Six Brazilian students are spending nine weeks with us as part of the Association of Colleges ‘Skills without Borders’ initiative.
The six, who have joined programmes in our Countryside and Food Technology departments, are already studying those subjects at university or college and have come to us to develop their academic and practical skills.
The students are from the Minas Gerais region near Rio de Janeiro and all are enjoying their first visit to Britain. Apart from furthering their studies, they’re enjoying being part of the Reaseheath community, sampling life in the UK and improving their English. They’ve visited Chester, Manchester, Liverpool, North Wales and Paris, and will go to London at the end of their stay.
Sarah Amorim, 18, and Julia Silva, 19, who are both studying a Level 3 technical course in environmental management in Brazil, have joined our Level 3 Diploma countryside students. Both want to help their home country to become more sustainable – Julia wants to be an environmental engineer while Sarah aims to work as an environmental technician before moving into management.
The two are really enjoying their practical sessions, particularly a trip to Delamere Forest where they joined students helping to improve the habitat for the white-faced darter. The darter is one of Britain’s rarest dragonflies and has recently been reintroduced to Delamere by Cheshire Wildlife Trust.
Said Julia: “The whole experience has been fantastic. Everyone has been very welcoming and we’re loving the social life.”
Undergraduates Nagela Ruphael, 20, and Alessandra Bina, 22, who are studying for environmental related degrees, have joined our Foundation Degree in Countryside Conservation and Recreational Management while Samia Oliveira, 20, and Luan Marciano, 25, are working alongside the Eden cohort who are taking their Foundation Degree in Dairy Technology. All four are currently studying at the University IF Sudeste MG near Rio.
Both food students have appreciated the opportunity to up their practical skills in our dairy processing halls and have made cheeses and other products.
Samia said: “This has been a great opportunity to experience something new. We use the same principles in our practical sessions in Brazil, but here we are able to spend more time ‘hands-on’ and are making a wider range of products. We’re also learning to use the same equipment as you find in industry, which is fantastic.”
The ‘Skills without Borders’ initiative is a pilot project aimed at providing Level 3 and Level 5 vocational students from Minas Gerais with the opportunity to develop new skills and to widen their understanding of global culture. We are one of three colleges in the country to have been selected to host students in this initial programme.
- There are a number of other international developments in the pipeline, with a strategic direction that focuses on our land-based specialisms within higher level technical education (level 3 to 5). These could include student exchange, consultancy and student recruitment.
- This month Nick Blakemore and James Bickerton are to visit Saudi Arabia to provide curriculum consultancy support to a developing Dairy Technology College. We are also going to host a visit by a Finnish University to explore a curriculum partnership with Horticulture and Countryside, and become involved with a shadow leadership programme with a land-based College in China.
Header image caption: Countryside students Nagela Ruphael, Alessandra Bina, Sarah Amorim and Julia Silva with Assistant Dean Mark Harris