DMU students to travel abroad this summer as volunteers with DMUglobal

By Lara Alsaid

DMUglobal is organising multiple volunteering trips all over the world for DMU students this summer.

Aidan McLean, a First Year Economics and International Relations student, will join DMUglobal for a month in Antigua, a small town in Guatemala, not far from the capital Guatemala City, located in a valley with a tropical climate surrounded by volcanos.

Aidan said: ”I am trying to go there with an open mind, I am excited to try the local food, speak to the local people and learn a good amount of Spanish before and during the trip.”

Aidan doing what he loves the most: Travelling

Aidan found out about the trip through an email he got from DMUglobal and felt intrigued to send off an application.

In Antigua, volunteering students including Aidan will be teaching Guatemalan children the English language.

Hopefully, during their free time, they will be able to go on walks up to the volcanos and explore the capital city.

Apart from a tan, Aidan believes he will gain qualities like a greater appreciation for his support network at home but also an appreciation for different cultures and different ways of living.

He also hopes that he will gain teaching skills and the ability to speak Spanish on a decent level. 

Aidan explained that he is doing a qualification for teaching English as a foreign language and this trip will help him turn it into practice. 

Aidan added:” I wanted to go on this trip to make use of the opportunity with the left-over funding I had.”

Living in a different environment, culture and language for a month can benefit students like Aidan who want to live abroad after their university studies.

“It will be a good experience and will test my ability to adapt to different cultures and situations,” Aidan concluded.  

De Montfort University continues to promote world-improving research

By Auryn White

De Montfort University is the UK’s only Sustainable Development Goal Hub and has been doing ground-breaking work to effectively improve the world.

Sustainable Development Goals (STGs) are 17 goals that were set by the United Nations (UN) in September 2015.

These goals are 17 agreed targets that the world must reach by 2030 to ensure sustainable development for all, including environmental, social and economic standards that must be met.

De Montfort University (DMU) has been allocated STG-16 “to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

Simply put, goal 16 is about “peace, justice and strong institutions” and suggests that a society cannot thrive while war is going on. The goal also supports the idea of inclusivity in society and justice for all.

Mark Charlton, Associate Director of Public Engagement and one of the drivers of the project at DMU, said STG-16 is one of the most important of the 17 goals and without its application many of the other goals will not be able to be met.

He said: “STG-16 is crucial as it allows all the others to flourish. If you want to achieve zero poverty, STG-1, then this cannot be achieved in a society at war or facing corruption.”

DMU is joined by 16 other countries representing the rest of the STGs, with one STG being allocated to one establishment in each country. Meetings online have been held among the other countries including India, Greece, Pakistan, Japan, etc.

Despite Covid restrictions, a dialogue has been able to be held between the representative nations. As well as this, before Covid, Mark had attended the UN to present findings on behalf of DMU showing a healthy working relationship within the movement.

STG-16 is also seen as the measure which supports refugee and asylum-seeker communities and promotes equal rights for them.

As a result of this it has attracted many people who belong to these and similar backgrounds, with ZamZam Yusuf, a DMU student and Somalian refugee who fled the country due to war, speaking at the UN about her experiences as a refugee.

DMU has been a part of this project since January 2018 continues to prioritise the promotion of STG-16 and the others for the betterment of the world.

Confucius Institute to hold Mandarin skills competition

By Oliver Taylor

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The Confucius Institute at De Montfort University will be holding a competition for students to showcase their Mandarin skills this Friday, February 14 at 2pm.

The competition is organised annually by the Confucius Institute Headquarters and this Friday’s event is the first round.

The first round will see participants deliver a three-minute speech, take a two-minute, five-question cultural knowledge quiz and showcase a Chinese culture personal talent demonstration.

The Confucius Institute on DMU’s campus is located in Room 1.15 in the Vijay Patel building. They can be contacted for those wishing to be involved in the competition at ci@dmu.ac.uk.

Registration opens for HSK test at DMU Confucius Institute

By Oliver Taylor

Registration for this year’s Confucius Institute HSK testing has opened at De Montfort University (DMU).

The HSK abbreviation originates from the pronunciation of the test’s Chinese name. It is called 汉语水平考试 in Chinese, pronounced Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì.

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#DMUglobal offers free Mandarin lessons for all DMU students

The testing will take place on Saturday, March 21, and the registration deadline is at 4pm on Sunday, February 22.

The HSK test, administered by the Ministry of Education in China, is an internationally recognised Chinese proficiency test. The test ranges across six levels.

The Confucius Institute on DMU’s campus is located in Room 1.15 in the Vijay Patel building. It can be contacted at ci@dmu.ac.uk.

DMU students change lives in Ahmedabad

By Shantelle Gondo

De Montfort University Leicester student volunteers are changing lives in Ahmedabad in India by supporting a charity to help the people in the city.

The ongoing two-week trip to India involves 18 DMU Square Mile India students, who flew there last week, working alongside the Manav Sadhna charity, in order to help transform people’s lives.

It is one of several such trips during the past three years lasting one week, this being the first time a two-week trio has been run.

DMUlocal’s co-ordinator, Harriet Pole, said: “This is a chance to give back and reflect on, also it’s something that students can talk about when being employed.”

During this trip, students have an opportunity to make a positive impact with the local community and engage in many projects.

The projects involved are:

  • Moving Together – a creative dance social enterprise business from Leicester which has joined this trip, with students able to lead sessions in schools.
  • Paryavaran Mitra program (friends of the environment) – which aims to create young leaders in India with awareness and commitment and DMU students will have an opportunity to assist the young leaders.
  • Gramshee – which supports the women in the community with skills training such as catering and stitching, with DMU students able to engage with these activities.

Other projects include kitchen projects, sports, arts and crafts, elderly care, earn N learn , and education.

Harriet said: “I took a group of students to the trip, it really changes your life and makes you think about what we take for granted.”

An upcoming trip to India is being planned for February 22-29 2020. To find out more and take part, email dmulocal@dmu.ac.uk