Bangor University PREPARATION

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1 Bangor University Report 1 faculty/college Humanities level bachelor s master s PhD name study programme exchange application process Engelse Taal en Cultuur PREPARATION While the application process was somewhat confusing at times, it did do the job in preparing you for your stay abroad and choosing which university was best for your specific wishes. The international officer for English, David Pascoe, was of great help to me in telling me about the different universities and helping me brainstorm which modules would work best for me as an aspiring translator. counselling & support at Utrecht University Very well done! academic preparation? language preparation This was no problem for me, as I already study English and went to an English-speaking country. finances Filling out the financial plan really helped me gain insight into the costs I was looking at. study programme (content and organisational issues) STUDY ABROAD PERIOD I did two creative writing modules and one linguistics module. I had to switch modules upon arriving at Bangor, as it turned out one of my modules was a full-year module, but this was not mentioned on the website. Switching to different modules was no problem, and the international officer at Bangor was great throughout my stay. academic quality of education activities The linguistics module I took (History of English) was absolutely amazing. However, my main reason for choosing Bangor was because of it's creative writing modules, and unfortunately, those were less interesting than I'd hoped. However, my fellow students were amazing and I did learn a lot about creative writing and writing in general. counselling & support at receiving university abroad Just perfect. Lecturers as well as university staff really care for their students, helped make you feel at home and were very helpful in general. transfer of credits Still awaiting. STUDENT LIFE

2 welcome & orientation programme The two-week fresher's introduction was great. This is also the best advice I can give students going to Bangor: ditch the international welcome week and join the freshers group from the school where you are taking most of your modules (in my case Creative Studies and Media). Bangor's own freshers programme is much bigger than the international one, and joining a group of freshers instead of internationals really helps you integrate with the locals as well as meeting the people you will actually be studying with. I made all my friends in those first two weeks. accommodation I stayed on one of the main campuses in Bangor, Ffriddoedd Site. The rooms are small but they have everything you need. A huge plus is having your own bathroom. The campus itself is great. It has a great atmosphere, there's a bar, gym, barbecues, and a small supermarket. It is expensive though, but finding private accomodation in September can be a hassle as all the good houses will already have been taken. leisure & culture Bangor is fun! First of all, the surrounding areas are just beautiful. The sea on one side, and mountains on the other. And there are flowers year round! The town itself is small but has everything you need. Some amazing pubs, a nice shopping street and there are loads of sightseeing activities in the surrounding areas, easily reachable by bus or train. suggestions/tips See welcome and orientation programme. CONCLUSIONS would you recommend this university/destination abroad to others? please explain Definitely. I personally even want to move back to Bangor at some point. Wales is beautiful, Welsh people are great, the university offers interesting programmes. do you have any additional advice or comments? Report 1 exchange application process PREPARATION The application process took much time. I think that I have been preparing for about one academic year in total. Finding three possible universities and dealing with all the paper work (CV, motivation letter, application form, study plan, finance plan, and Erasmus grant forms) are the main parts of the preparation, so make sure you start in time. Contact your abroad coordinator if you have any problems and make sure that you make an appointment with him/her in time so that he/she can sign your study plan. Although the preparation is much work, don't worry because it is absolutely worth it. counselling & support at Utrecht University International office was always very swift in replying and helping via . However, they did not know much about the contracts between Utrecht and the other universities, which would sometimes have been helpful. Over all, the support was good. academic preparation There was no need for any academic preparation. language preparation I did not have to do any language preparation for my exchange. finances

3 I applied for the Erasmus grant which is about 270 Euros a month. Moreover, you also receive a compensation for the OV (at least if you apply for this) of about 97 Euros a month and the grant from the government. Lliving and studying in the UK is very expensive so this didn't cover all my expenses but it certainly helped. Make sure you have some money saved. study programme (content and organisational issues) STUDY ABROAD PERIOD I attended four different modules in Bangor. Two (Cognitive Linguistics & Language Contact and Bilingualism) at the school of Linguistics, one (Stress & Distress) at the school of Psychology, and the last one was a course in Basic Welsh. Registering for courses means that you have to visit all the different schools and ask for a signature from the person responsible for exchange students. This takes quite some time so start as early as possible because I had only 3 days. I was lucky because all the persons I needed were present but this may not always be the case. After registering, you have a week to make any changes. I decided to change one of my linguistic courses into another one. Another point to remember is that it is important to know which modules you want to do in advance. For some modules, there are limited place available. academic quality of education activities The academic quality of the modules is comparable to the quality Utrecht University has. However, Bangor University organises much more educational activities outside the modules you are already attending. There are many workshops, lectures and other activities which are very interesting. counselling & support at receiving university abroad The international office in Bangor was very well-organised and the staff was always very helpful. There is

4 counselling available if you need it (I didn't). Moreover, international support organises many trips. For example, to Liverpool, Manchester, slate caverns etc. They really put effort in making you feel as comfortable as possible. International office as a 24 hour policy which means that it takes a day to sign a form, just keep that in mind. transfer of credits My credits haven't been transferred yet, so I cannot tell anything about it. welcome & orientation programme STUDENT LIFE The Welcome Week (3 days) specifically for international students was very nice. I met many of my friends there. You could sign up for all kinds of tours: library, Bangor and the surroundings. There was a lecture about the Welsh culture, an evening with Welsh traditional dance, and free breakfast. However, the registration lead to enormous queues because it was in the room where breakfast was also served. I should also mention that it was great that I was picked up from Manchester airport. This was a lot easier than going by train. accommodation I lived at Ffriffoedd Site. The room is relatively small and has its own bathroom which is really nice. I think the accommodation is quite expensive (about 500 pounds per month) but I am very glad that I signed up for living there because if you have any problems, there is always someone who can help you. There is a Warden who checks the kitchen and makes sure you feel at home. There is also halls office who can help you with maintenance requests etc. leisure & culture Since Bangor is a very small town, I travelled a lot. The nature in Wales is absolutely beautiful and you should really go and explore. I have also spent a long weekend in Dublin and another one in Edinburgh. I climbed Snowdon (highest mountain in Snowdonia) which is amazing and went to see many little towns around Bangor. I also started volunteering and there a lots of different societies you can become a member of. suggestions/tips Definitely climb Snowdon! Chester is also a beautiful city, just over the border in England. Don't stay in your room but go and explore because that is the best thing about the exchange. Try to become a member of at least one society. It is a good way of meeting new people and there is even quidditch. CONCLUSIONS would you recommend this university/destination abroad to others? please explain Yes! The fact that Bangor is very small makes you explore much more of the country. I liked the smallness because it makes everything accessible. Furthermore, the modules are very well organised and the teachers are great. The Welsh are very friendly so if you need help, do not be afraid to ask. do you have any additional advice or comments? I opened a bank account with the Santander bank which is located in the university building. When I wanted to close the bank account because I was leaving, it turned out I had to pay 25 pounds extra because I needed to transfer the money back to my Dutch account. Santander hadn't said anything about this and I was very surprised because I already had to pay a monthly fee of 5 pounds.

5 Ervaring Uitwisseling Stad - Universiteit International Office Verslag 1 preparation exchange/placement application process I talked to my supervisor (dr. Sharon Unsworth) about going abroad for my internship and studies. She suggested I could go to Bangor University, to work with dr. Vicky Chondrogianni. In order to study at this institute without having to pay a fee, I had to register full-time for courses as an Erasmus student. counselling/support at home university Before I went to Bangor there was no agreement between my faculty and Bangor University, so the international office in Utrecht helped to set this up. Apart from this it sometimes felt, though, as if I had little support preparing for my time abroad from the international office (e.g. due to changes in staff). academic preparation My master program was already preparation in itself, so I did not have further academic preparation. language preparation My master program is in English, so there was no need for additional language preparation. finances Before I went abroad I made an overview of the expected costs I would have in Bangor and my finances. I applied for an Erasmus grant for 3 months and I took a loan with my parents. study/placement abroad period study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues) In order to qualify as Erasmus student and to avoid paying fees I had to register as a full- time student at Bangor University. One of the university's specializations is bilingualism, which is a field of interest of mine. So I took a course called Current Issues in Bilingualism, which covered important issues concerning the field of bilingualism and second language acquisition. I also took a course called First Language Acquisition to broaden my perspective in this topic (Bangor University in general works from a different approach in linguistics, namely cognitive linguistics). Both modules were well taught and

6 Ervaring Uitwisseling Stad - Universiteit International Office fullfilled my expectations. I also had to do a 'special topic', in Bangor called Portfolio with my supervisor. This included making a literature review and writing a research proposal, including the description of an experiment I set up as part of my internship. The internship (as part of my master program) was the main reason why I went to Bangor. As already said, I set up an experiment for my supervisor. It is a self-paced listening task created for (bilingual) children to test their comprehension and on-line processing of relative clauses and picture noun phrases. Working on this experiment included the creation of the test items & questions, practice items & questions, the experimental frame (in e-prime), recording of all the items and questions, testing the experiment, etc. Apart from creating the experiment I also transcribed recording from Polish-English bilingual children retelling the frog story. academic quality of education/placement activities Most professors at Bangor University were relatively young and recently employed. This made the whole staff very approachable, which in turn stimulated me to getting more involved into the field of (bilingual) research. Quality of the lectures were good, with highly skilled professors, although I think some might be improved, by offering separate modules for master and bachelor students (the courses were taught for both groups). The final assignments were more or less similar in level as the assignments given in Utrecht. The academic quality of my internship was also very high as my supervisor is a very skilled researcher in the field of bilingualism/second language acquisition. She taught me a lot about how to create a valid experiment, which will certainly help me in my future academic career. counselling/support at host institution/organisation I went to the international office in Bangor a couple of times and had contact with them via . All three employees were friendly and easy approachable and tried to make sure your stay was succesfull. The (general) student service and the student housing office were also very helpful. transfer of credits In Bangor Bangor credits were used instead of ECTS: 1 ECTS is 2 Bangor credits. After I receive my final grade, the international office will send me a rapport with 'converted' credits and grades. student life welcome/orientation programme

7 Ervaring Uitwisseling Stad - Universiteit International Office There was a separate program for Erasmus students, starting with a welcom breakfast at the first day during the Welcome Week. This was a great way to get to know other Erasmus students. I joined some of the other activities during the first week (for example a bus tour through Bangor and surroundings). Apart from this there was a general introduction program for the linguistics students and a specific program for the new linguistic master students. Unfortunately I had not received my welcome package via the post, so I only found this out later. accommodation Finding an accommodation was difficult. There were no rooms anymore at the campus, so I had to find something myself in the private sector. The university website offered information on available rooms/houses. Unfortunately, many landlords preferred students who stayed for the whole year. I went to Bangor to stay in a B&B Wednesday before the introduction week to start looking for an accommodation. My options were limited and therefore I decided to rent a cottage a bit outside my budget (100 pounds a week). It was a really nice house though, on a beautifull location, so it was worth it. leisure/culture Because my house was a bit outside of Bangor, it was surrounded by nature (hills and the sea). I went for walks or I went running. I also visited a couple of towns relatively close to Bangor (e.g. Chester) together with friends or I just went for a drink in one of the local pubs. suggestions/tips Public transport in Wales is good, but not as developed as public transport in the Netherlands. My final bus back to my house from Bangor left at 10.30pm, making it difficult to stay longer in Bangor. Although the location of my house was beautifull and I really enjoyed my time there, I think it is important to consider what is more important to you (living inside or outside Bangor), as it might be a bit more difficult to get involved with the other Erasmus students for example. conclusions would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? please explain Yes, I would definitely recommend Bangor University to others. In general people are very friendly in this part of Wales and it is good to experience a less well-known part of the UK. Many people here are bilingual and you encounter Welsh everywhere (especially interesting when you are a linguistics student specializing in bilingualism). Bangor

8 Ervaring Uitwisseling Stad - Universiteit International Office University has a research center in bilingualism, which opened 5 years ago. While I was there, the center had no more funding, so all the researchers were gone, but now they are starting up again, so when you are interested in bilingualism I can highly recommend Bangor University. do you have any additional advice or comments?

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