Iona Thomas, a Genetics student on the Cardiff Award shares her experience of the programme……
I am in the midst of my Cardiff Award, but am already reflecting on the effect that being a part of this scheme has had on my skill level and achievements. It is such a fantastic opportunity to not only encourage involvement within the University, but there is such a feeling of support from within the team providing the workshops and training, it’s hard to not enjoy your time doing the Award.
I joined the Cardiff Award at the start of my second year, after having been elected as President of the Cardiff University Belly Dancing Society and realised that I would be doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work that would never be fully explained on a CV by just stating “I was President of a Gold standard society that won Best Small Society 2016/17”; there would be countless hours behind that statement. My housemate was already a part of the scheme and suggested that I sign up for the Cardiff Award. Once I had, I realised that basically any extra-curricular work that I did went towards attaining the accreditation.
The hours quickly added up when I signed up for a Languages for All course in Beginner’s Italian. It was only the eighth week and I had surpassed the required 70 hours! I wanted to do my Professional Training Year (PTY) for my degree in Italy, and doing a Languages for All course would only serve as a stepping stone in my ability to speak in Italy once I got there. I completed both Beginner’s 1 and Beginner’s 2 Italian in my second year. The lessons were fun and, I can now confirm, were incredibly useful in real life, having lived and worked in Italy for nearly a month. I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to apply to do my PTY in a foreign country if not for the Languages for All course – they are such a great opportunity to expand knowledge freely, and with so many choices, everyone can learn and enjoy!
The PTY also is accounted for within the Cardiff Award, if only 35 hours. Any form of work or volunteering undertaken as part of your degree can count towards the Award (with the limitation of 35 hours, as understandably, the Award should not be completed with work only going towards a degree).
I highly encourage anyone I speak to that is doing any form of extra-curricular activity to sign up for the Cardiff Award. But it is not just the accreditation that is useful about this scheme; the workshops that come alongside the Award are also useful. The workshops serve as a segue into the working world, and this is a great help when thinking about what happens after graduation, in terms of networking, understanding the workplace and its functions, and general preparation for being a worker and no longer a student.
I couldn’t stress more how useful the Cardiff Award is. It is formal recognition of all the hard work you put in outside of the degree course, and it looks great on the CV!
By Iona Thomas
Languages for All
Applications for Languages for All CRASH COURSES will be open from 09:30 on 4 December, to midday on 15 December. They will run for one intensive week from 22-26 January.
WEEKLY course applications open at 09:30 on 3 January and close at midday on 12 January. They start in week two of the spring semester.
Visit this page for details including languages, levels and how to apply.
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