I know it’s been a little while ago now, but I did promise to write about the Think German Schools Conference, hosted by the School of Modern Languages at Cardiff University on July 7th.
As a former student, one of my lecturers contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in working as a Student Ambassador on the day of the conference. Since I wasn’t a student any longer, the process of getting signed up etc., was a little tricky but other than that it went quite smoothly.
Many universities have Student Ambassador schemes, where current students from different faculties are employed by the university for open day type events – Cardiff hosts a Student Language Ambassador (SLA) scheme where undergraduates run and host events such as language taster sessions, supporting the school language days and events and speaking about the value of modern languages to younger pupils. These are usually paid by the hour by your university’s JobShop.
The Think German Conference was opened up to all languages students (mostly those who were studying German, but also some others) across south and west Wales. It was sponsored by the Goethe Insitut, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Cardiff University’s interdisciplinary ‘Commemorating WW1: Conflict & Creativity’ Network, and the National Museum of Wales’ ‘Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918’ cultural engagement project.
At around 10am, 120 young language enthusiasts made their way through the main foyer of Modern Languages, and set off on their day of learning. with 12 different lectures on offer, there was something o interest all levels of German learners – although the Bundesliga quiz certainly turned out to be the favourite. Guest lecturers included Alex Pickering from the Goethe Institut, Dr Winifred V. Davies from Aberystwyth University and Prof David Jackson, Honorary Professor at Cardiff University.
At lunchtime, the schools were split into three groups and were given a tour by World War One soldier, who guided them through the exhibition: ‘War’s Hell!’ The Battle of Mametz Wood in Art at the National Museum Wales.
A thoroughly good time was had by all and feedback on the event was fantastic.
This autumn/winter, Cardiff University will be hosting a series of lectures and concerts to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council AHRC).
From September to November there will be a series of free lunchtime lectures held at the National Museum Cardiff, on the theme of propaganda. More information about the project can be found here. And to find out more about the free lunchtime lectures click here.
If you have any questions about the event please leave a comment below, or tweet me @amjscorr.