International Relations Office

Updates on the University's global engagement activities

Topic: Event

International Mobility Students: Leavers Party 2017

📥  Erasmus+, Event, International Strategy, Mobility

2017 marks two birthdays: After the 50th Anniversary of the University of Bath, the Erasmus+ programme turns 30!

In 30 years, 9 million people have benefited from the European scheme, and it is becoming more popular every year. The University of Bath sends an average of 450 students out on the Erasmus+ programme every year (on study exchange and work placements), and receives around 200 incoming students from European partner universities.

On Monday 8th May, the International Mobility Office held the second International Mobility Leavers’ party  in the Roman Baths. The aim of this now annual rendez-vous is for Bath students who will be going abroad in 2017-2018 to meet with Incoming Exchange students. This event is an opportunity for them to make significant connections with people they will most likely meet again next year during their travels.

Shoot ref: 29262 Shoot Date 08052017. International Mobility Leavers’ Party took place at The Roman Baths Great Baths. This is a send-off evening for Bath students going on an exchange abroad in 2017/2018, and incoming exchange students who were at Bath this year and are going home. Introductory speech followed by drinks reception and a photo competition.

Students at the International Mobility Leavers’ Party, The Roman Baths.

Students were welcomed to the Roman Baths with a card explaining their mission for the night: Find someone who will be in the same country as them next year. The first few “pairs” to come together were awarded prizes.

'Matched Pairs' at International Mobility Leavers’ Party

'Matched Pairs' at International Mobility Leavers’ Party

We were also very happy to welcome University of Bath Alumni members from Chile and the USA, who decided to stay a bit longer after enjoying the Bath Festival the weekend before.

Attendees were asked to vote for the best pictures of the Incoming Students Photo Competition; the theme this year was 'Birthdays and Celebrations'. First prize was awarded to Anika Klassen (pictured), from Queen’s University (Canada), followed very closely by Sofia Pavlova (Second Prize) from TU Munich (Germany) and Fede Anselmo (Third Prize) from Universidad San Andres (Argentina).

First Prize winner in the Photo Competition: Anika Klassen

First Prize winner in the Photo Competition: Anika Klassen

Around 150 students attended the evening. A lot of them have already made plans to reunite with their new friends next year, and the feedback we received was very positive:

“This was an incredible event. As an exchange student, it was truly unforgettable and an amazing way to say goodbye to Bath.“

“I enjoyed that there was an incentive to meet people from the country you're going to/ going to the same country as you- and almost an excuse to go up and speak to them!”

More information about the Erasmus 30th Anniversary can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/anniversary_en

More photographs of the evening are available at https://anthonyprothero.pixieset.com/internationalmobilityleaverspartytheromanbaths/

Particular thanks to Agathe Lairy for organising the event.

 

MAIT students on internship at EU delegation in China

📥  Event, Partnership, Visit

We are currently on a several-month-long translation and interpreting internship at the EU delegation in Beijing, China, where we are working under the tutelage of Tom Peart, the in-house interpreter at the EU delegation in Beijing, to translate important documents from Chinese into English and English into Chinese for the EU delegation website on a wide variety of subjects ranging from agriculture, economics and trade, technical standards, human rights, politics and education.

Bath MAIT graduates, Yang Yingxi, Liu Bingling and Jin Ge with Tom Peart, EU in-house interpreter outside the EU delegation in Beijing

Bath MAIT graduates, Yang Yingxi, Liu Bingling and Jin Ge with Tom Peart, EU in-house interpreter outside the EU delegation in Beijing

As part of the internship, we have also had the chance to interpret for the EU delegation in meetings on the foreign NGO law in China, for the Finnish ambassador to China on human rights and arts, and most recently for several European companies at the China International Circular Economy Exhibition. One of our first jobs at the EU delegation was to interpret some introductory remarks at the opening ceremony of the EU Film Festival in China in front of a large audience.

These interpreting opportunities are a great way for us to further consolidate our skills, perform in real interpreting situations and put into practice the key note-taking and consecutive interpreting techniques that we learnt on the MA in Interpreting and Translation at Bath. Consecutive interpreting is where the interpreter takes notes and then renders a speech into another language after the speakers have finished speaking. Sometimes this means interpreting a few sentences at a time, but at other times speakers speak for up to six to seven minutes without stopping. That is where our memory skills and ability to take notes well really comes into play. Add to that the pressure of having to face a live audience who are awaiting expectantly for you to deliver the message of the speech in a clear and coherent manner, and consecutive interpreting can be a somewhat stressful experience. Nonetheless, the process of interpreting is also very enjoyable and extremely rewarding. Nothing beats the feeling of having done a really good job in an interpreting situation.

Written translation, whilst often less stressful, can also be tough and demanding. But once again, the hours spent working on important translation assignments can be very rewarding as it is always great to see our translation work posted on the EU delegation website.

For the past three years, this internship has run through an open competition. However, the vast majority of these internship places have been filled by Bath graduates that have completed the MA in Interpreting and Translation. This is a great opportunity for us and we hope that other Bath interpreting and translation graduates will see the value of internships such as these that fill an important gap between the classroom and the workplace.

Yang Yingxi, Liu Bingling and Jin Ge studied MA Interpreting and Translating at the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies. 

 

Interpreting for the Portuguese Prime Minister

📥  Event, Visit

I’ve just returned from China where, as an interpreter, I was part of the official five-day state visit led by the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, designed to strengthen ties between the two nations.

This is not the first time I’ve provided interpretation at high-level meetings between Portugal and China, but being privy to important discussions about trade and cooperation is always an exhilarating experience. During this most recent delegation, I provided interpretation between Prime Minister Costa and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and President of the Chinese National People’s Congress, Zhang Dejiang.

Miguel Fialho interpreting in a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa and President of the Chinese National People's Congress, Mr Zhang Dejiang

Miguel Fialho interpreting in a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa and President of the Chinese National People's Congress, Mr Zhang Dejiang (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

During the visit, Prime Minister Costa visited Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and the former Portuguese colony of Macao, where he took part in the Fifth Macao Forum for Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. I was responsible for interpreting, both consecutive and simultaneous, for all of the Prime Minister’s speeches, and for interpreting between Portuguese and Mandarin at all the high-level meetings at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Miguel Fialho interpreting at a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister and the Mayor of Shanghai

Miguel Fialho interpreting at a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister and the Mayor of Shanghai (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

Miguel Fialho interpreting at an interview by a Chinese media organisation in Shenzhen, China

Miguel Fialho interpreting at an interview by a Chinese media organisation in Shenzhen, China (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

The delegation was considered an important step in furthering cooperation between Portugal and China. In discussions, officials expressed the wish to deepen cooperation by strengthening trade, economic and cultural ties, and to further people-to-people contacts by continuing to provide a good environment for two-way investment and working together to use Macao as a platform for cooperation between China, Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries.

Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world as a mother tongue (more spoken in fact than French or Russian). China recognises the importance of the Portuguese language as an essential tool for communication. This is especially true between Portuguese-speaking countries as geographically and culturally diverse as Brazil, Angola and Mozambique in Africa, and East Timor in Asia.

During the talks, Portugal expressed the wish to engage in more collaborative research into marine technologies, volcanology, climatology and other areas affecting the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. Among other matters on the agenda, officials also discussed the use of the Port of Sines - the largest deep water port on Portugal’s long Atlantic Coast - as a gateway to Europe for the new Super Panamax ships that will come through the extended Panama Canal from the Pacific.

Exchange of gifts at Tsinghua University, Beijing

Exchange of gifts at Tsinghua University, Beijing (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

Mr Miguel Fialho joined the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies in September 2013 as Teaching Fellow in Interpreting/Translating (English-Chinese). He teaches on the Chinese stream of the MA in Interpreting and Translating. He is an EU-accredited conference interpreter (Chinese-English).

Miguel has acted as the official interpreter of the Portuguese delegation on all high-level visits between the Portuguese and Chinese governments since 2007, including for the visit of Portuguese President, Cavaco Silva, to China in 2014.

 

October visits from Oman and Jordan

📥  Event, Partnership, Visit

This month we welcomed delegations from Oman and Jordan.

Visit from Oman Ministry of Education, 11 October

Dr Al Kharusi was here to gain an understanding of our student support services and work placement options, as well as exploring the possibility of sending fully funded students to Bath to study at undergraduate level in the Faculty of Science and the Department of Education. Dr Al Kharusi met with colleagues from the Admissions and Outreach team and Faculty of Science.

Visit from Jordanian universities, 12 October

Representatives from the British Council, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, German Jordanian University, Queen Rania Centre for Entrepreneurship, Jordan Applied University and Al Quds College visited Bath as part of a UK study tour.

The visit was hosted by Professor Peter Lambert (Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching) and provided an opportunity for members of the roundtable (Dr Joe Devine, Dr Mary Hayden, Professor Jeff Thompson, Professor David Coley and Dr Jason Hart) to present an overview of their work in Jordan. The visitors later met with colleagues from the School of Management and Research & Innovation Services. The visit finished with a session on employability and student experience, getting information from International Mobility colleagues and placement managers, along with representatives from the Careers Service and the Students' Union.

The visit was well received and led to an invitation for Professor Lambert to visit the German Jordanian University.

 

International Mobility Leavers’ Party

📥  Event, Mobility

On Tuesday 3 May, the International Mobility team organised its first International Mobility Leavers’ Party.

The aim of this event was to give an opportunity to Bath students going abroad in 2016-2017 to meet with incoming exchange students currently studying at Bath who will be in the same cities and countries as them next year.

The party was held at the Roman Baths, a nice setting for students to say their final goodbyes and exchange contact details with their first friends from their year abroad.

The International Mobility Leavers Party at Roman Baths

The International Mobility Leavers Party at Roman Baths

Attendance was very impressive for this first gathering. Around 220 students came, and it was an even mix between incoming and outgoing students!

At the entrance, students were given badges with their name and destination/origin on, and their mission was to find someone who will be in the same city as them next year. The first pairs to show up at the Mobility desk received prizes. Mission accomplished for many of them, as we could witness the new friendships forming throughout the evening!

We were honoured to welcome Lizzie Fane, the Founder of ThirdYearAbroad.com, who opened the event with a wonderful speech about making the most of studying/working abroad, and gave useful tips to our students.

The International Mobility Leavers Party at Roman Baths

Lizzie giving an opening speech at the party

Incoming students were also invited to submit entries to a photo competition. The pictures, around the theme 'What represents your study abroad experience in Bath', were displayed around the Roman Baths during the evening, and attendees were invited to vote for their favourite series of pictures.

Among the 11 photographers, Madeleine Harlow, an incoming Biology student from Dalhousie University in Canada, won the first prize, followed closely by Nicolas Glanzmann (Science without Borders Student from Brazil) and Chloe Lindsay (University of Queensland, Australia)/Liv-Josephine Dahl-Rossau (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), both ex-aequo.

The International Mobility Leavers Party at Roman Baths

Photo competition winners (from left to right): Madeleine Harlow, Nicolas Glanzmann and Chloe Lindsay

It was such an enjoyable night for all of us, and we hope to make this an annual rendez-vous! Here are a few quotes we gathered from our feedback questionnaires:

  • “Thank you! It was wonderful! Please do this every year as it's such a great event!”
  • “I really enjoyed the evening, it was exceptionally well organised and made me excited about the year abroad!”
  • “I think it is an excellent opportunity to not only network but also to experience the open-mindedness of students who are taking on such amazing opportunities.”

Check out more pictures of the event in our gallery.

 

Joint activities to raise Bath's profile in Mexico

📥  Event, Partnership, Visit

On the 17th February I set off for Mexico City and Bogota, on a visit aimed at meeting with and attracting students to come and study at Bath, consisting of Education Fairs and individual student interviews facilitated by our agents in Mexico and Colombia.

Historic centre of Mexico City

Historic centre of Mexico City

Historic centre of Mexico City

Historic centre of Mexico City

The weekend of 20 and 21 February was spent in the Centro Banamex, just outside of Mexico City at the FPP Eduexpo, with higher education institutions from all over the world hoping to meet with high-quality students.

Normally I manage the Bath stand at these fairs alone, or with the help of an agent, or perhaps even one academic from the University of Bath. But this time I was lucky enough to get help from a group of academic staff and PhD students from our Department of Mathematical Sciences (Professor Andreas Kyprianou, Dr Gavin Shaddick, Dr Dan Simpson, Dr Karim Anaya-Izquierdo plus PhD students Dorka Fekete, Matt Thomas and Alice Davis) who had come to Mexico for their 2nd BUC (Bath-UNAM-CIMAT) joint workshop on the theme of 'Thinking Globally: The Role of Big Data', which was taking place at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) from 22 to 24 February.

I was also glad to hear from Matt Thomas, our maths PhD student, who really enjoyed helping out at the fair. He told me: "I was pleasantly surprised about the popularity of University of Bath, and during the day I spoke to many different students from different disciplines promoting the University to them. Having been an undergrad at Bath too, I could talk to the students at different levels. They were very interested in hearing a student perspective on the university and hopefully this will encourage a few students to apply at least!"

I’d asked if perhaps one or two of the group could pop along to help me during the weekend fair, so I was quite surprised when the whole group of 7 showed up, willing to help and talk to potential applicants, despite the fact that many of them hadn’t done this before. Normally I would think a stand manned by 8 people is a little excessive, but in fact we were rushed off our feet! The fact that our stand already looked busy helped to draw in more crowds, so we created a good buzz around the Bath stand – something to think about for future events maybe?

It was great to have help from the BUC group and I was so impressed by their willingness to engage with potential applicants.

University of Bath stand at FPP Eduexpo

University of Bath stand at FPP Eduexpo

The following Monday was the first day of the BUC workshop at UNAM, with a mini-conference for the PhD students planned for the afternoon. In the morning I joined forces with Silvia Ruiz Velasco from IIMAS at UNAM, which is the Research Institute for Applied Maths and Systems, to present our postgraduate programmes at UNAM and Bath respectively. Our audience was a mix of maths students from different institutions and levels, and our aim was to make them aware of the opportunities for Masters and PhD study at both institutions, also highlighting the opportunities for exchange of staff and students.

I found it really interesting and rewarding to be able to join forces with maths colleagues and PhD students to ensure that there was some synergy between our activities in international student recruitment and partnership development. This approach really helps to raise our profile in Mexico, and demonstrates our desire to engage on many different levels. This engagement in Mexico is important to key partners like Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT), who fund all of our Mexican PhD and most of our Masters students at Bath (a total of 17 students).

Along with Andreas Kyprianou, Gavin Shaddick and Victor Rivero from the CONACyT research institute for Mathematics (CIMAT), we went to meet with Pablo Rojo Calzada, Director of Scholarships and his team at CONACyT, to tell them more about the BUC workshops, and inform them about the value of doctoral training centres such as SAMBa at Bath. We also invited Pablo to come for a visit to Bath in June for the next BUC workshop and Integrated Think Tank, involving industrial partners.

BUC workshop representatives at UNAM

BUC workshop representatives at UNAM

 

 

A warm welcome to the International Exchange and Visiting students

📥  Erasmus+, Event, Induction, Mobility

On Friday 29 January the International Mobility team (Lorna, Agathe, Tracey and myself) welcomed 82 exchange students: 64 international exchange, 16 Erasmus (European) and 2 Visiting (fee-paying) to be precise. They were from 26 different nationalities. The largest nationality groups were Canadian, American, Chinese, Australian and French. The smallest nationality groups were, just to mention a few, 1 Italian, 1 Uruguayan, 1 Norwegian, 1 Malaysian and 1 Austrian. Luckily they all made friends quickly.

The day started bright and early for us and at 8.30am we were setting up for registration. The students all turned up for tea and coffee and to collect their University of Bath Induction Pack.

Students arriving for Induction

Students arriving for Induction

We then moved to the lecture theatre for the Induction presentations. We had representatives from Student Services, the Students’ Union and the Academic Skills Centre who came to introduce themselves, organised a game of human bingo and supported the event with information and guidance.

Induction presentations

Students attending the Induction presentations

It all went very well and lunch was served promptly at noon in the foyer. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, as no food was left to waste.

After lunch the students were taken on a campus tour by the Students' Union Officers, had their documents checked and met their Department Coordinators.

At the end of the day we offered two drop-in sessions for the first time this year. One was run by us, the International Mobility team, to help the students create their online timetables. A current Erasmus student also kindly came to support us in answering questions that only a student would know! The second drop-in session was run by the Academic Skills Centre team in order to help the new students enrol onto their classes. They were well attended and proved to be successful.

On Friday 12 February the students will head to the Roman Baths for a tour followed by a drinks reception organised in conjunction with BEN (Bath’s Exchange and Erasmus Network) and the Students' Union. We like to keep them busy!

 

Visit by the Hungarian Ambassador

📥  Event, Visit

On 6 November the University welcomed the Hungarian Ambassador to the UK on campus. As part of the Embassy's new strategic plan, His Excellency Péter Szabadhegy and the Science and Technology Attaché, Anikó Dobi-Rózsa, have been touring universities in the UK to meet with Hungarian students and to share information on Hungary's place in Europe.

In the morning the Ambassador met with the School of Management. Dean Professor Veronica Hope Hailey gave an overview of the School, including its research and range of undergraduate, postgraduate and post-experience level programmes. Dr Pete Nuttall, Stephen Rangecroft and Dr Tony Roath also attended from the School. The Ambassador was impressed by the work placements available, and was keen to learn how the School and the University do well in the rankings.

The Ambassador then had an informal lunch with our Hungarian students (there are currently 33 studying here), hoping to learn about the students’ transition from Hungary to studying in the UK. Having studied in New York and London, Ambassador Szabadhegy spoke about his own transition, informing us that his biggest adjustment was in fact moving back to Hungary in the 1990s after growing up in New York.

The Ambassador and Anikó Dobi-Rózsa with Hungarian students

The Ambassador and Anikó Dobi-Rózsa with Hungarian students

In the afternoon, His Excellency gave a talk entitled 'Hungary’s Place in the Heart of Europe and the World from an Economic and Geopolitical Perspective'. Around 40 staff and students attended.

The Ambassador talking to staff and students

The Ambassador talking to staff and students

The talk focused on the current European migrant crisis, as well as the history and economy of Hungary. It was interesting to note that Tesco is the largest private employer in Hungary, and that the UK is the fourth largest foreign investor. The Ambassador also talked about the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on Hungary, the near-collapse of the country and steps taken to improve the situation.

His Excellency Péter Szabadhegy

His Excellency Péter Szabadhegy

The Ambassador said of the visit: "It was a real pleasure to experience first-hand why the University of Bath has continued to climb the independent rankings of universities in the UK and in the world. I am very, very impressed!" The visit was a great chance to learn more about the Ambassador, our Hungarian students and a country in the heart of Europe.

 

Pre-departure Briefings

📥  Event

Each summer we hold a series of events in some of our larger markets that close out the recruitment cycle and to which students who have been offered admission to the University of Bath are invited. Brian and colleagues from the School of Management kicked off these pre-departure briefings in India at the end of May. I hosted the sessions in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Beijing over 5 days, starting on Sunday 28 June in Bangkok. Around 350 students and parents attended the briefings and we were supported by alumni and stakeholders in each location.  Who better to tell you more about this activity than some of those who were involved….

Andy with Thai alumni and University of Bath representatives in Bangkok

Andy with Thai alumni and University of Bath representatives in Bangkok

A group photo of Andy and students at the Shanghai Pre-departure Briefing

Shanghai Pre-departure Briefing

"It is quite important to feel connected with the University - I would say especially during the admission process - as it ensures that the process was done properly and calms my nerves. I have never applied for schools in the UK. Hence I am a bit unfamiliar with the process and am constantly worried about making mistakes (for example, submitting the wrong document) which lead to failures in school/visa application. Although most of the information is accessible online, communicating directly with the school is always the best way to make sure that there was no error and I am not ignored/abandoned by the University (hah).

"Meeting the representative face-to-face helps a lot. The pre-departure briefing clarified certain issues (e.g. visa application) and gave useful information which is not listed at the time online (for example, airport pick-up service). Also it allows the students to have a peek at the university staff!

"Overall I would say the meeting is very helpful. I appreciate the effort and the time that the University put in in terms of the communication with its prospective students."

Chen Chi (Gina) Tang – Taiwanese MA applicant – attended Hong Kong PDB

*****

"In-country Pre-Departure Briefings (and indeed other similar events) are a most useful and a vital contribution to the whole application and enrolment process.  They provide that most necessary human touch away from the smart phone and computer screens that can sometimes be so confusing for students who are trying to find important information, which by its very nature has to be fairly generic – a PDB gives students the chance to meet a person from the University and get specific advice on their own situation. They also serve as a way for students of the same nationality who are attending Bath to meet up and form friendships before they set out on what can be a pretty daunting experience. In Thailand we have always had alumni at PDBs who can also add that personal touch which students may find useful."

Justin Moseley, MD Consortium UK - representative of University of Bath since 2002

*****

"Technology changes our life dramatically. We use PayPal more often than cash. We prefer Facetime than visiting each other. Sometimes, we would rather go to Twitter or Facebook to find out what someone up to instead of picking up the phone to say 'hi'.  However, there is something that cannot be replaced by technology! Face to face communication, especially cross-cultural communication being one example. I personally attended some British Universities Pre-departure Briefings recently. From the feedback from the students, I feel they really need it. Not only for the information provided by the officers but they felt they will be taken good care of and the universities really care about them. Or, in some parents’ words: you gotta know who you send the child to...... Well, this might be a too extreme case. However, in Chinese culture, or East Asian culture, it is a very big thing to send children miles away. It is a nice gesture from the University to show their responsibility and care."

Xiaoyang (Sarah) You, Education Marketing Manager, Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulate General, Shanghai

*****

"The Thai applicants asked many questions. The main things they want to know from Alumni were:

1. Student life at off-campus accommodation. In Thailand, normally living at off-campus is considered less safe, so many students and parents worry about this. All alumni confirm that Bath is a safe city and off-campus accommodations are secure.

2. Preparation for Pre-sessional English course. (Especially, is it more difficult than IELTS preparation?)

3. Difficulty of Master courses and Dissertation. They would like to compare with university life in Thailand. For example, some students do not have a background in accounting and finance and they worry about this.

4. Transportation in Bath and also on their arrival date. (I gave them a contact number of Thai taxi driver in case they need any help.)

5. International classmates (particularly the cultural experience they could expect)."

Supasinee Charoenvidhya, School of Management alumnus living in Bangkok

The University will enrol somewhere in the region of 1,200 new full-time degree students from outside of the EU this coming academic year. If you would like to find out more about the work of the IRO please feel free to contact us:  international-relations-office@bath.ac.uk

 

THELMAs Awards night

📥  Event

The University of Bath was one of the 6 universities which received a Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs) nomination for Outstanding International Strategy. Andy, Katja, Lorna and I had been invited to the awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House hotel in London. Bath‘s Open Day happened to be the same day, so it took us over 3 and a half hours to get to the ceremony and the festivities were just starting when we arrived.

Being shortlisted was already a fantastic accomplishment. This is about the whole university's hard work and the dedication of everyone in delivering aspects of our very ambitious international vision.

The evening was also an opportunity to catch up with former colleagues. I bumped into my former line manager and she told me how proud she was of my achievements.

We did not win in the end. But this was a good opportunity for us to showcase Bath's rapid transformation to the sector. We had a very enjoyable evening with our colleagues from the Planning team, who were also short-listed for an award!

A view of the THELMAs Awards Dinner

THELMAs Awards Ceremony