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Transition Experiences of International Students Joining Undergraduate Studies in Second Year Gayle Pringle and Fred Cartmel.

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Presentation on theme: "Transition Experiences of International Students Joining Undergraduate Studies in Second Year Gayle Pringle and Fred Cartmel."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transition Experiences of International Students Joining Undergraduate Studies in Second Year Gayle Pringle and Fred Cartmel

2 Outline Background to project The student experience Measures implemented to support transition

3 Student background International students Attend 2 or 3 terms at a partner institution –Subject specialisms –Academic and language support –Based in Glasgow Join GU in second year: –Social Sciences –Science –Engineering Cohorts: – students –Majority in MA Social Sciences

4 MA Social Sciences: Three Degrees Second YearYears 3 and 4 Subject 1 Level 2 40 Credits Single Honours Subject 2 Level 2 40 Credits Joint Honours Subject 3 Level 1 40 Credits Social Sciences

5 Aims of the project Aims: To explore international students experiences of joining undergraduate courses in second year To implement appropriate measures to support the transition of this group Supported by the University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Development Fund

6 Research into the student experience Semi-structured interviews –9 individual interviews with new 2 nd years (7 students) –2 group interviews with new 2 nd years in semester one (3 and 6 students) –1 group interview with new 2 nd years in semester two (6 students) –1 group interview with 3 rd years (2 students)

7 Transition to GU Feelings before starting at GU: –Positive –Some nerves –Some practical problems receiving offers Information before arriving –Gaps in – MA Soc Sci course choices –Unproblematic in Registration and enrolment –Potentially complex process –Enrolment tiring and confusing –Possibility of missing first class meeting

8 Experience of classes Lectures –Enjoyment of academic level –Language could be a barrier –Good awareness of value of preparation –Strong desire for lecture outlines on slides Tutorials –Language could be a barrier to participation –Casual references to unfamiliar British/European context challenging Challenges less intense by semester two

9 Independent study Time management –Major adjustment issue Reading –Time-consuming but no major challenges Assessment –Exams more challenging than essays for some students English language support –Difficult to prioritise English language development in busy schedule

10 Extra-curricular activities Social life: –Very mixed experiences –Initially difficult in large lectures –Concerns over English language Clubs and societies –Enjoyable, good way of meeting people –Volunteering a good option –Concerns over time

11 Addressing the pre-arrival information gap Increased contact between LBSS staff and pre-arrival students Enhanced information on course choices for students and partner institution staff Emphasis on updating postal address Pre-arrival visit to Faculty –Chat with earlier cohort and current 1 st year students –Attending a lecture –Chance to discuss lecture and impressions

12 Supporting the transition Booklet: Whats it really like to study at the University of Glasgow? Based on views of students who have made the transition –Discussion meeting to suggest key areas –Student contributions of written materials –What I wish Id known when I started

13 Booklet: sample student comments please do as much as you can to prepare for the lectures. Youll find that you can easily get more from classes if you do this kind of preparation than just by coming to class and listening. Lecture notes are not enough to deal with exams and you cant avoid reading books. The biggest challenge I have had since starting at GU is time management and self-organising. Im now teaching Chinese in Hillhead High School. Its a really fantastic experience.

14 Overall themes Need for ongoing information delivery: –Pre-arrival –On arrival Support with classes –Provision of outlines in lectures –Clarification of culturally-specific references Negotiating time constraints: –Language support –Extra-curricular activities

15 Project contacts Gayle Pringle Faculty International Officer, LBSS Fred Cartmel Chief Adviser, MA Social Sciences


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