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Learning without Borders Super Mentors: the real life experience

Learning without Borders Super Mentors: the real life experience

In order to better enlighten prospective international students who are aiming to studying abroad and here in the UK, the cross-border education service Learning without Borders, known in the UK as UVIC, has successfully launched the ‘Super Mentor’ programme. It’s a live, online broadcast which focuses every week, on the real life experiences of successful international students as well as current British University academic staff.

During May 2016, the Super Mentor programme was launched. It was praised widely by the majority of international students studying in the UK, as offering a clear personal account of what it is really like to study at a great British University. By its very nature, it cuts through the glossy institutional prospectuses to give a delightfully honest account of living and learning in the UK.

As the programme continued, each Super Mentor session has involved the audience in following the unique journey of their own, personal academic success, offering guidance and support which, in every way, perfectly compliments the excellent student support services that British Universities are so world renowned for.

The answering of questions forms the initial structure during these live Super Mentor sessions. Each Super Mentor will illustrate their own expertise during their initial introduction then answer all the questions requested by the numerous gathered students who are following the discussions online.

This service is offered completely free to the online community of international students who are engaged in the task of researching all their options prior to making their application for study.

This role of answering questions is just the first step, giving impartial advice and offering other positive suggestions is the embodiment of the personalised service that the Super Mentor programme aims to deliver.

Learning without Borders, also offers a live search engine for all those looking to study overseas. MyOffer is available in English and in Mandarin and aims to be a smart application platform which clearly advises all prospective students and offers some initial guidance on many hundreds of programmes of study across hundreds of world-class Universities.

We wanted to discover more about both the Super Mentor programme as well as MyOffer so we arranged to interview Sophia Xiao, the project leader who is based in London. We started our questions to her by asking what improvments and developments have been made to the Super Mentor programme since its launch over 14 months ago:

Q1:Since the launch last year, how many Super Mentors have joined and how many students were attracted to participate in?

A grand total of 55 Super Mentors have joined us with hosted their live sessions and over 10,000 prospective students have followed and actively participated in the online sessions.

Q2:How did Learning without Borders recruit so many outstanding young people to be Super Mentors on this exciting programme ?

Thanks to the ongoing sponsorship of numerous Students Union activities across the UK and the hosting of the largest University Fair for international students in the UK, UniFair, our connections have grown across the international student community. In addition, Learning without Borders has built-up many thousands of online followers to our social media channels and connections across the Chinese University sector. We’re able to use these groups in order to recruit an audience for Super Mentor sessions. This in turn, allows us to attract more like-minded professionals into the Super Mentor community. Finally, the good reputation of out Super Mentor programme, also attracts more friends to circulate with their connections, so many additional individuals are able to partake and enjoy and to learn from others. The words of mouth is a very real supporter of the Super Mentor programme.

Q3: The Super Mentors sessions aims to cover the whole field of knowledge that a international student needs from going abroad, to everyday study, right through to graduating. What motivated Learning without Borders to extend the depth and breadth of provision is such a positive way ?

From the perspective of studying abroad, can be divided into three stages including, ‘pre-study’ and ‘post-study’ with the whole University learning experience having pride of place in the centre. During the Super Mentor programme, have been careful to ensure that studying abroad and job seeking roles should not be separated. If you want to enhance your own future competitiveness within the workplace, you should making your own guided careers plans as soon as possible when entering into higher education. Super Mentor are there to continually support you. Together with MyOffer and the role of UVIC Ltd, we call it an EcoSystem of student support.