Bournemouth University

Annual Review 2014

Helping students gain a global perspective

Helping students gain a global perspective

The initiative

A global perspective is important for helping students develop personally and professionally, boosting career prospects and developing an international mind-set.

But financial constraints could mean that students miss out on the opportunity to work or study abroad.

The Global Horizons Fund is open to BU students across all courses and levels, and enables them to undertake work placements or academic study abroad.

Grants of up to £2,000 are available to help students fund overseas trips that will benefit their degree. In the last year, 147 students were awarded a combined amount of £205,473.

Students have travelled across the world – to the likes of Sri Lanka, Japan and Kenya – to study at international universities, volunteer with charities, present at conferences abroad and complete international projects and research.

This work not only benefits the students - helping them gain life-changing experiences and a competitive edge upon graduating - but also the organisations they are able to work for and support as a result of receiving the funding.

The coordinators

The Global Horizons Fund enables students to gain international experiences, building on and complementing the skills and interests they develop at BU.

Activities are diverse, and include: volunteering completing an internship, going on a field trip, pursuing an independent project, learning a language, studying at an overseas university or presenting a paper at a conference. These things enable them to develop their sense of initiative and resourcefulness in a new cultural context.

We can see how much they benefit from being part of a new community or organisation at a personal level - the aspirations, self-confidence and sense of achievement they show upon return truly reflect the values and opportunities BU aims to inspire in all its students. 

Securing a Global Horizons grant involves a competitive process, but students who have planned their proposed activity well and have a clear idea of what they will gain from it – either culturally, academically and regarding their career plans - stand a very good chance to gain a grant.

Since its creation in 2012, Global Horizons candidates have experienced a success rate of over 75 per cent in securing a grant, giving them a competitive edge in today’s globalised marketplace.

Dr. Marta Vizcaya Echano, International Mobility Officer and Erica Mazerolle, Student Mobility Administrator

The student

As somebody who learns faster from ‘doing’ rather than through ‘reading’, I really wanted to use what I had learned on my course. 

The Global Horizons Fund gave me the opportunity to visit Vietnam, a country that has gone through tremendous change in the last 40 years. Witnessing the rapid development first-hand expanded my thinking and opened up an amazing amount of networking opportunities that I hope to use in the future.

I was based in Hanoi for a leading media company where I created PR campaigns, advertising concepts and English copywriting tasks.

I attended several of the events we planned and was introduced to a number of influential figures in the Vietnamese advertising industry, which was fantastic for my future career aspirations.

Entering a market and culture poles apart from my own allowed me to be a useful team member by offering Western best practices, but I also feel that bringing alternative Asian best practices to the UK will add value to my contributions at work.

The biggest thing I took away from the experience was that the situation - especially in emerging markets - changes very quickly. That means that rather than trusting research on what the situation is like, it is much better to use research as a loose framework to contextualise the experiences that I had while there. 

My original placement was for one month but I ended up staying for six weeks and saw some amazing places like Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, and Buon Ma Thuot (the home of coffee in Vietnam) before ending my trip in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City.

I received £1,050 from the Global Horizons Fund, which covered my flights and a stipend for my accommodation and meals.  There would have been no way I could have financed the trip alone. 

As the old saying goes – ‘a fish will grow relative to the size of the tank it is kept in’. With the Global Horizons Fund, the opportunity for students to expand the size of their tank and develop cultural awareness, empathy and language skills is there, and I wholeheartedly suggest anybody with ambition to take advantage of it.

Marc San Sebastian, BA (Hons) Global Media Practice

The impact

Our Sports Development Expedition (SDX) was established in 2007 by Camps International, in partnership with Bournemouth University.

SDX was developed to promote sport and physical education in African schools. Sports development has long been recognised as a tool for sustainable community development, helping to:

  • Instil values such as discipline, teamwork, respect and fair play
  • Foster skills such as leadership, problem solving and organisation
  • Bridge cultural and ethnical divides and address gender equality
  • Improve health and fitness
  • Identify and harness talent and create ambition
  • Create business opportunities, enterprise and employment

Over the past 8 years students from Bournemouth University have helped us to establish sports pitches in schools throughout Kenya and Tanzania, teach hundreds of students the theory and practical elements of several sports, and helped in organising inter-school tournaments and community fun runs.

Aside from being the experience of a lifetime, the SDX programme allows students to build their CV with skills and experience and develop their coaching and leadership skills in a unique and highly rewarding environment.

Hannah Davies, Gap Year Manager (UK), Camps International

 

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