EIC Student Conference – International Students in Industry

The innaugural International Students in Industry conference was hosted by EIC at the end of March, and welcomed students from EIC and Edinburgh Napier to listen to invited speakers talk about their move from overseas to study and work in Edinburgh.

The speakers ranged in specialisation and background but all spoke inspiringly about the difficulties and triumphs of being a successful foreign national in their respective industry.

Edinburgh Napier Students Association sabbatical Officer and former EIC student, Elman Rahman, spoke of his new-found passion for politics and his future plans when he comes to the end of his sabbatical position. Celestina Omo-Oshikoya told her story of a young woman from Nigeria desperate to travel and to learn, who completed a Masters at Edinburgh Napier and made sure she had the skills employers in the UK wanted because she loved Edinburgh and wanted to continue to call it home. She is now employed in the Public Service Health & Social Care service in Edinburgh.

The breakout sessions with the Edinburgh Napier University Employability and Opportunity team, led by Iona Nicolson, were very well received, and focussed on searching for part-time jobs during studies, and gave tips on job searching for postgraduate positions. EIC’s Academic Manager, Marco Rossi, delivered a staff-directed breakout session on culture shock which gave a real insight into the difficulties that international students may face when moving a  new country to study.

Feedback was very positive, with EIC student Sophie Obuseli, the student lead, being asked multiple times ‘when will the next conference be?’ Soon, we promise!

 

International student conference event
Former EIC student and current Edinburgh Napier Students Association Officer Elman Rahman addressing Conference guests

 

International student conference event
Iona Nicholson from the Edinburgh Napier University Employability and Opportunity team chats to students 
International student conference event
Marco Rossi, Academic Services Manager at EIC
International student conference event
Student feedback was excellent
International student conference event
Student Services Officer, Alicia Cope, was vital in supporting the students with the Conference

Work Placements through Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh Napier University proudly offers work placement opportunities for Undergraduate students in their third year of study in many of its courses.

These work placement opportunities provide students with invaluable first-hand experience that boosts job prospects and gives students a taste of what is to come after life at University.
Edinburgh Napier University offers placements with highly regarded organisations around the world and with well-known Scottish landmarks and events including The Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh Castle and the Edinburgh International Festival.

Sing testimonial

 

Students use these experiences to build their professional network and develop key employability skills. For international students, it’s fantastic for them to not only gain the skills the work placement provides, but also so that they have something to set them apart on their Resume when they return home after studies. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Without having a placement during my degree, I would not have been able to gain graduate employment with one of the top 100 graduate employers”

“Before the placement, I didn’t know what I wanted to do after my degree…. Now, I am not only more confident where I want to be, I have been offered a graduate position with my placement employer!”

“My learning from placement exceeded my expectations – I really enjoyed and benefited a lot from working in a professional, dynamic environment

The work placements, the teaching, the facilities and the learning environment at Edinburgh Napier University are well recognised. As a result, the Guardian ranks Edinburgh Napier as the #1 University for Nurturing Student Talent in the UK.

Skyline

 

My Edinburgh Napier: Peter Scott

Hi, I’m Peter Scott. I used to work at EIC but I’ve been working as an International Support Officer at Edinburgh Napier since May 2015.

peter-scott-copy

 

My role is primarily about providing immigration and visa advice to our current and potential students.  I help with visa extensions, advice on documents that are required and any other information that an applicant needs in order to have a better chance of a successful visa application.  I also provide pastoral support to those students who require this and general advice on opening a bank account, travelling in the UK and Europe, providing letters of support and helping students if they have any problems or issues that they are not able to resolve themselves.

Being part of an educational institution brings us into contact with the student body and events and activities which are taking place at the University.  I often do not feel that I am working in an office but part of a fun, interesting and rewarding organisation.  I like that in my role I am helping people with visa advice that will hopefully help them gain a visa in order that they can study and gain that all important qualification which will help them in their future careers or businesses.  I like to think that I play a small part in helping them on their journey.

As a city, Edinburgh is very cultured and diverse, with great architecture and nature on your doorstep. It is relatively small and compact and therefore easy to get around, with lots of good bars and restaurants and plenty of things to see and do.

My advice for students coming to Edinburgh would be to embrace the culture and differences and see the move as the start of their future, the start of something great, the beginning of your future career.  Think of all the people you will get to meet and the things you will get to do! Remember that many people do not get the opportunity to go overseas for study or for visits so you are getting a great chance to do something many people would love to do. There is a lot of support at the University and if you feel homesick or are unsure of anything there are lots of people who are more than happy to sit down and listen to you and talk, including myself and my colleague in International Support.

 

Visiting Edinburgh: a Nigerian perspective

We are fortunate enough at the University to be able to host visitors from around the world for tours, conferences and events. Last April, EIC and Edinburgh Napier held their first Agent Conference, and we welcomed Navitas staff and agents to the campus to share with them what we do, and show them a little bit more about student life in this fair city.

We’ve asked a few people who came to tell us about their time. We start today with Kelechi Ekpemu, who works for one of our key partners, TG Marchnata in Nigeria.

Hi, I am Kelechi Ekpemu from Nigeria; I attended the first Destination Edinburgh International Agent Conference in 2016.

Kelechi4.jpg

This was my first trip to the United Kingdom and I was super excited. My expectations were very high. I was looking forward to seeing what the Capital of Scotland looked like. On arrival as I expected, I was warmly welcomed at the airport. On my way to the hotel, I kept on smiling as I beheld a very beautiful city indeed.

We had a well-planned Itinerary. We visited all three campuses at Craiglockhart, Sighthill and Merchiston, which have state of the art facilities.

It wasn’t all about the University though! I had been looking forward to the Ceilidh Dance and it was great fun. We also climbed up the Arthurs Seat, played golf, had the Scotch Whisky experience too and went on a bus tour round the city. OMG, I wasn’t going to forget the meals! Edinburgh is a very cultural city with lots of different meals beautifully prepared.

Edinburgh is the one tourist destination I would definitely visit again and again.

kelechi1
Post-golf posing!
kelechi2
Setting off up Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano in the middle of the city
cj2
The Edinburgh Bus Tour collected our visitors from the Craiglockhart Campus

My Edinburgh Napier: Shuna Marr

shuna

Hi, I’m Shuna Marr and I am and Lecturer and the Articulation Support Tutor for the Business School. I joined Edinburgh Napier University in March 2008.

For the first eight years I was a full-time lecturer and programme leader in Tourism, but I am currently working in a seconded post as Articulation Support Tutor for the Business School. With the help of colleagues, my role has been to put together a programme of support to help students make a successful transition from college to 2nd, 3rd or 4th year in university. That includes students who will make the transition from EIC to the main university.

The best thing about working at Edinburgh Napier is my colleagues. There is a real feeling of camaraderie that keeps us going. And the students, who make our job worthwhile.

Edinburgh is a very cosmopolitan city with lots to see and do all year round. My advice to new students would be that any new venture always seems scary because of fear of the unknown. But feel the fear and do it anyway.

My Edinburgh Napier: Cat Morrison

cat-morrison

Hi, I’m Cat Morrison and I’ve been with Edinburgh Napier for 11 years.

I’m an International Support Officer and my main responsibilities are dealing with and providing immigration advice to current and prospective students and also to other members of staff at the university, helping students complete their Tier 4 visa application online and sending the applications and supporting documents to the Home Office, enrolling new Tier 4 students capturing their visa/passport information to ensure we remain compliant with UK Visas & Immigration regulations, meet regularly with students as part of their attendance checks to ensure they are engaging and also have their correct contact details along with various other things

I like working at Edinburgh Napier as I personally enjoy the interaction with students and I particularly like seeing the successful outcome of a Tier 4 visa we’ve submitted to the Home Office for extension.   I really enjoy meeting students at matriculation and hearing about their journeys and why they came to Scotland

What’s the best thing about Edinburgh?  Nandos! No, seriously, Edinburgh is a very cultural city and there is plenty to do, simple things like a walk where there is always something interesting to see, eating out with family and friends – there is always something to do in Edinburgh.

Moving can be nerve-wracking.  I come from a small island off the north west coast of Scotland called the Isle of Lewis and I know that my move years ago was nothing in comparison to the miles that some of our students move (even though I did come from overseas – the sea was called The Minch!). However, it was still very much a scary thought – leaving my amazing family and friends behind, moving to a city I’d only been to a few times, a very different way to living compared to my wee (small) island but it actually turned out pretty good……….I’ve made some fantastic new friends since I moved here so please don’t be too nervous, staff at the university are very friendly and more than happy to help you with any concerns you may have

My Edinburgh Napier: Iona Nicolson

Iona.jpg

Hi – I’m Iona Nicolson, the Careers Adviser for The Business School here at Edinburgh Napier University.  I have worked for Edinburgh Napier University for two years, and my role involves supporting students and graduates with their career planning.

Many students come to see me on a one-to-one basis, and I also deliver workshops, for example this recent session on LinkedIn.  Other workshops we deliver include Successful CVs and Covering Letters, Finding Part-Time Work, Interview Skills, and Winning Applications.  These sessions are very popular with our overseas students who are often seeking part-time employment or work experience during their studies, as well as looking ahead to graduate employment.

The best thing about working at Edinburgh Napier University is having the chance to interact with students from all over the world – every day is completely different!  I also enjoy receiving feedback from students, who let me know that they have been successful in securing their dream job, or work experience opportunity.

I was a student in Edinburgh myself, and came from a remote island called Shetland which is halfway between Scotland and Norway (and is most famous for Shetland ponies!)

Ioan 2.jpg

Although, I still like to go back to visit Shetland, Edinburgh has become my home and I think it is a fantastic city to study and work in.  There are so many great things to see and do, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August and the Edinburgh Christmas Market – these are times during the year where the city really comes alive!  Out with Edinburgh, there are also many other interesting parts of Scotland and Europe which are easily accessible to explore during the weekends, and offer great opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking and skiing.

The advice I would give to a student who is nervous about moving overseas is that Edinburgh Napier University has professional, friendly and approachable staff who are here to support you during your time here.  Many of your classes will involve group activities which give you the opportunity to work on projects with local and international students which can really help you to interact.  Another great advantage is the links we have with industry, and many of our courses offer you the opportunity to undertake work placements which give the opportunity to put knowledge into practice.  Employers also attend our events on campus which gives you the chance to build and develop your professional network.

My Edinburgh Napier: Marco Rossi

marco-sept-2016

Hi, I am Marco Rossi and I have been with EIC since 2010 when it first opened.

I am the Manager of Academic & Student Services at EIC. I arrange things like the academic timetable and work closely with the teaching team to deliver the curriculum and support students to achieve their desired outcomes. I manage our friendly and fantastic student services staff!

Working at a University is great as you really can see the students develop and I enjoy helping them to achieve their career and academic goals.

There are loads of good things about Edinburgh. I love the diversity of the city, it may be smaller than other capitals but there is always something fun going on.

Moving overseas can be daunting for students. My advice would be to believe in yourself – if you have been made an offer to study at Uni here then we think you can do it. Things might not always go to plan but there will be lots of support on offer to help you. Past students have told me that they are most nervous about making friends but once they arrive there are lots of opportunities to meet new people who they’ll have something in common with.

Life Sciences boom in Scotland

Now, if you were to ask me what the top economic sectors were in Scotland, without missing a beat I would say oil, tourism, whisky and renewable energy. While these are not QUITE alternative facts, it seems our pals in life sciences are set to be one of our most expanding and most lucrative sectors in Scotland. A report today from the BBC said the sector could be worth £8bn year by the 2025. EIGHT BILLION!

Scottish businesses involved in developing medicine and treatments for humans, animals and plants currently turn over more than £4bn a year.The Scottish government wants to build on this through more collaboration and innovation among the 700 life science companies in Scotland. The industry currently employs more than 37,000 people across the country.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-38829002

We offer Life Sciences pathways at EIC (seemless transition). Here’s our mate Kevin talking about it:

kevin-life-sciences-2

Scotland Welcomes The World

sturgeon-three

I am TRYING to not take it personally I didn’t get an invite (it must have got lost in the post) but last night sounded like a cracker as Universities Scotland (the umbrella organisation that look after all Unis in Scotland) put on an international Burns Supper. All Unis in Scotland were invited to take 12 students to the event, which was hosted in Edinburgh. Nicola Sturgeon, our First Minister, welcomed international students to the event, and to the country. There was dancing! There were bagpipes! Our students had a great time. So you know, a Burns Supper is an annual event in Scotland. The 25th January marks the birth of our most famous poet, Robert Burns. People gather together to recite poetry and song, and eat haggis. Never tried it? Come and visit and try some – you’ll enjoy it! Nicola Sturgeon left this message for students.

Sturgeon Two.PNG

And then what do you know? I turned up at the Edinburgh Napier Sighthill Campus today, went to get a coffee pre my meeting with the Computing School, and The First Minister was there! Is she following me? Am I following HER? She was meeting student nurses and announced an extra £3m for supporting nurses with dependents.

sturgeon-one