In early 2014, the Erasmus scheme had a make-over, becoming Erasmus Plus, and will now run under this banner until 2020. Quoting from the Erasmus Plus website the scheme ‘supports activities in education, training, youth and sport across all sectors of lifelong learning including higher education, further education, adult education, schools and youth activities’.
Blog readers may be interested to know that the Library has benefited for several years from having Erasmus students working alongside us. Most of the students who come to us on placement are from Greece or Germany, but we have also had a student from Spain. They all share a desire to join the Library and Information profession and their placement with us forms part of their degree course, either at undergraduate or postgraduate level.
The length of their placement is normally between three and six months, and they are required to write a report about their experiences. Depending upon which department within the Library they are joining, they will gain experience in tasks ranging from helping with enquiries within the Information Points, stock-related projects, ordering Library materials and document supply for students and staff.
Importantly, working alongside Library staff gives them an opportunity to experience academic and cultural life within the UK and becomes a memorable and enjoyable aspect of their study towards becoming a qualified Librarian.
We’ve recently been in touch with several of our previous Erasmus students to find out how they have progressed since their placement. Here are comments from two of them:
Eleni (graduate of ATEI (Alexander Technological Educational Institute) Thessaloniki says ‘It was very useful for me that while I was working at Bath, I completed my thesis about Information Literacy programmes provided by the University of Bath [Library] and ATEI (my home university). My thesis was very successful and I am very glad to tell you that I am teaching an information literacy course embedded into the undergraduate programmes at the University of Nicosia – this is unique for Cyprus!’
Anne (studying at the University of Applied Sciences – Engineering, Economics and Culture, Leipzig) is currently finishing her Master’s dissertation and looking for her first professional post. Anne says of her time in the Acquisitions department of the Library ‘the working atmosphere was great and the faith set in me handling [orders] of several hundred pounds was very encouraging’.
We anticipate continuing the placement scheme for Library students for the foreseeable future and benefit considerably from their enthusiasm, hard work and sense of fun.