Student bloggers

Life as a student in Bath

Posts By: Rachel Stones

Making the most of Bath: Latin and Ballroom Dancing

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📥  Gold Scholarship Programme

It’s fairly obvious to say that a big perk of being a Gold Scholar is the money we receive as part of the programme. One of the things I’ve invested this money in is developing a new skill while I'm at Bath… Latin and Ballroom dancing!

I go to two classes every week at the university: a beginner’s class and a technique class, both taught by professional instructors. The beginner’s class is where we learn the steps for each dance and practise them with a partner. It was definitely weird dancing that close to someone of the opposite sex to start with, but we’ve all got to know each other now so it’s much more natural! During the technique classes, we learn the finer details that make the dances look pretty and get us more points when competing…

Team Bath at the first competition of the season, in Southampton

Without a doubt, the biggest element of Latin and Ballroom at Bath is competing against other universities all over the country. There’s so much team spirit and support, even as a beginner you feel comfortable and confident dancing against other couples. I did my first competition after only 3 weeks of starting classes, and came away with 4 second places!

Medals and certificates from my first competition!

There's also a big social side. 'Social dancing' is held every week and is a chance to just have a dance and chat, and mix with different people. I've actually learnt a lot through social dancing because you get to dance with more advanced dancers and pick up some tips! Various events and trips are put on the committee too, some of the ones from last semester were ice skating, karaoke and a Christmas meal. There's also the amazing annual Winter Ball, held after Bath's competition in the Assembly Rooms (very very fancy...!).

Beginners group photo at Winter Ball

There’s no way I would have been able to afford to do all this without the money from the Gold Scholarship, so I’m incredibly grateful that I’m able to be part of one of the amazing sports teams and societies that Bath offers.

 

Being an Academic Rep

  

📥  Gold Scholarship Programme

One of the biggest parts of the Gold Scholarship Programme is doing 50 hours of volunteering each year… this can be pretty daunting, especially for me as a pharmacy student with a very busy timetable! The way I’m getting the majority of my hours completed is by being an Academic Representative for my course.

Academic Reps are the ‘voice’ for students on their course.

We cover any sort of academic issue (the hint is in the name), such as receiving feedback for assignments or encouraging the recording of lectures. It’s a great way to make a change and ensure we have the best experience as students!

All of us come together for the annual academic conference to learn how to make the most of our roles

Every month, we have two meetings to attend and these are our opportunities to raise any issues. One meeting is with the Director of Studies for your course, accompanied with a selection of lecturers and other key staff – this is where you talk about course-specific issues. The other meeting is with other Academic Reps and the SU Education Officer, to discuss any university-wide problems and share tips and successes.

Eager Academic Reps queueing for free hoodies and goody bags

Obviously the main perk for me, as a Gold Scholar, is the volunteering hours! We also get free lunches at meetings (some have even included a Krispy Kreme doughnut…) and a free hoodie and goody bag at Academic Conference – this is a day-long event with lots of workshops about how to create change. But overall, it's just fab to be part of improving my degree for both current students and future students in years to come.