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Brunel INTERNATIONAL

WINTER 2011

bi-newsletter@brunel.ac.uk

Get into the Brunel spirit! Christmas is the biggest national holiday in the UK, with the celebrations often lasting for weeks. By early November, ‘Xmas’ lights are appearing in cities and the stores are filling up with traditional merchandise.

Don't worry if you don't observe Christmas religiously though. It has become a major cultural holiday and an excuse for people of all faiths in the UK to meet friends, eat too much and generally have a good time. And we'll make sure you're included!

Brunel International organises various events in the run up to Christmas. We throw a Christmas party and other events such as cookie baking. For students staying on campus over Christmas, some of our international scholarship winners will be organising a party and cooking a traditional turkey dinner on December 26th. Our campus accommodation is open all over Christmas, but if you want to see how a UK family really celebrates the festival, then our hosting scheme is for you.

This operates all year round, offering Brunel's international students the chance to stay with families around the UK. This includes the Christmas period and it's free of charge. You will get the chance to watch the Queen's speech on TV, sitting by the Xmas tree, to put on a daft paper hat and share the terrible jokes found in Xmas crackers and marvel at how much food and drink a family can get through in one day!

To help people recover, Six Degrees, our international student society, is organising an ice skating trip to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Or of course you could always do a few laps of our Olympic standard athletics track!

Scholarships for International Students

Brunel University is delighted to announce 30 international scholarships of £3,000 plus an additional 8 £2,000 alumni scholarships, which are awarded by our alumni office.

The aim of the scholarships is to provide financial support to exceptional students, who will then go on to represent Brunel as ambassadors throughout their time at the University. The scholarship scheme is open to any international student applying for an undergraduate, postgraduate or research programme to commence in the academic year 2012/13. For more information please visit: www.brunel.ac.uk/international/scholarships or scan the QR code to visit the site.

It's official. Studying here pays

Brunel students are some of the highest earning Graduates six months after leaving university, according to the influential consultancy, Pantheon Group.

The survey looked at the qualifications people held on entering university to understand how much 'value' their education added to their careers.

Brunel came 13th in the salary table, ahead of such universities as Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths, Exeter and Durham.

Olympic tour bus stops at Brunel Cola bus stops

Why not connect with us online:

Brunel researchers in the Institute for the Environment have been awarded the Queen’s Anniversary prize. This biannual award is part of the UK Honours system and is the most prestigious form of national recognition an academic institution can be awarded.

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The Institute was selected as one of the award winners for its work into the effects of environmental pollution in rivers, particularly looking at how chemicals in everyday use can easily find their way into drinking water supplies, and the serious problems this can cause. The Institute was also honoured because of its global reach, as our world respected researchers like Professor John Sumpter were able to engage with policy makers and industry to find ways of treating or banning these dangerous chemicals. You can read more about the award at www.royalanniversarytrust.org.uk

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Commenting, Calli Amiras, International Careers Advisor, said: “This is a great result for Brunel and shows that our emphasis on 'career-relevant' study pays off.”

Brunel research wins Royal award

Supermarket romance

Love in the Air

Find us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brunelinternational

3 days of fun

Brunel's big welcome

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/brunel_int

Brunel leaps up the league tables A good year for Brunel

See us on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/bruneluniversity


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Canadian Paralympians to train at Brunel The Canadian Paralympic team will be using Brunel as its training base for 2012. They'll follow members of the South Korean Olympic team who've also chosen the University for their preparations.

Brunel leaps Meet Katharina Stirland up the league You've just joined Brunel International. What will your job involve? tables My role as International Student Services Officer is very varied. I'll be helping international students with questions or problems to do with living or studying here. We also organise lots of exciting events and day trips – and I'll be writing about them in our fortnightly newsletter called “Six Degrees”.

With an indoor athletics centre, an international standard outdoor athletics and sports park, an exercise studio and two sports halls, we've a lot to offer sportsmen and women, whatever their ability. After all, the one and only Usain Bolt has trained here for the past two summers!

See the world on Exchange

It's been a really good year for the University in the National Student Survey. Almost 1,900 of our final year students took part and their opinions moved us up 78 places in the 'overall satisfaction' table, to number 45.

Studying at Brunel means you may be eligible to study part of your course with another European university under the ERASMUS scheme.You study for between 3 months and one academic year, which counts towards your Brunel course credits and doesn't involve additional tuition fees. You can even apply for a living expenses grant. It's a great way to experience life in another European country during your Undergraduate or Postgraduate Degree – Just ask Product Design student Luke Bacon who spent a year on placement at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and was even appointed as an Erasmus Ambassador by the British Council. You can read about his experiences – from misadventures with bicycles to what he learned on his course – as well as more about the exchanges we offer, on the Brunel International website.

Winter 2011

Courses in subjects such as Business Studies, Maths & Statistics, History, Physiotherapy and Media Studies were rated especially highly and many others rose dramatically in the ratings.

We also jumped up 10 places, to 39 in the Sunday Times University Guide 2012. 11 of our subject areas are now ranked 25th or better nationally.

Travel update

As you can see from the photos below, our recruitment team have been meeting students at exotic locations around the world. International Career’s advisor Calli Amiras has also been speaking at two events on employment in India. We’ve already got loads of trips and events planned for 2012, so head over to www.brunel.ac.uk/international<http:/ /www.brunel.ac.uk/international> to see where we are going next.

How's it been so far? It’s been fantastic! I started at the busiest time of the year, just as all the international students were arriving on campus. A ‘fresher’ myself, I helped with our Orientation Programme and Freshers’ Week. It was very exciting to meet all the new students and I’m looking forward to seeing them progress.

Where are you from? I'm originally from a relatively small town in the north west of Germany. I first came to the UK on a one-year exchange programme and enjoyed it so much that I ended up going to university here as well.

Do you travel much and what's been your favourite destination so far? I love travelling. I've been to most countries in Western Europe and decided to travel around the world a while ago - My best decision ever! Favourite place? Difficult! Probably New Zealand, but I also love Italy and Marrakech. I'm cycling in Vietnam and Cambodia next!

What do you like to do outside of work? Now that I live in London, I often pick a random country and find a restaurant to try out. I have recently had Afghan and Eritrean food – both yummy! Apart from that, I'm learning the piano and Chinese which are both quite challenging.

Is there anything you'd like to tell people thinking of going into higher education and maybe coming to Brunel? For me going to university in another country was fantastic. It's a challenge, but really enhances your learning experience. As well as getting a good degree, you can learn so much from extra-curricular activities and Brunel's perfect for this, being so close to London and on a great campus!

Faith on campus

If you need some peace and quiet to think, or to practise your faith, there's the perfect place on campus. The Meeting House has spaces for prayer and meditation for all faiths.

Christian, Muslim and Hindu chaplains are at the House at set times each week and organise religiously inspired activities and events, many of which are inter-faith.

Brunel's big welcome A record 400 new international students took part in our orientation programme this year, for 3 days of information, guided tours and fun.

Amongst other things, there were talks on how to open a bank account and how to get a part-time job. Plus our friendly campus police officer presented an entertaining guide to UK law and staying safe around the city. Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Ian Campbell gave a welcome speech, including some light-

hearted advice on juggling work and fun, based on his experiences from when he was a student.

Other highlights were the coach trips: one to Oxford, one of the UK's most historic cities (and home to a certain university); and another to Brighton for a walk along the pier and a chance to try some traditional British fish and chips. In the evening, students tried traditional Celtic dancing at a 'Celidh'.

Queenie Mann from Hong Kong is studying an MA in International Journalism. She said: “I spent a nice time with some fellow freshers (first year students) in Oxford, and they are now my first group of good friends at Brunel.”

Orientation, including an airport pick-up service, is free for international students paying full tuition fees.

At the end of Orientation students enjoyed a trip into London, arranged by our student mentors. As you can see from the photos, Bendy Brunel decided to come too. Go to our website to read more about our welcome programme.


Winter 2011

Working with Brunel

Brunel works with agents worldwide in order to counsel students applying to the university. Sevda Oncel Budd set up British Education Bureau (BEB) in 2004 and has been representing Brunel in Turkey almost from the start. BEB has sent over 200 PG, UG, Foundation and language students here since then; more than to any other university.

Sevda, what do you think are the best points about Brunel? Excellent courses and teaching, great all-round campus facilities and your location, close to Central London. Also, around 70% of our students are postgraduates and Brunel has high quality MSc, MBA, MA and LLM programmes to offer them.

What have students who came here told you? Typical feedback is very positive and includes comments such as being surprised by the number of different nationalities studying at Brunel, how friendly the staff are, how good the campus facilities are and how convenient it is for Central London and Heathrow Airport.

What do you tell people about studying in London? I warn anyone thinking of studying at one of the central London universities that it's an expensive place to live and that being out with Brunel in West London would be more cost effective. Then I tell them to make the most of being in such a great city!

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Love in the Air

The Uxbridge branch of Tesco’s Supermarket might not be the first place you think of when you think of romance, but it was the meeting place of Sophie and Alvis, two Brunel students who tied the knot back home in China earlier this year – and Bendy Brunel was there to wish them well! In 2009 Alvis came to Brunel via LIBT’s Pre-Master’s programme, completing an MSc in Marketing. The same year Sophie attended one of IPLC’s six week pre-sessional courses before doing an MSc in International Business. They met and, as the saying goes, the rest is history. Sophie is also our Alumni Ambassador for China, so if you have any questions about Brunel (such as the directions to Tesco’s…) be sure to chat to her on Baidu and QQ.

Bendy Brunel We are always keen to hear news on what Bendy Brunel is up to – If you have any pictures of him that you would like to share, please email them to binewsletter@brunel.ac.uk and let us know where they were taken.

We will put them all on our website and feature the best ones in this magazine.

Brunel's School of Arts will soon be rocking to the poems and teaching of British performance poet, Benjamin Zephaniah, who's taken up a chair here in creative writing. A Rastafarian, vegan and martial arts expert, Benjamin grew up in Birmingham and became an established poet locally by the age of 15, despite his reading difficulties.

Performance poet takes new creative chair

He was voted the UK's third favourite poet of all time (behind TS Eliot and John Donne) in a 2009 BBC poll, so students here will be learning from an exceptional artist who wants to make Brunel 'known for performance poetry’.

You can find out more about him at http://www.benjaminzephaniah.com

Brunel gains 600m viewers!

Brunel University is going to be seen in an opening title sequence of China's Got Talent. 200 of our Chinese students were filmed on campus, waving to camera and to an expected TV audience of 600 million people.

The show was visiting the UK to hold auditions and 5 lucky acts will be flown to Shanghai in November to compete in the series, with the prize of a possible contract with the Sony Group.

BEB has offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. See www.britisheducation.com.tr for contact details or ring +90 212 2444000 (Istanbul office).

Introducing... The School of Social Sciences

Brunel is a great choice if you want to study social sciences at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Our vibrant, multidisciplinary school provides many exciting courses, drawn from five key subject areas: anthropology, economics & finance, politics & history, psychology and sociology & communications. You would be joining over 2,000 students from around the world and learning from internationally renowned experts who are regularly consulted by government, industry and the media. All teaching here is rated 'excellent' by the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

Designed with careers in mind, our undergraduate courses offer professional work placements delivered by our award winning Placement and Careers Centre (PCC).

At postgraduate level you can choose from a range of unique and innovative taught courses which include intelligence & security studies, international relations, medical anthropology and cross-cultural psychology (the latter being one of only a few of its kind in the world). We're also an excellent choice for postgraduate research, offering the opportunity to pursue a range of specialist disciplines. You will be supervised by leading experts whose work was highly rated in the last UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), delivering world class research across our innovative research centres.

To find out more about the School please go to:http://www.brunel.ac.uk/sss

Amanda Rohloff, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology and Communications Amanda, from New Zealand, is pursuing a Sociology PhD which

explores how climate change has developed as a social problem. In 2010, she and a team organised a three-day conference, ‘Moral

Panics in the Contemporary World’, which was featured on BBC

Radio 4.

“I chose to do my PhD at Brunel University because of the quality and enthusiasm of my supervisor, the exciting research areas within the

School of Social Sciences, and the location of Brunel. I have had

opportunities to collaborate with research staff on publications and

organising research events, which have been invaluable learning experiences.”


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Winter 2011

brunel life Brunel group to trek the Great Wall

Family Fun Days

A group of Brunel Students will be Trekking The Great Wall of China at the end of June 2012, to help raise funds for Childreach International (http://www.childreach.org.uk/).

The trek lasts for a total of 11 days and includes a whole cultural exploration of China, taking in the Shanhaiguan Pass, the East Qing Tomb, 'Heaven's Ladder' and the Nine-Eye Tower.

Childreach International works with local communities in the developing world to help improve children's access to healthcare, education, human rights and protection, so that they can reach their full potential in life.

A face painter and balloon bender kept the children entertained, giving parents the chance to socialise and make new friends.

Dr Hua Dong, proud father and senior design lecturer in the School of Engineering Design, wrote in and told us: “I'd say this is a great initiative. Well done!”

Meet The Blogger: Meg I'm Meg, originally from Montana, but my heart resides in Portland, Oregon. I moved to England to study an MA in Creative Writing because I'm an obsessive Anglophile, as well as a massive Doctor Who fan. I spend most of my time exploring and taking photos, watching geeky television, and trying to figure out how to become the next JK Rowling.”

You can donate online, if you would like to, at

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ragchair

You can read about Meg's adventures, along with blogs from other international students at www.brunel.ac.uk/international

Brunel student sky dives for African kids

Brunel Anthropolgy Undergraduate, Bethan Crisp, will be parachuting out of an aircraft at 15,000 feet to raise money for children at the Nkoaranga orphanage in Tanzania.

Product Design Graduate wins top award

Children can stay at the orphanage until age 5, but then need £700 each to secure a place at a quality boarding school where they can continue their education.

Product Design Engineering Graduate Buster Palmano has won the New Designers InterContinental Hotels Group Award for his innovative ceiling fan design. Buster, who graduated in July, was also an award-winner at Made In Brunel, our yearly design exhibition, which is strongly supported by industry. Google: Made In Brunel for details.

Bethan visited Nkoaranga during her gap year, when she taught English to African children, staying ten months instead of her planned three.

So far she and her fellow volunteers have raised enough money to send three children to school. Go to www.thesmallthings.org if you would like to sponsor her or to donate.

Olympic tour bus stops at Brunel

The Coca Cola Olympic tour bus, complete with DJ and sound system, was greeted by over 1,000 Brunel students when it visited campus in early October.

Students, like Mohammad Khan, a Business Management & Accounting student from Pakistan, were able to get their hands on the Olympic torch, nominate a torch bearer and even apply to become a Brunel Olympic Ambassador.

My home from home Xiaocan Wang

My name is Xiaocan Wang. I am from China and am doing an MA in Design & Branding Strategy in the Engineering & Design School. I studied the English@Brunel Course before that.

150 mums and dads, including staff members, students and their partners, got together at family parties organised by Brunel International this year.

Isambard Complex is the newest hall on campus, and my room is spacious and well designed, with great facilities. The rooms have big windows so you can enjoy the sunrise or sunset!

Introducing the Student Union

We often get asked by international students about the students union and what it does. World Student Chair, Danish Merchant, explains...

“The vital role of the Union of Brunel Students is to represent your views to the University, locally and nationally. That could be on anything from course fees or immigration policy to housing.

“Our officers can advise you on lots of different welfare issues, such as finances or employment rights, and in addition we run a variety of clubs and societies, for sports, religion, the arts and more.

“We have our own campus radio station and in the union building you can have a drink in Loco's (our bar), dance in Academy (our club) or eat at Pronto (our cafe).

“There are plenty of ways to get involved in the Union, from volunteering a few hours a week to standing for election to the presidency.”

fiftyone° north was brought to you by Brunel International, a team at Brunel University dedicated to supporting international students in their studies.

Words: Pete Greenfield Images: Sally Trussler Design: FAS Media Ltd To contact the editorial team, please email bi-newsletter@brunel.ac.uk


51 Degrees North Spring 2012