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Mapping COVID-19 pandemic response apps

Yanyi Lu, an MA Computational Arts student, has completed a virtual research project at the University of Amsterdam Digital Methods School. This project brought together participants from across the globe to research the role that mobile apps play in the COVID-19 pandemic response. Yanyi received funding of £355 from Goldsmiths to cover the costs of the placement.


Check out Yanyi’s Instagram post for an overview of the project: instagram.com/p/CEFeEj9nNtA/

Read Yanyi’s blog on the project on her website: yanyilu.wordpress.com/2020/08/19/mapping-apps/

See Yanyi’s Instagram post about useful tools when conducting a social science research project: instagram.com/p/CEFdv0THEdm/

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual summer school in Mindfulness and Compassion

Davy Yong, MA Art Psychotherapy student, completed a virtual summer school at the University of Amsterdam. Davy received a grant of £225 to cover the cost of the placement, and has written a series of insightful blog posts about the experience.


Hi there! My name is Davy, a MA in Art Psychotherapy student at Goldsmiths – University of London. This summer my university offered me a GoAbroad grant for the chance to experience a virtual exchange or study abroad (virtual global opportunity). In a few interactive blogs, I will be sharing some of my experiences with you, just to give some insight into what it was like to (virtually) study ‘abroad’.

When, due to COVID-19, the University closed for face-to-face lectures, and my internship came to an abrupt ending, I was glad the global opportunity came along. While in my final stages of training to become an Art Psychotherapist, I expanded on my interests to implement more contemplative practices into my future profession. That’s why it was an easy choice to follow a Summer School Course in Mindfulness and Compassion at UvA (University of Amsterdam).

To read Davy’s blog posts, please visit linktr.ee/davyyong, or find links to the individual posts below. 

Blog #1: Summer School in Mindfulness & Compassion

Blog #2: Emotion Regulation

Blog #3: Myths & Practice of Mindfulness

Blog #4: Experiencing & Sharing Compassion

Blog #5: Mindfulness-based Art Therapy

Featured Artwork: ‘Roaring Fire’ (2020)

A Global Opportunity from my Living Room

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.

Read Maisie’s full post: ‘A Global Opportunity from my Living Room’

Blog number two: ‘Introversion and the internet’. The illustration in this blog post has been created by Molly Rafferty – check out their Instagram at instagram.com/r.afferty/

Blog number three: ‘Data privacy

Find Maisie’s website at maisiegoulsbra.com.

Studying abroad in Berlin during Covid-19

Sam Sweeting, a BA Anthropology and Visual Practice student, studied abroad through the Erasmus+ programme at Freie Universität Berlin during the lockdown period of the Covid-19 pandemic.


My exchange experience took place in Berlin over the lockdown of Covid-19. I had a very different exchange experience to the one I was imagining, but by the end it felt normal. People are quick to adapt. It was almost the case that I didn’t complete the exchange, as it was cancelled when lockdown began in the UK. By chance, I had travelled to Berlin for work before Goldsmiths ended its face to face teaching. Everything happened quickly and European countries rapidly closed their borders, Germany being ahead of the UK in that decision. I found myself living under the German government’s advice to stay home and self isolate. I decided, given the fact that I was safe and staying with friends in Berlin, and that my family is in Australia and I wasn’t going to be able to go back, that it was right for me to stay in Berlin. Thanks to the Erasmus team at Goldsmiths consideration of personal circumstances, I was able to carry on with the exchange and receive my Erasmus funding as planned.

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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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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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Peer-Coaching in Ljubljana, Slovenia

This ICCE student completed an eight-day peer-coaching course in Ljubljana, Slovenia. They were awarded funding from Santander Universities to help cover the costs of their placement.


In August of 2019 I travelled to Ljubljana in Slovenia for an 8-day peer-coaching course. I found the course through the Erasmus website, and it seemed to be one of the only peer-coaching training programmes in Europe. The course was organised by a company called Primera, and they are one of the kindest, most thoughtful training providers I’ve ever worked with. There were so many little details – they bought us croissants every morning, they organised a trip to show us less well-known parts of Slovenia, they adapted the training to suit each person’s needs, at one point the trainer even offered to lend one of my course mates her car!

Although the training was academically very useful for me and has progressed my understanding of the topic, the highlight for me was working closely with so many Europeans (I was the only British person on the course). It enabled me to understand how open, multi-cultural, and outward looking a lot of European people are, and I noticed a real difference in their outlook as compared to British citizens. I have tried to take this new perspective home with me, and to take more of an interest in things happening outside my immediate bubble. Another highlight was the food! I had a few absolutely incredible meals there, normally in restaurants recommended by the training providers or people on my course.

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Studying French at the Alliance Française de Toulouse

Serena Yang, a International ICCE student, completed a two-week French course at the Alliance Française of Toulouse in France. She was awarded funding by Santander Universities to help cover the costs of her placement.


How did you find your placement?

I discovered that I could receive funding to go abroad when I saw some information about the programme in the Goldsmiths app, where, at the team had been making a concerted effort to showcase global opportunities. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the programme is open to students from non-Eu countries, so I booked a meeting with the global opportunities team. It was during this meeting that I decided to apply for a place on a two week French course at the Alliance Française de Toulouse.

What were the highlights of your experience abroad? 

My two-week French class at the Alliance Française Language School in Toulouse allowed me to learn not only the language but also the local culture. I was able to truly immerse myself in the language because I was consistently surrounded and influenced by the city’s linguistic practices. In addition, my classmates were made up of individuals from all over the world, which meant that I was able to gain an insight into the various linguistic approaches of people from other nations, as we were all grappling with French in our own unique way. Through this process, I created many close connections, especially with a fellow classmate from South Africa.

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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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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!

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.