IQ Inside Queen's – A Student's Perspective

19May/11Off

Students’ Video Guides to the Library

Two new videos are available on the Library’s YouTube channel:

Both are aimed primarily at new undergraduates and prospective students and were devised and filmed by current students.

The project was funded by the Widening Participation Unit and the films were edited by Video Services.  Students can borrow cameras and laptops with editing software from Video Services for approved projects. Schools can also organise video production training for their students by contacting Video Services.

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12May/11Off

Peer Mentoring for International Students

Remember what is what like to be a new student? Then why not give something back by helping others in the same position?!

International Student Support would like to deliver a Peer Mentoring programme for international students who will be arriving at the University in the 2011-12 academic year. We would like to invite students from all backgrounds (both international and home) to assist us with the programme, and while we would be especially interested in having postgraduate research students take part, we welcome interest from all students.

If you will be a student at QUB next year and are interested in being a Peer Mentor to international students, please express your interest by emailing ‘I’m interested in Peer Mentoring!’ toiss@qub.ac.uk. Please include the following details about yourself:

  • Your name
  • Your student number
  • Your nationality
  • Your course (name and qualification level)

ISS look forward to hearing from you!

 

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10May/11Off

NI’s International Student of the Year reflects on her Queen’s Experience

Inside Queen’s spoke to Northern Ireland’s International Student of the Year Margaret Mary Nimoh, (PhD in Chemical Engineering) about her experience at the University…

 How did it feel to be named Northern Ireland’s International Student of the Year?

 Very honoured, it came as a surprise but I was very happy about it because I didn’t think I’d be chosen.

 During your time at Queen’s you helped establish the Queen’s International Students Society. Do you feel that it’s important for students to immerse themselves in university life through activities outside their academic course? Why?

 It is essential to involve oneself in extracurricular activities. Our main aim in coming here as an International student is to make the grades and excel in our academic area, but in doing so we often forget that there is life outside one’s research or studies and these are the things I believe makes one feel complete. Meeting other international students and talking about different things makes one learn a lot, one’s communication and interpersonal skills become more developed and you learn not to feel ‘alone’ since we all share our experiences together.

 What has been the highlight of your Queen’s experience so far?

 Getting the Award for the Northern Ireland’s International Student of the Year. I also attended the finals in London, even though I wasn’t the overall winner I really had fun, we went to Wembley stadium amongst other things, I had the chance to meet and talk with the other 11 finalist and we are all friends now.

 How do you feel Queen’s has prepared you for the future?

I am more confident now since my research involves attending conferences, presenting my work in front of important professors and lecturers, working with undergraduates, summer exchange students and others. My interpersonal skills have developed because nowadays when one is applying for a job it is not only the degree they are looking for, but what other ‘extra’ qualities one possesses. I believe it is all those other qualities which Queen’s has also helped me develop.

 What advice would you give to future international students coming to Queen’s University?

 Umbrellas! Bring about 10 of themJ ! My main advice is that it is a very nice and welcoming place to study. I believe Queen’s provides everything one needs to excel academically.But as an international student there are also other areas one can be involved in, there are many clubs and societies one can join, there are also other volunteering opportunities available in any area at all. All you have to do is just get involved. This will enable you to meet other local and international students and help you establish long lasting relationships. Additionally, you will learn a lot about other different cultures. Lastly, my advice is that you don’t have to feel embarrassed to ask questions concerning accommodation, studies, support or anything else that might concern you, because these services are available. All you need to do is ask!

 Do you think Queen’s offers a good international student experience?  If so, why?

 In my opinion yes it does to some extent because there are many international students here, there are events and program organised, volunteering opportunities and others but it depends solely on the individual to get involved, If you don’t put yourself out there, you may not gain those experiences, you could just come through Queen’s get your degree and that would be it. So, just get involved!!

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10May/11Off

Surviving the exams…

Though very few people would say they enjoy them, unfortunately exams are pretty much part and parcel of the university experience. And at this time of year, it’s not unusual for students to feel some pressure. Therefore, staying organised in areas such like time management and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for example, can be crucial when you’re trying to find time to study for several exams whilst also working part-time.

If you’re anything like me, this time of year means pretty much one thing, being hunched over a desk, burning the midnight oil. But it doesn’t always have to be that if you don’t want it to!

So take a minute to plan how you’re going to tackle your assessments. Even a little can go a long way…

  • Look after yourself – whilst stress can sometimes be a motivating tool, it’s important that you manage it effectively. You can also help yourself maintain a positive attitude; energy and focus by eating a balanced diet and sleeping properly (see the university’s calmyou initiative).
  • Take regular breaks – and don’t keep yourself isolated. Chilling out in front of the TV can help us all wind down, but don’t cut yourself off from the outside world too much. Talking to others or taking a walk can help take your mind off exam stress and help you feel refreshed and ready to return to work.
  • Try different learning styles – equally, if the words don’t seem to be materialising on your computer screen, or those class notes just aren’t going in, try different methods of writing, studying or revision. Talk to someone about your work, describe the subject as best you can. This can help you develop the ‘through line’ of your argument in an essay, and/or help highlight in which areas you are stronger or weaker and will help you plan your revision. Furthermore, remember that staring at a screen for long periods of time can prove detrimental. Maybe try switching to pen and paper for a while, write down ideas instead. Record yourself reading notes so you can listen back to them. Print out your essay and expand with additional notes and/or prose, or simply proof read what you have already to consolidate your thoughts.
  • Postpone unnecessary activities until the work is doneThis can be the most difficult challenge of time management. Whilst surfing the web, or procrastinating on Facebook may seem appealing at the time, sadly, it’s not likely to help us get the results we are all striving for. Maybe you need to take some time off from your part-time job whilst you complete your exams? Try to remember that distracting activities will be more enjoyable later without the pressure of the exam or assignment hanging over your head. Think in terms of pride of accomplishment. Instead of saying “no” try to say simply “later”. So, what’s one distraction that causes you to stop studying?!
  •  The practicalities – make sure you’re all set for your assessments…
  1. Check your exam timetable on Queen’s online and your emails to make sure you have all the updated information on your module and exam timetable
  2. Make a list of your exams, dates, times, rooms, duration and what you need to bring
  3. Check the assessment criteria in your module handbooks. Be familiar with the exam format. How marks are allocated? How many questions do you have to answer? What style of answer; essay, short questions, multiple choice?
  4. Be familiar with where the exam room is,  have a look at it beforehand so there are no surprises on the day

Remember, the Learning Development Service based in the Student Guidance Centre are there to help you reach your academic potential. They offer web resources on writing, referencing, communicationmaths and study skills, as well as time managementexam preparationand managing stress, many of which have already been linked to above.

Students can book a one-to-one appointment with a member of LDS staff for up to 50 minutes on three different occasions per semester. See the services One-to-One Advice page, or call in at the Student Guidance Centre.

Alternatively, the university’s Counselling Service is also there to support students who wish to explore issues they may be experiencing. Call the services reception on 028 90 97 2774, email counsellor@qub.ac.uk or, again, simply call into the Student Guidance Centre to arrange an appointment.

IQ J

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