Produced by Linh Trinh
MA Marketing Communications
Studying at Bournemouth University provides students with endless opportunities to discover our potential and best prepare for our future. Thanks to the Turing Scheme funding, I have just had one of the best summers with valuable experience in Amsterdam that I will never forget. In this blog, I will walk you through my journey of preparing and making the most of this adventure.
Starting with my inspiration and curiosity about sustainability
In my time studying MA in Marketing Communications at BU, I have learnt about different concepts of sustainability. Being inspired by the lecturers and guest speakers, I started discovering more ways of embedding sustainability through my course and voluntary projects. Last summer, I participated in a meaningful voluntary project and a funded virtual internship on sustainability. Since then, I have actively looked for opportunities to explore different perspectives on this complex yet essential topic toward a more sustainable future.
I came across the Turing Scheme information in December 2021 on the BU website. After attending an information session organised by Global Engagement Hub, I saw the potential to apply for funding for an overseas experience in the summer of 2022. After researching for opportunities related to sustainability, I found a summer course on the Circular City at the University of Amsterdam, which aligns well with my interest in sustainability and the requirements of the Turing Scheme. Thanks to the guidance of the Global Engagement Coordinator, my application process went smoothly. The timeline worked well with my application process for the summer school and my visa application as well. With the funding received from Turing Scheme, I was able to ease my financial burden when applying for mobility overseas.
The valuable things I have learnt in my summer course
Until now, all the experiences I have had in that short yet awarding summer course still feels surreal. My class consists of the most diverse group of students with people from Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. All with different educational backgrounds and work experiences, but with a shared interest in sustainability. Emerging in an international environment has enlightened my understanding of different sustainability challenges and, most importantly, encouraged my thoughts about new approaches toward this heated topic.
The programme lasted three weeks with a balance of academic and hands-on approaches. We were introduced to the use of different tools, analysis and methods that helps unravel the complexity of sustainability. Through studying examples from Amsterdam, we have learnt about various aspects of sustainable urban development and how it could apply in a wide variety of settings. As part of the course, we had enjoyable and insightful excursions to active companies and organisations that are contributing to the sustainable development of the city of Amsterdam and nearby neighbourhoods. These are truly considerable knowledge and skills that added to what I have gained throughout my course in the UK.
Here comes the fun parts
It was my first time travelling to a different country since I started my course in the UK. I must admit Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities I have ever visited. It is an ideal destination if you are interested in world-class museums, delightful restaurants and diverse local cultural experiences. Bicycles, canal cruises, cheddar cheese, flea markets, and flowers are the things you cannot miss on the streets of Amsterdam. One of the things I noticed when I lived there is that the cycling route is much more convenient compared to what I have seen in the UK. I had an amazing time cycling around the city, enjoying nature and exploring hidden gems that have fewer tourists. However, since it is different compared to the UK or your home country, you should also read the traffic law in advance to avoid unwanted situations. For example, you can carry many things on your bike but are not allowed to hold a phone while cycling.
I find the nightlife there is similar to the UK with lots of pubs and bars where you can have a drink with your friends or enjoy the music. The living expenses in Amsterdam are more expensive than in Bournemouth. English is also widely used there, so I didn’t have any difficulties communicating with local people. However, lots of product information in the supermarkets are in Dutch, sometimes I had to buy groceries just by looking, but it was ok :D.
My beautiful summer ended, but I will never forget those rewarding and unforgettable experiences. Had it not been for BU’s support and Turing Funding Scheme, I could not have made it happen. Back to life in the UK, I have become more confident with all the intercultural competencies I have gained while being a student. If you are looking for opportunities to gain global experience, do keep an eye on Global BU’s website. I believe all these international experiences will not only make your studying journey more exciting but also help your profile stand out in the future.