James Griffiths

Supported by the Students' Guild

Becoming an active global citizen

Name James Griffiths
College The Business School

International Week Scheme

Supported by the Students’ Guild and Students as Change Agents, the International Week Scheme was introduced to Exeter, and the UK, this academic year (2014-2015) by James Griffiths and the student committee. The week took place from the 23rd to the 29th March.

James initially came across International Week Scheme at Uppsala University, Sweden, when on Study Abroad. The scheme involves 28 universities, from Vietnam to Beijing, to Barcelona and Eastern Europe. “The International Week Scheme runs globally. It’s a project that’s run by students, for students.”

James explains that “the week works as part of a professional, cultural and social exchange”, including company visits, meeting students from all over the world and learning about other cultures.

“By hosting a week, Exeter is able to send students away to all the other weeks.” Within Exeter’s International Week, the students arranged activities including a Devonshire Cream Tea baking workshop with Bake Society, an overnight stay in the middle of the countryside in Dartmoor National Park and a Morris Dance workshop.

“We’ve engaged with students from all across the campus. I think it’s something that hopefully the University will be really proud of, as well as the students involved, especially as we founded it together this year."

Becoming an effective leader

During this experience, James has found that he has been able to develop his skills as an effective leader. “This is a particularly challenging [leadership experience] and has developed my skills, particularly as it’s a large committee of 24 people. It’s not just working with the students, but then liaising with the international network that currently organises [the scheme] elsewhere, the incoming students as well as the University and the Guild in Exeter. It’s about managing a lot of stakeholders and various parties…”

Active global citizenship

Engaging in active global citizenship is important when reaching out to international communities. “There are so many people coming from all over the world here to experience what it’s like to be a student at Exeter, or just part of the local culture, that inevitably you get a sense of global citizenship when you are connected… with people from so many different backgrounds.” This international network is experienced at the University of Exeter through our vibrant student body. “Even within Exeter you get a feel of being a global citizen, in the fact that the team is so international, and there’s so many perspectives offered.”

Student-led change

"When [a project] is student-led, students feel a bit more of an affinity with it…”

Active global citizenship

"… [students are] more than a part of a small society… but part of a global network…”