Two Architecture students and a recent graduate are enjoying a truly international experience thanks to LJMU’s Go Global Fund and the Erasmus+ programme.
Jen goes global
Before graduating in 2016, BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology student Jen Shelton had a clear career path in mind - she wanted to join the police force. After joining a volunteering scheme, however, Jen had a life-changing experience.
Jen has personal and academic interests in sports and her final year dissertation focused on women and their relationship with physical activity. Peter Millward, Jen’s dissertation supervisor encouraged her to gain some evidence of life experience before starting on her career path and Jen decided to apply for some travel funding through LJMU’s Go Global Fund which provides financial support to LJMU students who wish to undertake a project or activity abroad.
After graduating, Jen volunteered for four weeks with an organisation called African Impact (pictured above and right) which runs sustainable volunteering projects across different locations in Africa. She planned and delivered sports sessions for children from underprivileged communities in Khayelitsha - the second largest informal settlement in South Africa with an estimated population of two million people. At the end of the four weeks, Jen created an opportunity with the African Impact team in Cape Town where she is now completing a three-month placement with African Impact as a volunteer coordinator. Her main responsibilities involve leading volunteers across various projects, including sports development, teaching, orphan and vulnerable care and girl empowerment.
As a result of the placement, Jen has been offered a year-long contract. Commenting further on her experience Jen said:
"I love the variety of my job, how rewarding it is and the people I get to work with and meet. I never thought I’d be doing anything like this and I’m so happy to have had the opportunity. I would recommend the Go Global Scheme to anyone, as you never know what opportunities it can bring. Not only will you be doing something so rewarding, you will learn a lot about yourself and where you would like to go on completion of your studies. My best advice would be to go big, go somewhere you would never otherwise have the chance to go."
Erasmus+ Ambassador experiences
Two LJMU Architecture students have been successfully appointed to the prestigious position of national Erasmus + ambassadors by the British Council. Alexander Baker and Jennifer Shields (pictured below) are the first students from LJMU to be appointed and reflects their commitment to the project, following their own semester study placement overseas in Austria at the University of Graz.
Erasmus+ is the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. One of its aims is to boost the skills and employability of university students by taking studies overseas (three to twelve months) and traineeships (two to twelve months).
The Erasmus+ Ambassador role was established to help promote the programme through talks and events and the student’s role includes giving talks in local schools on Erasmus+, helping the University to promote its activity to future students and to help incoming Erasmus students settle into life in the UK. Alexander said:
"Erasmus+ has become who I am. I went on my Erasmus with the same fears I had when I first set off for university, but I have come back with a vision and drive like none other. I had an incredible experience engaging in international culture from Austria and the rest of the world Being accepted into Erasmus + as an Ambassador is not only an honour but will help me achieve my goal of giving back all that which I was so kindly given on my experience with our European friends. I am thrilled to represent a life changing experience. I hope I can inspire others to have an amazing adventure."
For information about participating in an Erasmus mobility opportunity, visit the website