International Relations Office

Updates on the University's global engagement activities

Topic: Mobility

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 on the Erasmus+ programme every year on both study exchange experiences and work placements. In turn, we receive around 200 incoming students from European partner universities annually, also.

Read more information about the Erasmus Programme’s 30th Anniversary.

The International Mobility Student Leavers’ Party

On Monday 8th May, the International Mobility Office held the second International Mobility Leavers’ Party in the Roman Baths. The event gives current Bath students who will be going abroad in 2017-2018 the opportunity to meet with incoming exchange students.

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. Image by Anthony Prothero.

We were also joined by University of Bath alumni from Chile and the USA, who decided to stay a bit longer after enjoying the Bath Festival the weekend before.

Encouraging collaboration between attendees

A key concept behind this event is that it is an opportunity for attendees to make connections with their international peers, and to encourage collaboration between them over the following year. As part of this, tasks were arranged for attendees leading up to and during the event.

Around 150 students were welcomed at the Roman Baths with a card explaining their mission for the night: to 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. Image by Anthony Prothero.

Attendees were also asked to vote for the best pictures of the Incoming Students Photo Competition; the theme this year was 'Birthdays and Celebrations'.

• First prize: Anika Klassen (pictured), from Queen’s University (Canada)
• Second prize: Sofia Pavlova from TU Munich (Germany)
• Third prize: 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. Image by Anthony Prothero.

Several students 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 an excuse to go up and speak to them!”

You can also view more photographs of the evening.

The International Relations Office would like to extend particular thanks to Agathe Lairy, International Mobility Coordinator (Outgoing), for organising the event.

 

HSS delegation visit Universidad Nacional de Colombia

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📥  International Strategy, Mobility, Partnership, Research, Visit

I write from Colombia where this week I led a delegation from the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences to visit international colleagues at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL) in Bogota. With staff from our Departments of Education, Psychology, PoLIS and Health we used the visit to strengthen ties and to seek opportunities to collaborate and broadcast shared research and teaching agendas. As one of the University strategic partners, a visit to UNAL has been a great opportunity to view the many changes that are happening within Colombia.

These changes are dominated by the peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) signed in 2016 following the rejection of a peace deal in a national referendum in the Summer. At the same time, as a middle income country with considerable historical socio-economic cleavages between the rich and poor, urban and rural, as well as ideological divides between Left and Right, Colombia has a great opportunity for change but many challenges that may take as long to fix as they have been around.

Celebrating its 150th anniversary in the same year that the University of Bath is celebrating its 50th anniversary, UNAL is the largest university in Colombia with 8 campuses and 2 research stations throughout the country. The delegation from Bath met with UNAL colleagues at the Human Sciences Faculty and the Medical Sciences Faculty.

In the Human Sciences Faculty, Jorge Marco and I met colleagues working with the FARC camps and local communities, focusing on communication, education and local approaches to peace-making. Santiago Sanchez, Trevor Grimshaw and Andres Sandoval from our Department of Education, met colleagues in the Institute for Education and the Departments of Linguistics and Modern Languages.

In the Medical Sciences Faculty, Jo Cranwell, Nikki Caghill and Abby Tabor from the Department for Health and Sally Adams from the Department of Psychology met with UNAL researchers working on the public health challenges facing Colombia, particularly in the area of tobacco and alcohol control, inequalities in health, and pain research.

Furthermore, several colleagues met with researchers from the Departments of Electrical Engineering, Physics and Chemical Engineering to look at the ways the University are seeking to overcome some of the technological challenges of the war, such as identifying and destroying landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The delegation also took part in a Development and Alumni Relations event on 29 March which included alumni, current placement students, prospective students, and local researchers as well as guests from local businesses and the British Embassy in Colombia. Trevor Grimshaw and Santiago Sanchez showcased their current research on global English and inequalities in Education.

Overall, the Delegation came away with two points. The first is that researchers are doing very interesting and relevant work in applied research on many of the problems that face Colombia but are by all means not limited to Colombia. The second is that the post-conflict environment represents a much more complex period as the problems of inequalities, land ownership and use, education and public health, which were often grievances in the civil war, are now facing the Colombian government and society with a legacy longer than the war itself. UNAL, as well as other universities in Colombia, has been invited to play a key role in attempting to overcome these challenges and the University of Bath has much to offer and gain from this process of social transition and peace building.

My thanks to the UNAL Department of External Relations who helped make the trip possible, and to University of Bath International Relations Office and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

One of the sessions where our HSS delegation shared both research and teaching ideas with our partners in Colombia.

One of the sessions where our HSS delegation shared both research and teaching ideas with our partners in Colombia.

 

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.

 

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 Universidad Chileno-Británica de Cultura

📥  Mobility, Visit

We welcomed a delegation from our South American partner, Universidad Chileno-Británica de Cultura (UCBC) on 3 November.

The delegates, Mrs María Cristina Brieba (Vice-Chancellor), Mr Pedro Pfeffer (President) and Mr Pablo Halpern (Vice-President), were here to sign a new student exchange agreement and discuss ways to expand links between the two institutions.

MOU Signing and presentations in the Wessex House Council Chambers

MOU Signing and presentations in the Wessex House Council Chambers

The UCBC delegates met with Professor Peter Lambert, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), and Professor Colin Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Internationalisation), together with representatives from the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies, and the International Relations Office.

The headquarters of UCBC is located in the city of Santiago, Chile.  The agreement will offer Bath students the opportunity to study and teach in Santiago, and explore the region on their days off. Professor Lambert previously spent time as an English Language Assistant in Chile and was taught by Mrs Brieba.

The delegation visit was part of a tour of their UK partner universities, which also included a meeting with the Royal Patron of UCBC HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex later that week.

MOU Signing and presentations in the Wessex House Council Chambers

MOU Signing and presentations in the Wessex House Council Chambers

 

Hans Schattle's partnership visit to University of Bath

📥  Award, Funding/Scholarship, Mobility, Research, Visit

Recently the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies has had the honour of hosting Hans Schattle, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, with help from Global Mobility Scheme Funding.

Here is what he had to say about his visit:

"I had the great pleasure of visiting the University of Bath, for the month of June, based in the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies (PoLIS).

One of my main research topics is the concept of global citizenship, an idea situated at the intersection of political theory, comparative politics and international relations.  During my stay, I wrote a chapter for a forthcoming book on education for global citizenship in South Korea, and I also worked on content analysis for a long-term project examining how the idea of global citizenship has evolved in Korean public discourse.

The interdisciplinary setting of the PoLIS department offered me a most wonderful venue to work on these two projects; several conversations with colleagues in the faculty helped me think more richly about the theoretical questions and practical issues facing efforts to expand our horizons of political membership and responsibility beyond international borders.

The regular interaction with faculty colleagues at Bath engaged other academic interests, as well.  During my stay on campus, a North Korean soldier made global headlines by crossing, on his own, the heavily guarded land border into South Korea and asking for asylum. Professor David Galbreath (PoLIS) and I co-authored a news analysis on this incident published on The Conversation.

I am also joining in a study on time preference modeling, global governance and environmental policy now being coordinated by Professor Charlie Lees (PoLIS), my host for the visit, and Professor Michael Finus (Economics).

More recently, I had the pleasure of attending a research workshop in September coordinated by Professor Galbreath at the University of Sao Paulo that included several of the University of Bath's strategic partners, and I expect to collaborate on two projects emerging from this workshop on regional security governance and failed states.

I want to thank Professor Lees, Professor Galbreath and also Pro-Vice Chancellor (Internationalisation) Professor Colin Grant for all they did to make my visits to Bath and Sao Paulo possible, and to all the faculty members who met with me for the kind hospitality they extended.  Thanks to MJ in the Claverton building for many warm welcomes throughout the month as I showed up again and again with various colleagues.  Special thanks also to administrative staff Hannah Cook (PoLIS), Clare Drake (PoLIS) and Michelle Hicks (Humanities & Social Sciences) for their help with various logistics in arranging the visits.

It is wonderful to see closer social science research links developing between Yonsei and Bath, and I look forward to continued collaboration on all fronts."

Hans is the author of The Practices of Global Citizenship and Globalisation and Citizenship, both published by Rowman & Littlefield.

International Mobility Team: summer activities

📥  Conference, Mobility

You could be forgiven for thinking that over the summer months activity slows in the mobility team, with no students on campus and academics focusing on research, and perhaps we find ourselves with less work.  But that is definitely not the case!

In addition to processing all of the paperwork for incoming students, finalising payments for the outgoing students who are finishing their Erasmus placements, and drafting exchange agreements, we also made time to attend some mobility events and build networks with mobility colleagues from other UK universities.

In June I attended a Westminster Higher Education Forum Seminar on ‘Challenges and Opportunities for Increasing Outward Student Mobility’.  It was a morning full of interesting presentations, and ended with a question and answer session with the panel.  For me, the most interesting and informative talk was given by Frances Rix, a Business Graduate from Kingston University London.  Frances enjoyed her study abroad so much she has become an ambassador for the Erasmus + programme. It was refreshing to hear her talk honestly about overcoming challenges, and how even small achievements can be a cause for celebration when you are adjusting to living in another country and culture.

In August I, along with my colleagues Agathe Lairy and Francesca Ajello, went to Coventry University for a two-day HEURO (Association of UK Higher Education European Officers) workshop.  The main focus of this workshop was European mobility and Erasmus +, and the two days were roughly split into incoming and outgoing – although there was a lot of commonality across the two areas.

Engineering & Computing Building, Coventry University

Engineering & Computing Building, Coventry University

There were informative talks from a number of members. The workshop provided us with the opportunity to discuss challenges and share best practice between members.  One of the sessions I found most useful was about the research that shows links between mobility and employability: less likely to be unemployed, more likely to work abroad, more likely to achieve a 1st or 2.i, and more likely to have a higher management role.

HEURO Workshop, Coventry University

HEURO Workshop, Coventry University

As well as all the facts and figures, this session also covered tips for students to translate a study abroad experience for CV and interviews.  All of this will definitely be useful for Bath students embarking on their final year, and we look forward to sharing this information with them.

International Mobility Coordinators, L to R - Agathe Lairy, Tracey Stenson Jukes & Francesca Ajello

International Mobility Coordinators, L to R - Agathe Lairy, Tracey Stenson Jukes & Francesca Ajello

If you would be interested in having a member of the International Mobility Team talk to your students, please contact us at student-exchanges@bath.ac.uk