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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

‘Get Ready to Study’: INTO University Partnerships’ New Pre-Arrival Programme

INTO University Partnerships, an organisation at the forefront of global education partnerships, has launched ‘Get Ready to Study’, a programme devised to offer comprehensive pre-arrival support to international students heading to the UK.

The ‘Get Ready to Study’ programme is an online course that helps international students gain access to vital academic and personal resources, facilitating a smooth transition into higher education and life in the UK.

David Rafferty, Director of Technology Enhanced Learning at INTO University Partnerships, expressed: “Studying abroad can evoke a range of emotions for students—excitement, anticipation, and perhaps a hint of nervousness. That’s why we’ve developed the Get Ready to Study online pre-arrival programme. It’s our commitment to empowering students to embark on their UK academic journey with confidence, equipped with the knowledge and resources they need to thrive.”

The programme is free and open to all students bound for the UK who are completing a pathway programme at one of the INTO Centres. These centres equip students with the necessary academic and English language skills to succeed in their chosen programmes.

Upon enrolment, students are automatically signed up for the ‘Get Ready to Study’ programme and receive a link to access the course a month prior to the commencement of their studies. The programme is customised to the student’s specific Centre and includes various engaging activities and guidance to enhance academic and digital literacy. It is divided into three key modules:

Life in the UK

This initial module offers essential information about what to expect from the study abroad experience, including adapting to UK culture, local activities, and making the most of their time at the centre. It also provides details on the INTO centre facilities and what the induction schedule will entail.

Study Skills

The second module covers vital study and digital literacy skills that will be used during their time at INTO, their chosen university, and in their future careers. This includes setting up an effective study environment, strategies for handling assessments, and balancing workloads to maintain personal well-being.

Employability

The final module explains how students can access important tools, resources, and support from their centre to enhance their career prospects and professional development, including finding work experience and placement opportunities.

Designed to be interactive, the program is embedded with video content introducing the topics of each module, with each having a short assessment at the end to solidify what students have learned, and typically takes around 90 minutes to complete. 

Glen Blackadder, Learning Designer at INTO University Partnerships said: “We take a micro-learning approach where possible, to try to make sure the activities aren’t too onerous in terms of time, and that students can work through them at their own pace.”

The program was first rolled out to students in August 2023, and then to a second cohort in November. Participating students in the program have so far represented 58 countries, with more than 80% of those who completed the program saying that it helped them to feel prepared for their studies. 

Chinese students showed the highest level of engagement in the program, with 84% opening the email link as soon as they received it. Overall, the majority of students engaged with the program, with most using it in the fortnight before their start date.

The high satisfaction rate from the program was reflected in the feedback, with one student commenting: “It prepares international students to know what they will face at INTO University Partnerships, and to acquire new skills.” Another student shared: “I was fully ready to start my program before my start date.”

The online platform also includes a feature allowing users to gain insight into where some of their fellow international students are from by looking at an interactive map. The map automatically updates in line with students’ responses, adding a colored pin to each mentioned nation. 

Based on student feedback from the first cohort, INTO University Partnerships’ Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team is implementing a range of new features and resources to further support students in getting the most out of the online program ahead of their start date.

New additions to the Get Ready to Study program, set to be rolled out to students later this year, will include more Centre-specific content so that students can familiarise themselves with their new learning hub and home. There will also be additional information on academic mental health to provide strategies for coping with academic stress and how students can best utilisetheir centre’s wellbeing resources. 

At INTO’s UK study centres, students have access to tailored support from academic and student support advisors, providing them with the tools and confidence to progress to their chosen program at one of INTO’s university partners – four of which are part of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group. With centres located on partner university campuses, students can benefit from the societies and activities on campus and explore nearby local amenities.

INTO University Partnerships connects ambitious international students with leading universities in the US, UK, and Australia. Since its inception in 2005, INTO has helped more than 150,000 students from over 180 countries realise their dream of achieving a degree from a world-class university. 

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