English Students’ reflection of international week at the University of Northampton as part of Digital Learning across Boundaries (DLaB) project. March 2019.

After our successful project days with lecturers, teachers and students from Denmark, Norway and Belgium we gathered together at the University of Northampton week commencing 25th March to create an online course inspired by our work on our project days. We had a jam-packed week, planning our online course looking at ‘what if the sea level rises?’ exploring language and culture in a future setting as well as exploring parts of Northamptonshire.

On Monday 25th March, we met everyone and enjoyed a meal at Waterside restaurant. It was great to see everyone again after meeting each other in our week in Denmark, October 2018.

“It was great to see so many familiar faces as well as meet new people and share our experiences of our project days.” – Charlotte.

On Tuesday 26th March, we started sorting roles and gathering information to place in our online course. We then supported some outdoor activities which emphasised team building, and many expressed their competitive spirit.

“It was brilliant to see a different side to our colleagues, as their tactics and winning strategies were on parade – the best teams won.” – Cora.

Afterwards, in teams they went around the university taking selfies in front of different landmarks across the university, it was a great way for them to explore all the amazing places we have at the university. That afternoon, we had a tour around Boughton house and had a delicious buffet and watched some beautiful ballet dancing in the grand hall. Then we ventured around the gardens with some glorious weather.

On Wednesday 27th March, we had the opportunity to spend our day at Northampton International Academy. It was great for the group to explore how the education system and setting is different to their own countries education settings. We completed more of our online course working in teams and observed a lesson at the school.

We then had a yummy roast dinner which many of the international students had not experienced before and had a tour around the school. Afterwards, we sat in the theatre where it was a great delight to hear some of students from Castle Academy and Northampton International Academy share their experiences of the project days, we even saw some of their prototype buildings. We then watched a variety of dances which was great to see and had a go at dancing which was lots of fun. Afterwards, we walked to the Albion brewery where we learnt about the history, had a tour which was fascinating and had a delicious meal.

On Thursday 28th March, we completed lots of work for our online course making it engaging and visual. We then ventured to Rushden lakes where we explored the wildlife and the lakes, it was very scenic with stunning views. We then had a look around the shops and had a delicious farewell meal. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone, but it has been a good week creating lots of memories.

“I’ve had the most amazing last week being a part of the project for 3 years, I have built so many skills, friendships and memories over the years. It has been a great experience which I will never forget.” – Charlotte.

“This has been such an invaluable experience as we have developed as teachers and created so many bonds with other professionals – our professional pen pals. It has been amazing to share ideas and be involved in such an awesome project.” – Cora.

It was a lovely week, making lots of friendships and creating an online course that we are proud of and can’t wait for everyone to join in. Please feel free to sign up to our free online course in May. More information on: https://dlaberasmus.com/

By Charlotte Bennett and Cora Taylor (3rd Year Primary Education students in University of Northampton)