Humanities & Social Sciences placements

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences' students share their placement and year abroad experiences.

Moving on Placement

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📥  2016-17, Psychology

Earlier on in the academic year, the Lifetime Service went through a tendering process - where the companies managing the service change hands. This was quite disruptive and ended up in two members of the team remaining with the original company (Sirona) and the rest of the team changing to Virgin Care. Splitting the team in two along the lines of where their caseloads were based. On top of this, the change of hands meant that the Lifetime Service had to move out to a new location.

But, no one knew what was happening. Not even those higher up in the service and Sirona knew where we would be moving to or what this meant for the staff and their jobs. So as you can imagine, everyone was really stressed and confused. We only found out a month before the move where we were moving to, and the moving date was only announced two weeks before we were due to have everything packed up in boxes and shipped off to the new location. No easy task as the Lifetime Service has a lot of stores and medical supplies for the various young people they care for and activity groups they run - so much that they take up three storage rooms!

So, after many months of enjoying the commute to the Royal United Hospital and my placement, the Lifetime Service found out they had to move to St Martins Hospital in Odd Down. With only two weeks to make sure everything was labelled and ready to go, whilst also continuing to provide a safe and effective service.

With all these changes going on, it gave me a chance to experience a very different work situation that most people would never have expected to happen whilst on their placement. The service was quite disrupted and overwhelmed with the move, so my role changed quite a lot from assisting the Psychology Team to also helping the Nurses with their work. I was also involved a lot in the moving process of packing up boxes and labelling them for the new office.

In the two weeks before the move, I spent my time going through old files and uploading useful information to our shared computer files that would be coming with us when we moved. - Most things had not been looked at since 2004 so there was a LOT of weird and random stuff buried in folders and boxes across Lifetime that people had forgotten existed. A lot of things were thrown out just to save on space, what wasn't thrown was squished into boxes and sent to the new offices or to an old abandoned church for storage.

With all of this going on, my role as an Assistant Psychologist took a back seat and I was not able to have as much contact with my supervisor. This was OK as it was only short term, but I had to be more aware of thinking of jobs to do and not asking to be given work. This was a little difficult at times but there was so much to go through and sort out to help with the move that coming up with tasks to do was easy.

What you are probably thinking is 'How on earth do you cope with moving during placement?'

I've come up with some top tips to help with moving placement locations:

  1. Check out Transport - As soon as you know where you are moving to look into how you will get to your new location (can you get there with your current bus pass or do you need another one? Can I cycle there 0r walk? Could someone give me a lift? Do I need to move? -hopefully not for the last one). Having a few options to get to your new location can really help take away some of the stress of the move.
  2. Supervision - Meet with your supervisor before the move and ask for a list of what they would like you to do to help the move. Your supervisor may want your help packing up different stores and offices or they might prefer you to work from home for a few days whilst things are most chaotic.
  3. Get all the Knowledge - Try to find out as much about the move as early on as you can, knowing what is going on is a huge relief for you and those around you (When is the move happening? Where can you find boxes to pack up your things? How should you label up the boxes?).
  4. Finance - If you know the move is changing your commute time or route it might be useful to have a look at whether the move will make things more expensive for you. Knowing whether you have to spend more money or not will help you to plan a new budget or organise some extra hours for a job to help fund the change. Some companies may even reimburse you for travel if it is more expensive than before, so have a look to see if this is possible for you!
  5. Be Aware - my last tip is to try and be aware that staff members are likely to be stressed with the move and tensions may be running high. With everyone preparing for the move your role may be side-lined a little, so make sure you ask around for some jobs and expect to do things that you would never normally do as part of your role. If there are not many tasks going, try having a think about other things you could be doing, like your dissertation or coursework - I spent a lot of time calling up different hospices and services to see if their staff could take part in my dissertation research.

It can't have all been difficult. What was the best part of the move?

Definitely having Thai Food delivered to work for a last lunch as a service, with lots of free cakes and chocolates being brought in by different teams to wave goodbye to the different teams in Bath NHS House.

Finally, congratulations to the Lifetime Service. We made it!





📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

Waju means “ragazzo” or “boy” and wajona is the female equivalent. They are pronounced “wa-you” and “wa-yona”. This is one example I have learnt from chatting to people in my history class, that shows just how different Neapolitan is from Italian. But now we know these words, maybe we can fit in a bit more (?)



📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

This isn’t exactly a new word, but it’s a must-visit for anyone thinking of going to Naples. Caffè Gambrinus is a famous coffee shop near Piazza Plebiscito, where my boyfriend tried his first cannoli. He hasn’t been overly impressed with Naples to be honest, the traffic is terrifying for a newcomer and he does get the same uncomfortable vibe around the city as I do. He says he prefers Domino’s Pizza to Neapolitan pizza, which is something you should whisper as quietly as you can here…. anyway, here are some photos of Gambrinus and Piazza Plebiscito

gambrinus1 gambrinus3 gambrinus4 grambrinus2



📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

Today my boyfriend came to visit me for our anniversary which was lovely! I took him out for a light bite since we gorged ourselves on neopolitan pizza for lunch, and if you order an alcoholic (sometimes not) drink in Italy at the right time, you get a lot of free food with it. The south is famous for being generous with this and they top it up and add more snacks whenever you want. Here is a little of what we had:

aperi1 aperi2



📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

I had to write about crocchè because they are so delcious. Imagine a Spanish or French croquette but as big as a baked potato, deep fried and stuffed with cheese. Moments like that make the problems we’ve had here melt away…



📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

Today in History we learnt about pre-inquisition traditions and rituals in Italy. Some of them are remarkably similar to traditions I know from Greece. For example, the malocchio is the “mati” in Greek, or the “evil eye” where if you have an illness, it could mean someone has given it to you by looking at you, maybe with jealousy or bad intention.


Numbers in Neapolitan

📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

We have however started to make friends in class and we met some guys on the beach who are genuinely not interested in anything more than friendship, happily! Today they taught us the numbers 1-10 in Neapolitan. I’ll write them next to the Italian numbers so you can read the difference.

Italian     Neapolitan

Uno            Una

Due             Doia

Tre              Tre

Quattro      Quat

Cinque        Cing

Sei                Se

Sette             Set

Otto               Ott

Nove              Nov

Dieci               Diesch



📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

This means hitting on someone, and it’s an occurrence that ruins our day pretty much every single day since we’ve arrived but I’ll just keep it to one post.

Here, you cannot step outside the door without unwanted advances in very pushy, rude ways. If you stop for two seconds on your way somewhere, a guy will come up to you and try his luck. I’ve had people twisting my face round to kiss my mouth, waiters in restaurants we’ve eaten at shouting things and just staring for minutes on end, boys as young as thirteen coming up to us and not leaving us alone, asking for kisses, and at first it was annoying but tolerable, and now it has just makes us really angry in a kind of English feminist way. We get whistled at like we’re dogs everywhere we go, and they don’t stop if you say no. It’s pretty scary sometimes depending on who you’re with and where you are, but we’re thinking of it as part as parcel of Naples life. I knew people are more direct here but I didn’t think they were as rude and aggressive about it as this.



📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

Today I went to Solfatara, a volcano near Naples that lets off steam and gives fresh water. It was a good experience if a little overpriced, but the sunshine made up for it. However, the sulfur absolutely reeked… I can’t even describe it. The Italians used to describe it as the gateway to hell, because of the steam and cracks and bubbling rocks, but I see it more as that because of the awful smell.




📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

This means sausage, but it is also the name of a popular Neapolitan topping that involves cheese, sausage and a heck of a lot of spinach. I keep ordering it thinking it’s just sausage, and being surprised by the green mountain making it’s way to my table. It’s nice though! I ordered it today at a pizzeria near uni, and an old Italian woman came and started drinking my water. Before I knew what to do, the waiter was literally kicking her out of the way shouting “Via!” (Away). It’s so sad that so many people are so poor here and I hate not being able to do anything about it.