By Clodomiro Cafolla
Postgraduate & International Resident Tutor
The transition from high school to university studies can be challenging for everyone, particularly perhaps in the case of international students coming from a wide range of different backgrounds. This is why, with the help of the the Vice Principal’s Office, I organised and ran a pre-sessional course with the aim of helping new Johnian students to develop key academic skills.
The pre-sessional course ran for two weeks just before the start of the new academic year 2021/22. The sessions have been covered a broad spectrum of topics including writing and presentation skills, critical thinking, social media and virtual learning platforms and listening and taking notes. Participants had the opportunity to practice their skills, for example, by submitting formative essays and delivering presentations.
The course was primarily addressed to international and postgraduate students but a number of undergraduate and local students did also take part, with an average of 20 to 40 participants every day.
The course was very well received, with students appreciating the content of the lessons and the opportunity to practice their skills and receive detailed feedback from fellow students and from myself. Giving feedback to each other helped participants to develop critical thinking and analytical skills.
The course also helped participants make new friends and familiarise themselves with university studies in a top UK university, thus reducing the stress and fears associated with starting on this new journey.