You may have seen a company called TeachFirst around Imperial during the year. They are a charity that helps schools combat educational inequality due to different backgrounds, (i.e. children from homes with lesser financial background). So why am I talking about them?
For students, they offer 2 programs, an insight program and a graduate scheme. Last April, I got into their insight scheme which consisted of 2 weeks:
One week training
One week placement in a school
This was, without doubt, one of the greatest experiences of my life. I understand that many at Imperial/elsewhere look down upon teaching, but hear me out.
For many of us international students, coming overseas is definitely a daunting experience – leaving all you’ve known and loved only to arrive somewhere you know nothing of. Compounded by the fact that we are apparently adults because we have graduated high school, the sense of protection and belonging is no longer there. We are all very much on our own.
Personally, I was very lost when starting the first year at university – arriving at a new place knowing no one. However, since then I’ve grown incredibly through friendships, failures and successes. I’ve become the president of the table tennis club, managed to secure some internships and met my girlfriend in the testosterone-filled world that is Imperial.
As the holidays came to a start- my initial mindset was, “Oh, I’ve got looaaddss of time. I definitely deserve a break. One more season of this show on Netflix won’t hurt.” It must have slipped my mind that the exam on the day I go back is not a mock. Now that I’m about 70% through my Easter/Spring break, I am filled with regret and drowning in revision. :’)
Watching a season of Hell’s Kitchen
The first thing I did was binge watch as soon as the term ended. Personally a big Gordon Ramsay fan, even though he’s not a believer in Vegetarianism/Veganism cries.
In my post about affording London prices I suggested bringing lunches to work, just to save money. No matter how busy I am, I do it most days, thanks to a collection of delicious and ridiculously quick recipes I collected (let me know if you’d like me to post them!). However, sometimes I treat myself to a lunch at Imperial. Where do I go?
At South Kensington campus we have a big choice of catering outlets that serve everything from sandwiches and salads to Japanese and Indian. About 11am they post the menu of the day, which helps to make an informed choice (and procrastinate from work for a few minutes).
I recently used a R script from Keith McNulty to analyse my Facebook data. I was curious to know how much I had been posting for the past 10 years, but I also wanted to know much information Facebook had about me.
I was able to download over 4,000 days of data and more than 30,000 posts. These posts were mine, but also from friends that were posting on my timeline.
In the process, I learned these three points:
1. I have 1000’s of posts per year
I remember when I initially joined Facebook, my friends I would basically communicate and organise everything by posting publicly on our walls (no sense of privacy!).
However much you might try to think you make the best use of your time, I’m sure that there’s always some time during the day when you sit there not quite getting on with your work but pretending that you are. As a particularly keen procrastinator, especially when I find the work difficult, here are some of the ways I’ve managed to get through tough revision periods avoiding procrastination.
Make a timetable with not more than 45 to 90 mins revision sessions at a time. Don’t just write down what subject or module you will be studying, include key details of what particular topic, or which past paper you will do in this time.
Studying at the most International University in the UK
It goes without saying that Imperial College London is one of the most culturally diverse university communities in the world. Just walking around campus, it is clear to why we have been named the UK’s most international university by The Times Higher Education. Being one of the highest ranking universities in world and leading the way in scientific research, attracts some of the brightest students from across the globe, giving Imperial its signature incredible variety in culture.
Having lived in London my whole life and attended, what I thought was, quite a diverse school, I’m not sure what I expected Imperial to be like however, I had really not anticipated making friends so quickly with people from all around the world.
First things first, who saw (and recognised) that The Hobbit reference in the title? 😉 🙂 🙂
Anyway moving on to less important stuff the main point of this post, every international student (whether Imperial student or otherwise) should have heard of HOST UK. And maybe go for a HOST visit at least once over the duration of their study here. No? Well, you must!
So what is HOST UK?
HOST UK is a charity that arranges visits for international students to stay with a host family anywhere in the United Kingdom. The visits can range from a day or 2-3 over the weekend.
This is part 2 of my placement year blog post. If you’ve missed part 1 be sure to go back and have a read (otherwise this next bit won’t really make sense!)
My year in industry placement was at Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust in Paignton in Devon. Specifically I was based at Paignton Zoo, one of 3 zoos owned by the trust. First, a little background about my location. Devon – a place that everyone seems to have visited “when they were a child”. For me, I had heard very little about Devon, even less about Paignton. However, everyone I talked to about my placement, whether it be family friends, elderly ladies at bus stops or cab drivers, knew about Devon and Paignton Zoo.