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Data Science Summer School in Wrocław, Poland

Sam, a Media and Communications student, attended a two-week data science summer school in Wrocław, Poland. He was awarded funding from Santander Universities to help cover the costs of his placement.


I decided I wanted to take advantage of the Go Abroad programme but came to the idea quite late. Looking around on the internet, I came across the Data Science summer school in Wrocław. I’d always wanted to try and work on my computer programming skills after several aborted attempts at self-education throughout my adulthood, and I’d never been to Poland but I knew that it has a fascinating history, so I took the plunge.

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Learning French in Toulouse

Katherine Karr, a MA Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy student, completed a French language course in Toulouse. She was awarded a £300 Santander Universities Go Abroad bursary to help fund her experience.


As a Canadian student, when I was younger, I took my elementary school years of education in French. From a young age to about 13 years old, I was completely fluent in both English and French. However, when it came to go to High School, I decided to go to an English school where I didn’t have any opportunity to uphold my second language. This led to me, sadly, losing my ability to speak in French. Although I took a few classes, I knew if I truly wanted to regain my bilingualism I needed to go back into an immersive experience. It is for this reason that I sought out an immersion class in France while studying at Goldsmiths. After looking online, I discovered that Toulouse has an intensive 2-week program that was meant for intermediate learners – it sounded perfect!narrow river with boats parked on the left and a narrow path with overhanging trees to the right

For two weeks I lived with a French couple in the outskirts of the beautiful Toulouse. I went to class every morning where I engaged with other international students or recently immigrated individuals who were trying to either learn French from scratch or improving their abilities like me. I learned rather quickly that the group was quite diverse (and that I may have underestimated my abilities by being in a lower level class) and eager to learn just like me. However, getting to live with a French family who spoke little English pushed me to speak in French all the time when I was out of class and really made me feel immersed in the language. Although the classes were useful, the immersion was truly what worked for me.

One of the highlights of my every day schedule was going to the little bakery on the corner – picking up a baguette for breakfast or just chatting with the shop owner after a long day of class and work. The pace was very different to London and was a good reminder that sometimes it’s a good idea to just slow down.

My biggest challenge while abroad was that I sprained my ankle badly. Although in the UK I knew what I would have to do, being in France – and on a religious holiday weekend – I realized I had no clue what the process was or how to find a GP. Thankfully, my host family was very gracious and offered to help me get medicine and even book a doctor’s appointment. Although I’ll be healing from the injury for several months, I am very grateful to have had the support of locals. If I had one tip – other than making sure you have travel insurance of course – it would be to ensure you have at least one local friend while you’re abroad. You might feel inclined to hang out with other expats or internationals, but in times of crisis it’s nice to have someone who knows the area.

Overall, my experience going abroad with the Alliance Toulouse and Go Abroad was amazing. Not only did I get to have a structured class to practice French, getting to live in an amazing city like Toulouse where not many people spoke English was a huge plus. I really got to feel immersed in the culture and would not exchange my experience for anything.

The funding for this opportunity was provided by Santander Universities.

Volunteering with refugees in Greece

Lauren Haley, a BA Anthropology student, spent a month working with migrants and refugees in Athens with the help of Santander Universities Go Abroad funding.


Following a successful application for Go Abroad funding, I spent 4 weeks in Athens volunteering with refugees/migrants. Despite extensive attempts, the informality of organisations supporting refugees/migrants due to lack of central funding meant it was quite difficult to plan ahead. However, the flexibility of the Santander Go International Bursary meant I could still receive this financial support by providing evidence part way through my placement. When arriving in Athens, through the initial outreach I made prior to flying, I was put in contact with an autonomous organisation who provide teaching by volunteers in squats, as they cannot access state-facilitated education.

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Interning in New York

P Johnson, a BA History of Art student, completed an internship at a museum in New York over the summer. They were awarded a £1,000 Santander Universities Go Abroad bursary to help fund their experience.


Thanks to funding provided by Go Abroad I was able to travel to New York City for an internship at the Queens Museum in August 2019. I found the internship through the help of my tutor at university which I am incredibly grateful for. As part of my course I needed to spend some time in a work placement to partake in a research project, and mentioned that I would really want to travel, especially to somewhere like New York, if possible. She put me in contact with the people at the Queens Museum, and after a series of emails and phone calls they were happy to host me. We agreed on me spending roughly 3 weeks at the gallery and I decided to extend my trip to an entire month in order to really get a good amount of time to explore the city. This trip was to be my first time in the US, and because I was going to be travelling along for a fairly long period of time I was initially incredibly nervous.

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Tech in Berlin: conference and Hackathon

BSc Computer Science student, Jheng-Hao Lin, travelled to Berlin for a week to participate in a conference and a Hackathon. He received £500 of funding to support his experience.


Thanks to Santander’s Go International Bursary, I had the chance to travel to Berlin and attend two interesting tech events: ‘Berlin Buzzwords Conference’ and ‘Talk to me, Berlin’.

‘Berlin Buzzwords’ was a conference on storing, processing and searching large amounts of digital data. The attendants were either data scientists, data engineers or researchers who were experts in the domain. As a novice in the data science area, I worked as a volunteer to assist the event and tried to absorb some knowledge.

For the last three days, I attended a hackathon named ‘Talk to me, Berlin’. It was sponsored by the Amazon Alexa team, Google and other companies related voice interface technologies.

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Remote South African NGO Internship

Malikah Ullah, an undergraduate Psychology student, is currently completing a remote internship with South African non-profit, Ikamva Labantwana. She was awarded funding from Santander Universities to help cover the costs of her placement. Malikah is blogging about her experience of interning virtually – read part one below. Part two and three are available on Malikah’s blog.


Since June, I have been an intern at South Africa’s Ikamva Labantwana which means ‘our children’s future’ in Xhosa. As a centre for at-risk children, I identify with the beliefs of Ikamva strongly; especially on the importance of education. By providing local young people who are out-of-school or need support after-school with informative and practical modules, they allow students to keep learning and not be held back by geography or circumstance. Not only is Ikamva a learning space, it is a safe haven for kids and a productive use of their time.

This internship was organised by VACorps who worked swiftly to secure me an internship that suited my personality. I was looking for something that would involve people and helping people, which Ikamva focus on. It was a perfect match! Not only was internship a quick and easy match, I was supported by #SantanderUniUK who provided funding making sure finance didn’t put me off.

I think the opportunity to do a remote internship has been one positive to come from COVID (maybe the only good thing!). Due to travel restrictions, internships in South Africa’s townships have been made possible which were otherwise too rural to reach. Not only has working at Ikamva been rewarding, but I’ve learnt a ton about how to conduct research and make raw data and information both engaging and teachable. As a psychology student, this internship has allowed me real-life experience conducting research on sensitive subjects, including sexual violence, in order to create a final informative yet understanding piece which could be communicated to young girls. This is not unlike producing lab reports or communicating research products to the public as we do in my course.

A part of this research was attending a Zoom talk about how COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affecting women in Africa. It was hosted by Africa.com and attended by the awesome politician and humanitarian Graca Machel and philanthropist Melinda Gates. Both women had great ideas about how having a seat at the table on all levels of the government and policy-making boards will benefit all women up as they become a part of the decision-making process. This was actually an opportunity that was put on my radar by my supervisor at Ikamva; it was excellent to see how far women supporting women can get you.

For one of my tasks, I had the challenge of creating a life skills module just for girls aged 10-17 years old on issues that they felt were neglected in school including bullying, consent and having tangible female role models. I took this responsibility extremely seriously and worked hard to find black women who had done great work and changed all of our lives in some way – to which there were many! I wanted to select a few who could inspire the girls and show them that there is no limit to what they could do and become. One problem that the girls fed back was feeling underappreciated and having achievement go unrewarded. At Ikamva, they created an annual showcase for the girls’ work in response to this. This aptly sums up how Ikamva is there to help and develop the youth.

By working with such an ethos, it follows suit that the staff are lovely and very accommodating. It’s been nice to have prompt communication and feedback especially now that my first year at university has concluded. Keeping busy is also important since I have been shielding at home since March! In this sense, remotely interning in a country with a different society and other languages than mine has been a great opportunity that I definitely didn’t want to pass up.

Meetings via Zoom have posed their own challenges with timing differences and issues with connectivity, but it always works out in the end. Technology is really the thing that made this internship possible. I feel privileged to intern at a place that keeps in contact, check in on me and that provides proper support.

Maybe next year I will be in South Africa in person but for now, I’m super happy to work around my own schedule and I am enjoying working from home.

For part two and three, please visit Malikah’s blog.

Summer School in Helsinki

Benjamin Morran, a PGCE student, attended a summer school on Finnish education at the University of Helsinki. They were awarded a £800 Santander Universities Go Abroad bursary to help cover their costs.


I first found out about Goldsmith’s Go Abroad programme through the language partner programme on the VLE. At first, I thought that I might apply to a language school to work on my Russian but, when I looked through the list of Goldsmith’s partner institutions, I spotted the University of Helsinki, which gave me an even better idea. Finland, in recent years, has come to be highly regarded for its education system on account of world-class PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results. As I was, at that time, halfway through my teacher training year, I decided to check the University of Helsinki’s summer school catalogue to see if they were offering a course on education and, sure enough, they were: Finnish education system through social justice and diversities, to be exact. This course, I thought, could really broaden my horizons as a new teacher and so I decided to apply to Goldsmiths for funding.

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Virtual Summer School in Cologne

Maisie Goulsbra, a BA English & Media graduate, is completing a free online summer school at the University of Cologne titled ‘Perspectives and Visions on Virtual Societies’. Maisie is writing a series of blog posts about her experience of completing a virtual global opportunity.


I have to admit, I’m entering this experience with my heart slightly broken. Sitting at the dinner table, in my student house, in London. If it were not for lockdown, I would be in Cologne. Two weeks before the summer school begins, we meet via Zoom for a tutorial on how to use Discord, the platform on which all interaction outside of lectures will take place. In the Cologne Summer School Discord channel, are private chat rooms that we, the students, can make use of to have discussions and ‘socialise’. There is a virtual ‘playground’, and even a digi bar which will act as a substitute for going to the pub together. I can’t help imagining the sweetness of German wheat beer on my tongue as the digi bar sits and awaits me.

Volunteering at MEMPROW SA in Johannesburg

This Fine Art student volunteered at a women’s empowerment and enabling organisation called MEMPROW SA, in South Africa. She was awarded funding from Santander Universities to help cover the costs of her placement.


How did you find your placement?

I visited South Africa to implement Healing and Empowering Art workshops for Women. I was employed by an organisation called MEMPROW SA, a women’s empowerment and enabling organisation who aim to combat sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). MEMPROW have a base at a drop-in centre called Sithand’Izingane Care project in Tsakane Township, Johannesburg, South Africa which supports residents who may be unemployed by providing short courses and skills to get them into work. 

My involvement with the organisation began in 2018 when I was part of a team that was implementing workshops within the centre. Later on, I was asked to go back to continue the much needed work. Luckily, the Goldsmiths Go Abroad Scheme funded the workshops in 2019, so I was able to implement an elevated set of workshops with more women at Sithand’Izingane Care Project.  The workshops were 4 days long, and consisted of poetry and spoken word, life drawing, self-reflective sculpture and an Exhibition on the final day where the community would come to see the work and contribute to the conversation surrounding SGBV and women’s empowerment through art.  

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Writing Course at Humboldt University, Berlin

Sean, a Visual Cultures student, attended a four-week writing course at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. He was awarded funding from Santander Universities to help cover the costs of his placement.


I became aware of the Go Abroad programme when a peer on my course notified me that funding for placements abroad over the summer were available. Upon hearing this information, I immediately searched through the Go Abroad website for opportunities. I was delighted to find that placements in Berlin were available on writing so I applied for a course at Humboldt University.

I loved everything about my experience abroad, but I especially enjoyed the privilege of getting to live in such a busy city in the centre of Europe in the middle of a hot summer! Berlin itself is amazingly vibrant, as it is a leading figure of many trends in contemporary culture and immersed in history. The character of Berlin itself was a major influence on my experience abroad and taught me so much about the history of Europe and obviously the history of Berlin as a bordered city.

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