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It is to be more than just airport pickups and translations of Danish phrases. It is the Faculty of Humanities' new mentor scheme called the 'QA Programme'
The new international students coming to Copenhagen can count on a bigger and more interactive welcome for the upcoming semester. This is after the Faculty of Humanities has received additional funding to improve their international mentor programme.
The new platform is an update to the previous, faculty-run structure. As the University Post reported, the previous system left some previous mentors and mentees feeling uninvolved. The programme was also criticised for keeping out non-Danish mentors..
The new initiative is renamed the QA Programme. QA is a play on the term KUA, the acronym for the humanities campus, and Q&A, for the question and answer format between mentor-mentees.
The programme aims to improve the old structure, and create integrative academic and social experiences and for all Humanities students, both Danish and international.
”The idea is to improve on what was before, by getting both mentors and mentees more involved in the process,” says Michael Hockenhull, International Guidance Counsellor and head of the new project, ”we have received funding that can go straight to the students, to create events that they want to participate in.”
The Humanities campus itself has gone through some major changes, with the current rebuild of the faculty buildings. As the QA Programme website notes, this new platform gives students a ”chance to influence the future KUA”.
The new platform states that any student, Danish or not, that has been at UCPH for at least one semester can apply to be a mentor.
”International students are often the most acquainted with the issues new students face when moving to Denmark for the first time,” notes Hockenhull.
”It can be counterproductive to talk about Danish and international students as being so separate; the bottom line is that they are both students,” states Hockenhull. This perspective is hoped to give a sense of commonality to all students within the program.
The new structure shifts the organizational aspects of the program from the faculty to the students, both mentors and mentees. They will essentially create their own program.
A volunteer-based leadership team will be able to use this new funding to organize and run their events of their choosing. Both mentors and mentees will be involved in this process.
”This will give international students the experience of danish participatory democracy,” Hockenhull notes, ”this is the way many people facilitate social events in Danish culture, and will be a great experience.”
The QA Programme has 3 platforms: Social, Academics, and Language and Culture. For the fall, plans are already underway for a weekend cottage trip, and an academic and cultural conference entitled ”Hearing, Seeing, Speaking, and Thinking Danish”, which hopes to explore the danish perspective in fields such as literature, philosophy, film, and music. This conference would be open for all students at the faculty, beyond the mentor program.
Funding for this new program, starting in the fall, has tripled, which will reflect the quality and number of events that students will be provided with. ”We hosted 4 events for mentors and mentees this semester. With the new programme we plan on 10 as a minimum.” Hockenhull says.
Right now the focus is on recruiting new mentors, or volunteers for the upcoming fall semester. Interested students can apply online on the program’s website, www.hum-mentor.dk before the deadline of 1 June.
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