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INTO Newcastle initiative gives students 'wings to fly'

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INTO Newcastle initiative gives students 'wings to fly'

A new module designed to help students gain academic English and employability skills has been trialed at INTO Newcastle University.

A new module designed to help students gain academic English and employability skills has been trialed at INTO Newcastle University. Personal Professional Development (PPD) encourages students from different pathways to collaborate on projects, thus mirroring the real work environment and helping them to develop skills that will push them ahead of their peers at university and enable them to succeed on a UK undergraduate degree programme. Under the scheme - which was trialed from September 2017 and has now been approved as a 20-credit module starting in September 2018 - students learn a range of professional software, such as… Read the full article
A new module designed to help students gain academic English and employability skills has been trialed at INTO Newcastle University.

Personal Professional Development (PPD) encourages students from different pathways to collaborate on projects, thus mirroring the real work environment and helping them to develop skills that will push them ahead of their peers at university and enable them to succeed on a UK undergraduate degree programme.

Under the scheme - which was trialed from September 2017 and has now been approved as a 20-credit module starting in September 2018 - students learn a range of professional software, such as Revit, Raspberry Pi, HTML and MATLAB, and carry out some peer teaching.

Martin Thewlis, an INTO Newcastle English for Academic Purposes teacher whose initiative brought PPD to life, said: “My manager, Dr Sriyani Jayaweera, came up with the idea of the module and asked me to design it. The philosophy behind the course was to develop a ‘self-organised learning environment,’ as advocated by Newcastle University Professor Sugata Mitra, and see if students had the discipline and ability to be put in charge of their own learning, with me acting as a facilitator.

“For their semester one projects, students were divided into Scrum teams, using Agile Project Management, a technique used widely in IT development, but tweaked for this educational setting. It worked well, so all group members were engaged and accountable to their team.

“The reason for introducing students to such software as Revit is based on the belief that in the future they will need to be familiar with a vast array of ever-developing software and programmes.

In the first semester, for example, the STEM students learned how to use Autodesk Revit, a building information modelling software used by professionals like architects and structural engineers, and peer taught the International Year One architecture students. After one session, the architecture students were able to use the software and apply it to their studies.

Martin said: “A really exciting part of the module takes place in semester two when students are given an opportunity to develop a project. So far the students have been very highly motivated, and have produced some very impressive results.”

The nature of the semester two projects vary significantly, from coding to launching a YouTube channel; and from developing a computer game to curating a photography exhibition, thus enabling the students to turn their creative ideas into reality.

PPD participant, Biological and Biomedical Science Foundation student Helen Phu Pwint Thu, said: “PPD was a chance to learn and discover new things in addition to the main curriculum that can help with my career in the future.

“I’ve launched my own YouTube channel as part of the course, which falls into a category of ‘motivated life’. I have to allocate more time for this module and to be better at time management with all other important assignments. But that’s why this course is so beneficial – we get to learn so much!” To view Helen’s YouTube PPD project video, click here.

“I hope that the module continues to evolve, responding to ever-changing trends in technology and society,” says Martin. “I also hope that students will be able to develop a project that they started in class and turn it into a business. It would be great to see a collaborative project between INTO science, business and architecture students become a successful startup while they are studying for their undergraduate degree programme.”

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Celebrating diversity: iWeek at George Mason University

To highlight the different cultures of more than 3,000 international students who come from 135 countries, and to foster a community of globally-minded students, George Mason University recently hosted its 37th annual International Week (iWeek). The April event kicked off with a Parade of Flags from around the world, carried by students including former INTO Mason Graduate Pathway student and member of the Chinese Student Association Yufei Liu, who wore typical Chinese clothing and led a group of students from China. "I really enjoy iWeek because I can learn about lots of amazing, different cultures through events on our campus,” said Yufei. “When I go to the events, I feel that our world is so diverse and so beautiful." Other highlight… Read the full article
To highlight the different cultures of more than 3,000 international students who come from 135 countries, and to foster a community of globally-minded students, George Mason University recently hosted its 37th annual International Week (iWeek).

The April event kicked off with a Parade of Flags from around the world, carried by students including former INTO Mason Graduate Pathway student and member of the Chinese Student Association Yufei Liu, who wore typical Chinese clothing and led a group of students from China.

"I really enjoy iWeek because I can learn about lots of amazing, different cultures through events on our campus,” said Yufei. “When I go to the events, I feel that our world is so diverse and so beautiful."

Other highlights of the week included a Dance Competition, during which students from national organizations performed dances unique to their cultures. Ten teams competed and the Caribbean Student Association danced their way to the top in the end. 

Social events included a Zumba party and games, plus the first-ever iWeek student photo competition, which was open all international students on campus. Jessica Biddle, INTO Mason’s Director of Student Experience was a judge.

“INTO Mason had a lot of fun this year! It was our first year collaborating on an international photo contest where students had a chance to showcase their experiences on campus as well as their interactions with American culture,” she said. “We were really impressed with the submissions and look forward to making this a signature event in future years.”

As the most diverse university in the state of Virginia and the 22nd most diverse university in the United States, George Mason University continues to grow a community where all feel welcome.

To see highlights from Mason’s 2018 International Week, watch this video.

#YouAreWelcomeHere #MasonNation

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Iweek At Mason For Website

INTO Drew Academic English students' out-of-classroom experience

Academic English students at INTO Drew are benefiting from the Centre's and Drew University's shared dedication to providing all students with tangible, practical and exciting experiences beyond the classroom. Professor Jennifer Ostrega, who has been teaching Academic English at INTO Drew since its inception nearly four years ago, has helped to introduce a new assignment to encourage this among students on the program. She says: “I wanted my students to gain confidence in going out and using their new language in a real life setting. I wanted it to be educational, fun and engaging while getting our students more integrated with the local Madison community.” The interactive assignment, which involved i… Read the full article
Academic English students at INTO Drew are benefiting from the Centre's and Drew University's shared dedication to providing all students with tangible, practical and exciting experiences beyond the classroom.

Professor Jennifer Ostrega, who has been teaching Academic English at INTO Drew since its inception nearly four years ago, has helped to introduce a new assignment to encourage this among students on the program.

She says: “I wanted my students to gain confidence in going out and using their new language in a real life setting. I wanted it to be educational, fun and engaging while getting our students more integrated with the local Madison community.”

The interactive assignment, which involved interviewing small business owners in Madison New Jersey, was a great success, as most of those the students approached were keen to participate, and did so with enthusiasm: “We love Drew! I have a family member from Hong Kong who graduated from Drew and I even took Drew courses that helped me prepare to get into grad school at Harvard,” said Martha Chang, owner of Chinese restaurant Shanghai Jazz.

The students also spoke to employees at Tons of Toys, Hilltop Bicycles, Madison Pet Shop and Jungle Juice - a juice bar where student Dashun Zhou was surprised to find one of his classmates working behind the counter. “It was fun to be able to talk with someone I have seen around campus but never really met,” said Dashun. “It was a really positive experience.”

Once all the interviews had been conducted the class met to discuss their findings. “They were bursting with tremendous confidence,” said Jennifer. “The business owners were really receptive to our students and have already expressed interest in repeating the program next semester.”

 

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Drew For Website

INTO Giving: your charity, your projects

Dozens of INTO employees across the world recently suggested new projects to support (you could do the same, when project nominations re-open in summer 2018). After deep discussion, six were selected and have now received grants totalling GBP43,710 (USD61,000). Room to Read (Sri Lanka): INTO has collectively donated £7,500 ($10,000 US) to this central Sri Lankan girls’ education project. The grant will fund the education of 39 girls for a year and provide them with life-skills, mentorship and material support, including school clothes and exam fees. Bees Abroad (Nigeria): Combining environmentalism and education, this project is establishing beekeeping on the curriculum of a Nigerian secondary school. INTO Giving’s £4,560 (US$6,373 US) grant is coverin… Read the full article
Dozens of INTO employees across the world recently suggested new projects to support (you could do the same, when project nominations re-open in summer 2018). After deep discussion, six were selected and have now received grants totalling GBP43,710 (USD61,000).

Room to Read (Sri Lanka): INTO has collectively donated £7,500 ($10,000 US) to this central Sri Lankan girls’ education project. The grant will fund the education of 39 girls for a year and provide them with life-skills, mentorship and material support, including school clothes and exam fees.

Bees Abroad (Nigeria): Combining environmentalism and education, this project is establishing beekeeping on the curriculum of a Nigerian secondary school. INTO Giving’s £4,560 (US$6,373 US) grant is covering the cost of student training, protective clothing and beehives.

Trailblazer (Cambodia): Through a donation of £7,500, you’re helping build a brand new primary school for more than 300 children from rural villages, plus supporting school running costs, including teachers’ wages.

You’re also helping to make sure that kids can get to school via a second grant of £2,150. These monies will purchase 100 bicycles for students who attend the local secondary school, providing them with a reliable mode of transport, come rain or shine.

The Alliance for African Assistance (Uganda): You’ve donated £7,000 to fund the education of 130 students (44 per cent of them girls), for children of the Acholi people, orphaned by war, Aids and malaria, who live in rural poverty.

Project Hope 4 Kids (Greece): Continuing the focus on child refugee education, your £7,500 is building a new classroom at the Hope 4 Kids project in Greece. There are over 55,000 refugees in Greece; half are children who have lost everything, from homes to family members. Schooling helps to rebuild their sense of normality.

The Peter M Goodrich Foundation (Afghanistan): This foundation was set up by the mother of victim Peter Goodrich as a positive response to the terrible events of 9/11. Your donation of £7,500 is building a school library for around 1,300 students from primary and secondary schools (44 per cent of whom are girls – a big and bold step in Afghanistan).

For more information on any of these projects, including how you can help get involved email info@into-giving.com or visit our website

As well as employees finding education projects close to their own hearts, they can also support other causes through our iGive campaign. This allows INTO employees and students to fundraise for other charities, INTO Giving will then increase their fundraising total by 20 per cent as well as matching it for their own projects!

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INTO Giving Projects

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