Students from Bishop Burton College were amongst the jet set last month thanks to a number of study tours that have seen them enjoying life-changing experiences over three continents.
Journeying to Sydney, South Africa and Seville Level 3 Sport, Business, Animal Management and Travel and Tourism students enjoyed a fortnight living, studying and participating in hands-on work experience placements in these far flung and exotic locations.
Bishop Burton was successfully awarded funding from Erasmus+, Gap Africa Projects and the Turing Scheme to enable the trips, which have proven to be hugely successful and are part of the college’s successful bid to fund 45 work experience placements around the world. With activities ranging from tracking jackals and elephants on foot using telemetry in the South African bush, to surfing masterclasses in Sydney to exploring ancient burial tombs in Carmona, the students have been exposed to new cuisines, new cultures and amazing experiences.
Business and Travel and Tourism students got to enjoy the beautiful city of Seville thanks to a range of fantastic hands-on work placements with walking, bicycle and Segway tour companies, language schools and iconic landmarks such as the Las Setas de Semas. Originally planned for March 2020, the on-set of Covid resulted in a slight delay to the trip, which was funded by Erasmus+ but was well worth the wait.
Students threw themselves into the experience meeting people from across the globe at the Intercambios Idiomas Seville, practicing their language skills and learning about different cultures. After working hard and receiving fantastic feedback at all their placements, the students immersed themselves in Spanish culture enjoying local tapas and flamenco lessons and visiting Cadiz and the historic Mosque-Cathedral Cordoba, UNESCO site.
The Sport contingent headed to the Southern Hemisphere and enjoyed spectacular beach side views off the Australian coast, not far from Sydney courtesy of funding from the Turing Scheme. Their action-packed schedule included masterclasses in basketball, MMA and surfing. They also got to experience the business side of sport with informative and practical advice and coaching, enjoyed sessions on injury prevention techniques and completed their surf life savers 800m challenge. They also got to practice their own coaching capabilities working with junior soccer teams to hone their skills. In their downtime they enjoyed an NRL match, beach volleyball, surfing and beachside barbecues.
Ben Atkinson, Curriculum Area Manager for Sport, Public Services, Business and Sciences commented “I am incredibly proud of the way the students have conducted themselves throughout these trips demonstrating a willingness to embrace the unknown and open themselves up to new experiences. Furthermore, they have behaved with maturity and displayed new-found confidence despite being on unfamiliar territory. Feedback across the board has been full of praise and I am confident that the students will bring this positivity back to the classroom and beyond.”
Animal Management students, headed to the Nambiti Hills and Zingela Game Reserves in South Africa to enjoy amazing interactions with the wildlife. This trip was also funded by the Turing Scheme but in collaboration with Gap Africa Projects, enabling students to care for and witness species in their natural habitats. With many 5am starts, they carried out anti-poaching activities, learned how to track animals in the wild, carried out surveys to identify which species are living in specific areas, worked with local Zulu communities, cleared Boma (animal enclosures) for new species arriving on the reserve not to mention amazing sightings of Black Rhino, Hippo, Porcupines and Lion.
Head of Animal Science Clare Chaffe said “Being able to witness the big 5 animals in their natural habitats is an experience that will resonate with these students for a lifetime. The exposure to local culture, food and simply sleeping underneath the stars in the South African bush will be unforgettable. Accompanying students on these voyages into the new and unknown are so rewarding, as you can see the hugely positive impact they have on them throughout and beyond – raising aspirations, boosting confidence and infecting students with the desire and ambition to achieve more from life.”
The college is incredibly thankful for the support of the Erasmus+ and Turing Scheme programmes, which enables them to provide students with the opportunity to develop new skills and gain life-changing international experience all of which boosts their employability. After a successful round of study trips the college is already looking towards providing similar opportunities for students next year. Applications to the Turing Scheme have already been submitted and the college has high hopes and ambitions to support students to enjoy even more varied experiences.
Head of General Further Education Mike Ridley commented, “Programmes such as Erasmus+ and the Turing Scheme, enable students to develop key industry skills in preparation for their next steps after college, in a way that has a profoundly positive effect on them. In many cases it will be their first time abroad or away from home, and their participation in work placements within new and different cultures brings a fresh perspective to their studies. The importance and value of such experiences cannot be understated. During their time away and on the return home we can see the incredibly beneficial impact these trips have building students confidence levels and enthusiasm to work hard towards their future careers and boost their employability.”
The college is accepting applications for study in September, with many opportunities available across the course provision for study tours both in the UK and internationally.