in Finland and tested in Spain and Hungary. The programme’s undergraduates – known as Team Entrepreneurs – develop skills in everything from event and budget management to marketing, PR and graphic design.

The course is based in UWE Bristol’s new state-of-the-art £55 million Faculty of Business and Law building and is part of Bristol Business School, recently shortlisted in the Business School of the Year category of the Times Higher Education Awards 2017.

Internships at UWE – ‘The past 10 weeks have been wonderful’

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UWE Bristol offer a number of opportunities for their students. Candie Walters, a third year Business and Management student, has just completed a 10 week internship in the FBL Faculty. Keep reading to find out what she got up to.

I am a UWE Bristol Business and Management student who has just completed a 10 week internship in the Engagement and Enterprise teams in the FBL Faculty at UWE Bristol. The past 10 weeks have been wonderful. I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect, from managing social media accounts to planning events. The diversity of tasks has meant each day has been different and interesting; allowing me to continuously learn.

I was responsible for managing the social media accounts; writing weekly blogs, tweeting daily, and updating the Instagram account. I had to make sure I was aware of the different stories and activities that were going on in the university and publicise them. I created a content plan for each week covering what I needed to include in the following weeks social media posts. This meant I was able to keep track and make sure the content was interesting and informative for the audience.

Another task I was responsible for alongside Izzy, another intern, was to organise the FBL Level One Induction Activity. Izzy and I had to organise an event for 1500 FBL students in fresher’s week from start to finish. The activity consisted of four sessions spread out across three days in fresher’s week. The aim of the activity was to energise the first year students and introduce them to the enterprise pathway. The activity consisted of problem solving and crowdsourcing ideas on an online platform. We liaised with external companies, and were able use iDeeter’s online problem solving platform. It was an awesome tool to find opportunities and solve problems. Students had the opportunity to ‘up vote’ solutions and ideas in which a winner was granted a prize.

This event required event management skills along with a huge degree of organisational skills. Myself and Izzy, had to organise times, dates, groups, leaders, speakers, rooms, prizes and resources for the event; whilst also coming up with an agenda for each activity. This required successful communication with myself and Izzy as well as with other members of staff. Emailing and calling people was our main form of communication, but we also organised and held regular meetings with the academics and the iDeeter staff to ensure everyone was on board and knew exactly what was expected.

Furthermore, my role consisted of basic data entry tasks, data management, shoot logistics, event and research planning, liaising with stakeholders, project management and general organisation for meetings and car parking bookings. As you can tell, my line manager packed so much over the 10 week period for me, and I am leaving with a book full of knowledge that I can now put into my studies for my final year at UWE Bristol.

The team at UWE are the most welcoming and friendly staff I have ever worked for. They are always happy and willing to help with anything. I can’t explain how much I have learnt during my time working for UWE and I put that down to the amazing alumni team – Anna, Rachel and Laura.

I strongly recommend that anyone who is thinking about doing an internship, to come to UWE!

I am hoping to return once I have graduated! ‘

 

UWE Student’s ‘Memories will last forever’ after volunteering in Fiji.

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Volunteering abroad can be an invaluable experience. You are able to experience new cultures and ways of life; when you get back home, those lessons can translate into skills and experience that benefit you, both personally and professionally – and it also looks great on your CV.

UWE partnered with Think Pacific to offer students the chance to spend four weeks at one of their projects in Fiji. The project consisted of assisting local teachers with rural primary and secondary schools, organising one-to-ones, leading kindergarten classes, pioneering extra-curricular activities and youth clubs, and implementing grass roots sports development initiatives ,which included daily PE classes and sports outreach workshops. The aim of this project was to empower disadvantaged children living in remote and rural Fiji to overcome poverty issues and achieve holistic health.

This summer 18 students from UWE were lucky enough to join Think Pacific on this project. The Think Pacific Project is run in partnership with the Fijian Government and supports remote schools in Fiji.

Second year Business Management Student, Lisa Mathews was one of the students who went on this amazing trip.

Lisa commented:

“I have just spent the last month living in the most warming village, amongst the most positive, smiley, carefree individuals, who have honestly changed my life forever. I will never look back”

She explains she was:

“engrossed in the culture, with treks and adventures on Saturdays truly exploring the area you’re living in. We climbed up a waterfall, crawled through a cave and trekked to some hot springs. Everywhere we went locals would climb trees to pick us oranges or carve papayas with their machetes. Their kindness is phenomenal and this is definitely not my last trip to Fiji”

Think Pacific were extremely positive about each student that went out to Fiji on this trip:

“What a privilege it has been to have such a passionate, caring & energetic bunch of UWE University students on project with us Fiji. It was incredible to hear from the Nubuyanitu families how quickly the students settled into village life. And even more than that, to hear from the teachers how much every volunteer gave to inspire, motivate & enagage the children through their education and sports sessions.”

This fascinating project is one of many volunteering experiences on offer from UWE Bristol. Find out more here http://ow.ly/4pBH30eo0sO

UWE also provide financial assistance for undergraduate students who are looking to work or volunteer abroad – The Go Global Bursary Scheme.

 

 

UWE Bristol Business and Management Student Year Abroad in Mexico

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The students at UWE Bristol have the opportunity to study abroad as part of, or alongside, their studies. This can be for a semester or a year, studying with partner universities from across Europe and around the world.

One student whose year abroad has come to an end, was lucky enough to study at Technologico de Monterrey, Mexico for a year. Isham Adawia, Business and Management student, was one of two students who were offered the opportunity to go to Mexico and he said it has been the best year of his whole life.

Studying abroad may be one of the most influential decisions for a university student; gaining international experience and immersing themselves in a new culture. The study year abroad team put in endless amounts of time into providing UWE Bristol students with amazing opportunities.Deciding whether to go ahead with studying abroad was one of the hardest yet best decision Isham says he’s made. Going into a foreign country, not knowing the native language is a daunting prospect to say the least. However, there are so many other people in the exact same situation. They say that living in a foreign country is the most efficient way to learn the native language, Isham says that this is certainly the case and he can now have basic conversations with Spanish speakers. Meeting new people from various parts of the world and learning about each other’s culture and life is so interesting. This experience opened Isham Adawi’s eyes to the way people think and act which are influenced by their culture; meeting people from all over the world.

Isham commented

“During my time studying overseas, I made lifelong friends from all over the world: Denmark, Germany, Mexico, US, Honduras, Ecuador, Italy, Canada, Venezuela and Sweden. Furthermore, it gave me an insight of academic knowledge from the viewpoint of others and to understand how the field of study varies, when studying overseas”.

“Studying abroad opens your eyes to what the world has to offer making you a more confident, open minded individual that recognises and appreciates a whole new lifestyle in a country that is far different from the UK. The social side of this experience is one that will stay with you forever.”

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Isham said he enjoyed exploring parts of Mexico in his free time with his fellow students and really immersing himself in Mexican culture. Isham always wanted to work and live abroad and the experience has only made him want to continue his travels after he graduates.

The overall study abroad experience is something you will cherish for the rest of your life. Not only because of the people you will meet, experiences you will gain and the memories you make, but because it develops you as a person.

It can influence the rest of your life and your career goals. You may discover a newfound passion or career path, or maybe you will decide to work abroad. Whatever it may be, you will have a great discussion topic on your CV with future employers. They want to see someone who has challenged themselves and learned from experience. The experience and knowledge you acquire while abroad can give you plenty of real life examples/situations to integrate into an interview or cover letter.

It goes without saying that studying abroad will be one of the most memorable experiences that you will ever have. You become truly independent, meeting new people from around the world, developing your language skills, and experiencing a new culture. So why not get in contact with the UWE Study Abroad team to discover your options!