Students share their year abroad experiences at the HSS Faculty Beacon Project workshop

Posted on: 9 July 2019 by Dr Nicola Bermingham in 2019 posts

This academic year, the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures was awarded HSS Faculty Beacon Project funding to produce employability-themed videos with final year students who had just returned from their Year Abroad. Dr Nicola Bermingham discusses the project and its aims.

Employability continues to be a priority area for the University of Liverpool, and building employability into the curriculum is an integral part of our overarching employability strategy. This project, which focused on the Year Abroad in particular, explored ways of supporting students in articulating the value of their Year Abroad beyond the linguistic and academic.

For the project, MLC staff held a one-day workshop with returning finalists. The first half of the workshop was a brainstorming session where students were provided with a list of graduate skills and were invited to discuss how they had developed these during their Year Abroad. During the second half of the day, the students produced one-minute videos reflecting on how their Year Abroad had enhanced their employability. The videos also included an element of intercultural reflection, addressing the University’s Curriculum 2021 framework, which highlights global citizenship as a key graduate attribute.

The student feedback on the project emphasised how the workshop and the making of the videos had helped them to better articulate their employability skills both to their peers and in professional contexts. In making the short videos students also developed their presentation skills and digital adeptness and were able to practice integrating their Year Abroad experiences into concise and focused interview-style answers. The project also allowed MLC staff to gain a greater understanding of what the Year Abroad represents to students, and of what students want from the year.

A project such as this demonstrates the creative ways in which students can evidence the developmental and employability skills that their Year Abroad has supplied and which will be of direct benefit to them when seeking graduate employment.

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