Volunteering with the Global Lounge – Student blog

Blog by Dabatsawin Thirapongphaiboon

The University of Bristol’s Centre for Academic Language and Development offers 6 or 10 week pre-sessional courses to international undergraduate and postgraduate students. These courses aim to prepare students with academic and language skills to succeed in their chosen academic programme. Post graduate student Dabatsawin Thirapongphaiboon gave us an insight into their experience of the pre-sessional course last summer while volunteering for a project organised by the Global Lounge.

“Participating in the Global Lounge summer activities at the University of Bristol has been an incredibly enriching experience during my 6-week pre-sessional course. One event that positively impacted me was volunteering for a local project. The Global Lounge project brought students together and contributed to the community and environment on a beautiful sunny day. It was quite a change after several days of rain during the course!

The activity was hay making in the orchard of Goldney Garden, part of the historic Goldney Hall. Did you know, there’s a right way to rake hay? As we worked, I felt like we were all friends. I’m from Thailand, and I met students from India, UK, Taiwan and Malaysia. While we struggled a bit with understanding each other’s accents, it led to a lot of laughter and camaraderie.

It was great to meet students from all around the University. There were undergraduates and postgraduates too. The activity created a sense of belonging as well as working together to improve the orchard. We shared stories and experiences, and joked together about needing to send over 100 CVs before getting the right job after graduation.

Kasha, from the University’s gardening team, showed us around Goldney Gardens and the grotto, and talked to us about the plants in the garden, telling us the names of flowers and trees, and what time of year the apples will be ripe.

It was a very satisfying day. It broadened my horizons and gave me a sense of fulfillment. I was also very happy to be outside of the seminar room where I’d been learning about sustainability, and in nature itself.”

To find out more about the pre-sessional courses, click here.