10 November 2017
Learning at ARU depends on your personal approach and attitude to the process, because the University has so much to give.
On my course, English Language and Linguistics, there are fewer lecturing hours, which is designed to contribute to the dominant part of studying – the seminars and workshops. They allow all students to engage with each other and the lecturer in experience- and knowledge-building discussion. Seminars/workshops encourage practice of the subject through regular group exercises, using specialised equipment and computer programs. On occasion, we are also visited by inspiring PhD students from Cambridge University, who show us exciting presentations about individual module subjects.
In my case, though I'm originally from Warsaw, there wasn't much need for improvement in the language, since I had lived in Cambridge for several years before applying for university. Nonetheless, I was actively informed about and invited to English improving classes, both spoken and written, from the very beginning. The University provides great language support available all year.
In the end, my vocabulary increased and academic writing was activated after a number of written assignments. I personally think that students having trouble would do well to take advantage of the language support, because good spoken and written English is important in securing a future career.
The Erasmus exchange programme is very accessible and announced to students. I haven't yet had the opportunity but my friends recommend it to be a fantastic experience. Other than that, we have been offered truly interesting module-related trips to relevant facilities in London, as well as Students' Union-organised sightseeing/leisure trips to neighbouring cities.
ARU has the most varied mix of cultures (among students and staff) I have ever seen. It is very refreshing and every day you get to learn something new from your international friends, about their cultures and languages. The most curious benefit I received and greatly appreciated are the immensely varied perspectives foreign students introduce. It's a rich and lifelong experience that helps with conscious/respectful communication and cultural interaction.
Lastly, studying at ARU is purposefully designed to contribute to your future employability. The process aims to enhance your teamwork skills from day one, through every seminar. I really appreciated the motivation it gave me to communicate and organise myself with other students. Through activities and team-building tasks I ended up with a group of close friends. Lecturers and fellow students always provided me with crucial tips for a successful presentation or written assignments, which eventually added up to a great habit. There is no end to kind reminders and information about important deadlines and events, so it is difficult to be lost at ARU.