International student, Hong-Chen, shares her learning experience on the Education, Culture and Childhood BA
Hi everyone, I am Hong Chen, a student in the School of Education. I have just completed my undergraduate degree in Education, Culture and Childhood. This programme is interesting in that it accommodates a very macro theoretical knowledge of education which encompasses several branches, covering social education, globalising education, educational psychology, philosophy of education, curriculum design, etc. The content is very broad, which gives me a lot of space to further my knowledge about education. My favourite course is EDU206 Psychology and Learning Communities. I believe I learned a lot about the psychological changes in children’s development in the area of children’s education and how to rely on some psychological theories and methods to educate children. I have also learned about children’s human rights and the importance that society places on children’s education through this course, as well as some relevant policies. These were very interesting and helped to prepare me for my future career as an early childhood educator. We have 3–4 lectures per week, so I have plenty of time to arrange my life. The teachers are very nice and I often ask them questions in person or by email, and they are very willing to help me. One of my favourite teachers is Tim, who was my tutor on EDU306. He is really patient and always inspires me to dig out new ideas, and he always emails back with a big text explanation for my confusion and questions to make sure I understand them. He also wrote references for my Master’s application, which I really appreciated!
I was pleased to become a mentor in my second year, it was an interesting and memorable experience. The role was to help students who had problems with their studies and life. I had a total of four mentees, they were also international students, and we got along very well. As an international student, I was able to understand the problems they faced when they first came to study in an unfamiliar environment and I can provide some advice based on my own experience, so I was very comfortable in this role. For example, there was one student who was very worried about her language and adjustment problems, I advised her on language learning methods and techniques, suggested she join the Associated Students Club to make new friends and recommend some suitable student accommodation, which she found very helpful.
In the first semester of my third year, I applied to be the academic representative, and my main duty was to collect some study problems and difficulties of the current students, give feedback at the regular meetings of the committee representatives to negotiate solutions to the students’ problems. During the time of the epidemic, many students had problems with their internet connection and flashbacks when taking lessons in blackboard collaboration, especially among international students. Most of them were studying online in their home countries. Besides, the group discussions online are not efficient and the teacher is unable to monitor the discussions of the group members. After actively raising these issues with the committee representatives, the department improved those issues as soon as possible.
I hope this has given you an idea of what life is like for an international student on the course. If you would like to find out more, please visit the School of Education website.