Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Students' life changing trip to The Gambia

Wednesday, 09 July 2014

Describing the trip as “life-changing” and “transformational”, students from the School of Education have returned from their annual expedition to The Gambia in West Africa feeling overwhelmed and exhilarated by their experience. Originally just for Undergraduate Primary Teacher Education students (PTE) the trip has recently developed to now include students on other education programmes, including Education Studies and the Early Years Undergraduate Foundation Degree. This year’s experiences in West Africa included spending the day in a small rustic village near the coast. Students also took a trip to the famous Kachically crocodile pool, as well as a number of visits to craft markets and batik workshops, in which students learnt a technique where wax is applied to fabric to create vivid clothing. Students also spent three days observing and teaching in the local schools, where their teaching abilities were stretched to the limit, with students finding themselves improvising for a sick teacher, teaching action songs to as many as forty four-year-old children, and leading sessions armed with balloons and bubbles. Nick Swarbrick, School of Education Programme Lead and organiser of the trip, is clear about the benefits:"The University is rightly committed to a vision of its staff and students as part of a global community. For the people who go on it, this trip underlines the importance of seeing education as a world-wide priority because of the commitment of the people of The Gambia. Our links in the School of Education with The Gambia have provided some fantastic insights and some enduring friendships."
The whole experience has been the best experience of my life. It has shown me and taught me a lot about the things I take for granted. Thank you so much for a fantastic week. I have thoroughly enjoyed every second. School of Education student