What is your background?
Degree in French and Spanish
What initially attracted you to your job?
Wanted a welfare role in an International Office after volunteering at a charity that benefits International Students
Define your job?
50% Welfare - some social programmes work (trips for students to see different parts of the country), some pre-emptive welfare work (giving non-academic general information to students, making arrangements to make life easier for students e.g goods storage over the summer), some hard-edged welfare work (assaults etc.), some management of the reception desk in the International Office.
50% Erasmus - administration and pastoral work for incoming Erasmus exchange students from application form and preparation for coming here through their time here to preparing the transcript of marks after they've left.
Can you walk me through your day to day activities?
Not really - each day's different.
How has your job changed in the last 5 to 10 years?
Erasmus is steadily expanding here, so the team has expanded, and I now deal primarily with incoming students, not with outgoing students from here who will spend a year or less at a university in Europe as part of their degree.
Having changed from a team of temp receptionists to one permanent full-time receptionist has streamlined the reception operations. Also changes in the office have meant that there are less visitors to the office who don't fit into anyone's remit and would come to me by default. This has given me more time for other Welfare tasks.
What are the key issues facing your sector?
Erasmus - shift towards work placement coming under the Erasmus scheme, not just study placements, which will increase the workload. UK students more reluctant to go abroad than other EU students - leads to imbalance in numbers.
Welfare - hate crime, difficulties for International Students in opening bank accounts
How does government legislation affect your job?
Bureaucracy comes more from the Erasmus Council and banks than from government.
What impact has technology had on your job?
Investigating more online services
What are the best things and worst things about your job?
Best - student contact
Worst - peak times of year when everything needs to be done at once