Written by Lara Barusso
BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design
BU academic support
I’m Lara from Italy, studying Computer Animation Art and Design and I’m dyslexic. This is why I’m going to talk about my experience with the academic support at Bournemouth University and how this helped me to get through my first semester.
When I first arrived at BU, I was amazed by the level of support I could have from the university to help me get the most out of my experience here. This was especially impressive in comparison to the help available to me in Italy, which is essentially nothing.
Different kind of help
At BU, there are different kinds of support available to you. During your first year, you have a weekly meeting with your PAL, a fellow student in their second year who is there for you to answer questions, and explain to you what they have done the year before. They are there to help you with anything that you didn’t understand, and it’s great if you are too shy to ask your lecturers.
Also, there are free language classes at BU that allow you to learn a new language, or to improve your English. There is IT support for any technical problems you may have, and study skills support to help you find a better or more efficient way to study if you find yourself struggling. The university also has workshops for specific study skills during the year.
ALS for students like me (Additional Learning Support)
As I’ve already mentioned, I’m dyslexic, so sometimes I need a bit of extra help when it comes to reading and writing. The help you can get from Bournemouth University is really different and depends on your needs. In my case, I have meetings with a tutor during term-time, to help me check out my written work, and I have the option to gave meetings with them as frequently as once a week. These meetings are great to clarify any queries, help you with your writing, and also to assist with any problems if your lecturers might not be considering your needs. For example, they will contact your lecturers to remind them of your situation, and they will make sure that you won’t have any problems. They can help you to rehearse a presentation in a more friendly environment to improve your performance, or they can suggest a way to make your studies easier by showing you tricks or suggesting different ways to approach things, and much more. In my case, I always struggle to take notes, so they were able to lend me a recorder so that I could take notes easily once I got home. This was a great help.
They also provide you with stickers so that any submitted work (it works for online submissions as well) will be indicated to be from an ALS student, and this will ensure that your lecturers will mark your work for the content and your knowledge as opposed to the way you write.