Thinking of coming to our Bitesize Uni summer school this year? We asked Joe, one of the reps, to tell us what the experience is like through the eyes of a student rep.
Bitesize Uni is a 4 day, 3 night residential trip to Newcastle University for students in their first year of sixth form or college. It’s a chance for them to see what life as a student is really like, and to get a feel for how their subject is taught at university.
BSU 2016 was my first experience of being a Student Rep so I was probably as nervous as the students coming! I wanted to get involved with summer schools as they are really relevant to the job I was about to start as a Graduate Ambassador for Newcastle Uni.
My friends had told me that summer schools were really good fun too… They weren’t wrong; 80 Student Reps and 390 year 12 students from all over the country is a fool-proof recipe for a good time.
On day one I met my group – 10 students, complete strangers to each other at the start of the week but a team of good friends by the end! Our first activity was the City Hunt. This meant spending a relaxed afternoon seeing the sights of Newcastle, with fun ice-breaker activities and coffee stops along the way – a great way to get to know each other better, and for the group to get to know the city more.
With any initial shyness out of the way, the week just got better and better from there.
You’ll never be bored at BSU.
The subject taster sessions that run each day give the students an insight of how their favourite subjects are taught at uni. The session I enjoyed the most was an enterprise lecture given by a Newcastle Uni guest lecturer and business owner who had turned down investment on Dragon’s Den.
There were also really cool personal development sessions and a meet the professionals speed dating event. And then there was the Group Work Task.
For this, each group had to create a video to promote Newcastle University, with the best videos (as voted for by the students) winning prizes at the end of the week. We pitched our idea to the summer school organisers to get our budget, which we then used to buy props, before filming and editing the video over the next three days. Everyone in the group had an important role and played to their strengths.
The social side of BSU really comes out at night.
The first evening was a huge all you can eat world buffet at Za Za Bazaar followed by a relaxed night in uni halls. Already, students were mixing beyond their groups, introducing their new friends to the ones they already knew from school which was great to see.
The second night was ‘Eat out on a Budget’ night. For this we had to haggle restaurants down to £6 per head which my group managed to do at Nando’s. After that we headed to the cinema where we had two screens booked out and everyone could choose which new film they went to see: I opted for the new Ghostbusters film – at least the company was better than the movie…
A great week was rounded off in style at the BSU Wrap Party. Everybody got dolled up for a three-course meal at the Civic Centre. We were greeted by performers on stilts, magicians and mocktails and later on in the night the DJ and the Bucking Bronco kicked in.
All in all I couldn’t recommend BSU enough. It’s a great chance to see what uni is really like, make loads of new friends and have a lot of fun in the process. Bring on BSU 2017!