The Grizedale College Advisors Team (CAT) awards travel awards to Grizedale students to support them on trips which have academic or personal development benefits to them. Below are the reports from students who have received an award, highlighting the range of trips supported.
Daniel Clout, LUSU Overseas China, August – September 2017
The trip was a fantastic experience but also a challenge; learning a different culture, different language, different food and climate. Overcoming these barriers was a challenge, but it was highly rewarding.
I gained language skills as we had Mandarin lessons, cultural skills as we participated in calligraphy and brush drawing. I gained cultural awareness and interpersonal skills as we had to communicate with non-English speaking individuals from a different culture. Ultimately, I made lifelong friends from the trip, both from Lancaster but also in China.
Highlights from the trip was visiting the Great Wall of China and attending the optional trip to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors. Visiting these places was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the vast history of China, a civilisation which has existed for 5000 years.
The CAT Travel Award paid for my VISA to China, allowing me to have the opportunity to visit China and have the privilege of experiencing it. It is fantastic that Grizedale College is investing in allowing students to have the opportunity to visit these countries, to experience the diversity in both languages and culture, and the award is testament to how Lancaster University is a truly diverse and global university.
Christina Gifford, LUSU Overseas China, August – September 2017
This summer I participated in a programme organised between Lancaster University and Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU). I spent 3 weeks in China with 18 other LU students learning about Chinese culture, whilst seeing all the main sights. The first two weeks we stayed in Beijing, and the last week we travelled to Weihai, situated on the coast of China. We went to the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, watched a Kung Fu show, and so much more. One of the highlights of the trip was the Great Wall, even though walking up it nearly killed me, the view from the top was absolutely incredible.
I’m so grateful that I received the CAT Travel Award, because without it I wouldn’t have been able to go on the weekend trip to Xian to see the Terracotta warriors which was another highlight of my trip. I’m really glad that I took part in the programme with LUSU Overseas because it’s given me a much better understanding of Chinese culture, politics and history. We also learnt a bit of Mandarin on the trip, and after eating Chinese food for 3 weeks I’ve finally mastered using chopsticks!
Holly Gilbert, NFYFC with Projects Abroad Argentina, August 2017
Over the summer, I spent two weeks on an agricultural volunteering project in Cordóba, Argentina. My first week was in a primary school, where we created a vegetable garden and educated the children on how to grow their own food. I then spent a week at Pumakawa Nature Reserve, where we helped with many jobs, including making compost and redesigning the fox enclosure, as well as planting trees in the local village.
My favourite parts of the project were when we were interacting with the local people, as it was interesting to learn about their culture. I feel like the trip has aided not only my geography degree, but my understanding of the world we live in and how we can learn from other communities to improve our own.
The CAT travel award made this trip possible for me, as I would not have been able to afford the flights and cost of the project on my own. Therefore, I am very grateful and would encourage other Grizedale students to take the opportunity to see the world!
Monika Wilczynska, LUSU Overseas China, August 2017
My time in China was an unforgettable experience, I find it difficult to believe that I saw world famous landmarks just a few days ago. I am grateful for the opportunity because I never even considered the possibility of visiting China. From the beginning of the visa application process it was clear that such a trip would be extremely difficult to organise alone, as the application required many specific details of invitation from a Chinese person, which is another reason why I am so glad I could go with LUSU. I gained many life friends on this trip; I feel like we had a great group of people and I know we will continue to see each other in Lancaster when term starts. The highlights of the trip for me are rather obvious: landmarks such as the Great Wall, Summer Palace and the trip to Xi’an to see the Terracotta army.
The CAT travel award was so useful, not only because it relieved some of the pressure before the trip, but also because living costs turned out to be higher than we all expected, which made me appreciate the travel award even more.
Monika made a video of her trip, watch it on YouTube.
Charlotte Rothwell, Internship Lancaster University Babylab, July – August 2017
I undertook a fascinating 6-week summer internship at the Lancaster University Babylab, within the Psychology department, where I took part in a research project called ManyBabies. The research project aimed to find out whether the way in which different labs conduct their experiments influence their results, and the data from Babylabs worldwide will be compared.
I really enjoyed the internship, and feel it was an invaluable opportunity, allowing me to expand my knowledge in developmental psychology, as well as giving me many new experiences, such as attending my first conference and hands-on experience of research. The best part of the internship was the opportunity to work with children of many different ages, allowing me to see how rapidly they develop and learn over time. It also gave me important insight into research as a career, something I am considering for after I graduate.
The CAT Travel Award gave me the financial support to help commute from my home town every day by public transport to Lancaster University. This meant I could use the Babylab’s amazing resources to obtain lots of high quality data during the course of the 6-weeks.
Katie Trippitt, Volunteer Eco Students Abroad Africa Unearthed, July – August 2017
I have just returned from the most amazing experience I have ever had. I’ve participated in a volunteer project for two weeks in St. Lucia, South Africa, to help the local community. The trip has excelled my networking skills, I now have contacts from all over the world who I will be sure to stay in contact with- truly inspirational people. We worked with cheetahs and crocodiles in rehabilitation, constructed a house for a family whose home had burnt to the ground, assisted children in the local school with their English and helped in the local orphanage. During our time away, we also undertook a hippo watch boat cruise, visited the local cultural Zulu village, attended a big five safari and visited Swaziland.
The CAT travel award helped to pay for my transport to and from London Heathrow. It is very hard to have a highlight of the trip, but if I had to choose it would be spending time and helping at the orphanage. There were many children who are permanently there alongside those who are there for day care whilst their mothers are at school. I was so proud to have helped look after and entertain the children. I would truly recommend the trip to anyone who wants to make a difference and experience different cultures.
Leanne Tough, Operation Wallacea Croatia Research Assistant, July – August 2017
My expedition to Croatia was truly an unforgettable experience. The educational benefit both from content learnt in practicals and lectures to networking opportunities with the scientists was second to none. Over the two weeks I completed the Adriatic ecology and marine research course and biodiversity surveys in Krka National Park. This meant all the concepts I have learnt at university were put into a real life context. I feel studying both terrestrial and marine areas has been immensely beneficial to my degree and CV as I now have experience in biodiversity surveying on land and in water.
Highlights of the first week would be holding many species of reptile that we found, especially the aesculapian snake (pictured), finding a wild hermann’s tortoise, and catching a young nightingale. In the second week highlights were swimming amongst shoals of fish in the Adriatic sea, spending a morning collecting samples from the bay and discussing their ecology (also pictured), and learning about how important Posidonia oceanica (seagrass) is to the ecosystem and the issues it is facing. Undoubtedly the CAT Travel Award helped me by significantly reducing my flight costs which allowed me to go on this expedition. Thank you very much!
John Adeware, Internship Teach English in China, July 2017
On the 4th of August, I was fortunate to have secured an internship with the Teach English in China Company. This was a fantastic experience as I was offered the opportunity to gain work experience abroad and simultaneously learn about a new culture. The other candidates on the programme were students from all over the country and across Europe and South America which also positively impacted upon my networking skills.
I believe the programme has enabled me to develop a wide range of skills which I believe will be highly transferrable in any given career I wish to embark upon. The nature of the skills range from leadership to communication, and from punctuality to being more organized. The school gave me full autonomy to teach the class in any method that I deemed effective which gave me a unique sense of responsibility.
The Highlight of the trip includes: performing in a talent show for the school, learning a new language, new culture, creating major networks with people all over the world and most importantly gaining more confidence to do things outside of my comfort zone with great optimism. Lastly, the CAT award played a crucial role financially as I had to cover the general cost of the programme; and the funding received made the experience a reality.
Hawwa Bham, Medical Elective Brunei Darussalam, July 2017
I spent 4 weeks over summer working at the RIPAS hospital in Brunei. My day began at
the 7:30am handover with the O&G team and then consisted of ward rounds followed by
clinic, theatre time and time on the labour ward.
During my time I got to see some very complicated cases including following the
pregnancy and delivery of a woman weighing over 170kg and a woman who was
diagnosed with cervical cancer when 26 weeks pregnant. On a much happier note I got
witness and deliver lots of healthy babies which is always a special moment. Although the
hospital in Brunei follows the UK guidelines cases were much more complex and the very
conservative culture meant they were often managed differently. I also see far fewer
monkeys around the hospital in Lancaster which took some getting used to!
Luckily I was there during the Sultan’s birthday which meant I got to enjoy the festivities
and markets. The importance of the Sultan was evident as I experienced the culture
around the city and water village. Brunei also has some of the most stunning virgin
rainforest and beaches – all of which made for perfect downtime from the busy days in
Lauren Gowland, Medical Elective Australia, June – August 2017
Australia is a truly incredible country!
I was lucky enough to spend nine weeks both working and travelling around the east coast of Australia. My compulsory medical elective was undertaken in Broken Hill, the Far West of New South Wales. Broken Hill is an old mining town home to the Royal Flying Doctors. This is a service dating back to the 1920’s which Australia set up to provide health care to all its residents in Outback communities. Whilst undertaking my placement here I got the opportunity to spend a day with the RFDS. The service they provide is one of a kind.
For the remainder of my placement I was welcomed into the Emergency department team where I completed many GP style consultations, cannulations and observations of emergencies. This opportunity has provided me with invaluable life experiences I will utilise in my future career.
After all my hard work in Broken Hill, I spent the remainder of my summer travelling from Sydney to Cairns, stopping off at various locations along the way. 4WD on Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world and sailing around the Whitsundays has to be two of the many highlights.
I would like to thank Grizedale for awarding me one of The CAT Travel awards. It was greatly appreciated and contributed to my many adventures.
Chloe Read, Medical Elective New Zealand, June – August 2017
My medical elective to Auckland, New Zealand, was truly a once in a life-time experience. The elective consisted of four weeks spent on placement in Middlemore Hospital, South Auckland, and a further four weeks travelling around New Zealand. The placement was excellent practice for becoming a doctor since I was placed in A&E and I had to complete a full assessment of each patient I saw. As a result, my ability to formulate management plans for unwell patients improved significantly. The placement also gave me the opportunity to compare the health care system in New Zealand to the NHS which helped me to appreciate how a public healthcare system supports those less advantaged.
Though the placement taught me a lot, the highlight of the trip of course, was the travelling. From beautiful beaches to icy glaciers, I was able to see so much! I also had the opportunity to go skiing, abseiling, white water-rafting, rock climbing, and caving whilst also learning about the Kiwi and Maori culture. It was unforgettable.
Therefore I would like to express how grateful I am to the Grizedale CAT travel Award for contributing towards the trip. Without their generous award I would not have been able to make it happen.
Alex Sumpner, Medical Elective New Zealand, June – August 2017
Over the Summer of 2017, I travelled New Zealand for my medical elective; an opportunity to experience a different healthcare system and culture, whilst developing my skills on the way to becoming a doctor. The trip also allowed time for me to travel around the two beautiful islands of New Zealand, experiencing some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
I undertook a placement in Anaesthetics, the department responsible for looking after the most unwell patients in the Intensive Care Unit and putting patients to sleep in theatres. The placement allowed me to develop my skills at talking to, and examining patients. These are valuable skills that will hopefully help when I start as a doctor next year.
The funding provided by Grizedale College helped support my travels, as the costs of visas and transport were incredibly high. I am very thankful for this.
The opportunity to travel was an experience that could not be missed. Spending the rest of the Summer exploring the New Zealand culture and scenery was initially meant to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, however I was so amazed at the whole country, I am definitely going back!
Rebecca Salmon, Medical Elective Australia, June – July 2017
It is dark and misty, but the sun is starting to rise at Sydney’s main airport. I am strapped into my seat between the pilot and the stretcher in a specially adapted King Air 350: our mission is to fly 400 miles into the desert and collect a patient who needed urgent transfer to one of Sydney’s specialist hospitals.
During this and many other missions, I learnt countless lessons about the specialist considerations for practising advanced medicine at high altitude and in extremely remote environments throughout my placement with Sydney HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services). When not flying airborne retrieval missions, I was based at the HEMS operations room, becoming immersed in daily briefings, training sessions and clinical discussions over delicious coffee. When the “bat phone” went off, I attended several very serious traumatic incidents by road, which occurred within the Sydney district. The HEMS team were called to provide highly advanced medical care prior to transfer to hospital, effectively bringing the hospital to the patient. It was an incredible privilege and a great way to see Sydney’s busy streets.
This placement was part of my medical elective – a requirement of my medical degree – but it would not have been possible for me without financial support, and I am extremely grateful for the travel grant awarded to me by Grizedale College.
Laura Mitchell, Medical Elective Australia, June – July 2017
As part of my fourth year of Medicine at Lancaster University, it is compulsory to complete a 5-week medical elective. I undertook this placement within the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department at the Royal Darwin Hospital in the Northern Territory of Australia. Since I hope to become an Obstetrician in the future, my main highlights from my elective was caring for a woman in labour and gaining practical dexterity skills when assisting in caesarean sections.
My elective was beneficial for my learning as future doctor as I had the opportunity to hone my clinical and communication skills through consultations with patients. Furthermore, I also understood how socioeconomic and cultural factors could impact on patients’ health outcomes and overall wellbeing.
Despite saving for my elective from part-time jobs, the overall cost of the trip was expensive. Therefore the Grizedale CAT travel award significantly contributed towards the University accommodation and the necessary travel. I appreciate the travel award as my elective has increased my determination to develop a career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Faye Mansfield, My Berlin Trip, June 2017
I visited areas of historical importance to analyse biological links.
Disease tragically struck the prisoners and victims of concentration camps, such as Sachsenhausem Concentration Camp outside Berlin; the model camp for the entire Nazi Empire. Tuberculosis and Typhus were some of the largest killers, enhanced by severe malnutrition and transmitted by inhumane conditions. In later history, in 1981, the Berlin Wall was torn down and trade began between the two sides, enhancing the spread of disease-causing organisms.
I was joined by my girlfriend, my partner in crime, for whom it was her first trip abroad in almost a decade. Our hostel was wonderfully located in the artistic district of Kreuzkölln, in the West Berlin suburbs. We were twenty minutes from the East Side Gallery, a creative memorial of the Berlin Wall. We were exposed to a brand new culture and food, which was initially a challenge but later we learnt to embrace it.
The Grizedale Travel Grant Award helped to fund my trip by covering the costs of my flights and hostel, as well as my trip to the concentration camp.
Jack Culpan, Young Startup Talent Competition, June 2017
I was lucky enough to have my application accepted to the Young Startup Talent London competition in March after applying with my startup Sponsor My Society, an online platform that connects university clubs and societies to businesses. The first stage was a workshop located in one of NatWest’s central London branches which allowed each participant to discuss their business ideas and meet the other contestants. Having impressed the judges, I was opportunely invited to the semi-finals, which involved a five-minute pitch to ten judges, ranging from corporate executives, to creatives, to startup founders. Unfortunately, this was the final stage for me, however from the semi-finals I gained some excellent insights and feedback on my startup which has allowed me to make suitable changes for the better.
The whole experience was an excellent opportunity and helped give me validation for my product which in turn grew my confidence. I am very grateful for receiving the CAT Travel Award, as it allowed me to take my mind off the expensive cost of the trips and focus on the competition! Thank you!
Photographs of the event can be viewed at Young Startup Talent
Marion Betsch, Lancaster University European Culture Society (LUECS)’s Eurotrip, March – April 2017
In March 2017, I co-organised and co-led the annual Eurotrip of LUECS (Lancaster University European Culture Society). The society goes to four different European cities every year, and this year we had decided to take more than 50 students to Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen (with a short passage to Malmo) and Bremen.
After having taken part in the Eurotrip the previous year, I was thrilled to be more involved in it as a PR Officer, marketing the event to students but also helping at every step from choosing the destinations to co-leading the week-long trip and make sure everyone is okay and enjoying their time.
It was a memorable expedition, and I loved not only discovering more of Europe (we realised that many more cities that we thought have a red district…), eating great food from different countries, but also meeting amazing people on the way – some people I met during the trip became great friends of mine.
The CAT Travel award helped me afford some unexpected costs that popped up a few weeks before the trip, enabling me to take part in the trip I had spent almost a year planning, and I couldn’t be more grateful!
Lauren Dawson, USA ‘Your Global Expedition’, March – April 2017
The first sight of this trip when it dropped into my emails was WOW – AMERICA. Somewhere I have always wanted to go and always aspired to work and live and now continue to. This trip gave me the answers to all that I needed. The trip was amazing from start to finish – even the long flights and coach journey – when we broke down FOUR times from Heathrow! I gained so much knowledge and experience; from meeting with CEOs of ComScore, visiting Deloitte’s offices and TripAdvisor.
We also had down time where we experienced Harvard and improv theatre – living like a true New Yorker! While in Boston, we even managed to bag ourselves tickets to watch the Boston Celtics who are first in their basketball division. The atmosphere was electric and unlike anything I have experienced before.
The Travel grant from CAT allowed me to have less of a strain financially when it came to paying for my trip – flights and coach journeys. This allowed me to be able to comfortably pay for the trip and enjoy it without having to worry about my financial state. New York City and Boston were absolutely everything I had imagined and then more.
Faye Morrison, USA Trip, March – April 2017
My trip to Boston and New York was a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into American business culture through the experiences of a range of talented and hugely inspiring Lancaster alumni. As I have achieved a marketing graduate position at Johnson & Johnson, I may have the opportunity to work in America in the future. Therefore, it was so valuable for me to visit the US for the first time to develop a greater understanding of the country, culture and other’s experiences there.
My highlights were visiting Deloitte’s headquarters in the Rockafella centre and the tour of the United Nations headquarters due to the aspirational and talented employees and organisation’s prestige. There were many other fantastic experiences both cultural and academic including talks from and visits to Tripadvisor, PWC, Hello Fresh, ComScore, the 911 museum, Harvard University and Wall Street to name a few.
The Grizedale CAT award really helped me to afford this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ trip and benefit from the knowledge and experience of the University’s extensive alumni network. I would thoroughly recommend the trip to anyone that has a passion for business and is driven to further their academic knowledge.
Brent Oates, LUSU Overseas trip America, March – April 2017
During the Easter break, I took a place on a LUSU Overseas trip to America, visiting Boston first for a few days before moving on to New York for the rest.
Overall, the trip was extremely useful as during both city visits, we visited companies from our respective subject areas – Mine being IT, and gained invaluable knowledge from some of the top business leaders such as Gian Fulgoni from ComScore, and Sarah Hodkinson, the VP of Marketing at TripAdvisor. Whilst the visits were focused more towards LUMS than my department, it was personally useful to me because it gave insight into how people bring their individual skills to businesses and work their ways up to success – something that was also shown when we met a Lancaster University Alumni who now lives and works in New York with his own company.
The Grizedale CAT Travel Award was extremely useful to me due to my background and having not enough money to have paid for the trip myself, something that would’ve meant I missed out on this kind of experience, and showed how my college looks out and supports its students.
James Carmichael-Davis, BBC MediaCity Work Experience, February 2017
The Travel Grant awarded to me by Grizedale College was used for two weeks work experience in BBC Radio in Salford. I was working in the Religion and Ethics department, creating content for BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4. I stayed in central Manchester over both weeks, taking the tram into MediaCity each day.
During the experience I completed research for programmes such a ‘Moral Maze’ and ‘Sunday’, both on BBC Radio 4. This consisted of finding and documenting information that was necessary for these shows, sometimes having to find people to appear on these shows, or to contribute in some way, and then contacting them. I sat in and viewed the recording of ‘Beyond Belief’ and also wrote proposals for two new shows. This task required me to look at lots of information about an idea for the show and condensing it to 250 words, making the prospective show sound interesting and accessible, so the producer could then present this.
Overall it was a really fulfilling experience; I learnt, in more depth, the running of a radio station and different roles within it. I also gain valuable contacts, which will hopefully make it easier to get experience and eventually work in the BBC or radio more generally.