Virtual Exchange: Global Circles

#KentGlobalOfficers #GlobalLearningOnline

Kent has partnered with Soliya to offer Kent students opportunities to participate in its dialogue virtual exchange programs. Global Circles is open to any students and provides opportunities to meet and engage online with people from various countries and cultures on topics that matter.

Hear from one of our Global Officers, Shamilah Thariq, BSc Biomedical Science with a Sandwich Year, on her experience:
“This was my first ever global virtual exchange I have participated in. The ongoing COVID pandemic has restricted us in so many ways especially travelling and seeking opportunities abroad. I was given this amazing opportunity to do a virtual exchange project named “Social Media: A blessing or a curse?“.  I was excited to know how we were going to discuss this topic and the various perspectives that people hold who hail from different countries.
In my opinion, social media is both a blessing and a curse in this current moment. The pandemic has impacted our lives mentally, physically, and emotionally, positively and negatively. As an international student, social media has become one of the most important ways to keep up with family and friends living back home, in Singapore. It is a 13-hour flight journey from the UK to Singapore, hence social media makes it a little easier for me.  Although, being physically with my people would be much better.  Social media is a blessing in a way that helps people connect and interact with others from different countries. Social media also acts as a curse for people as it can pose some very dangerous situations. For example, people these days share almost everything on social media and strangers can view everything which makes them a target for extortion/exploitation and such.
Issues discussed during the virtual exchange included, the impact of social media on children & teens; social media influence on current conflicts going on between Palestine and Israel, Russia and Ukraine; the pros and cons of social media; the role that social media play in governance. It did create some discomfort among some of us as some of us have differing views on the various issues that were brought up during this virtual exchange.
This platform that was given to me has allowed me to discuss issues that are going on globally with incredible individuals. However, I learnt that speaking up or against something “popular” is always going to create this feeling of discomfort to discuss. The facilitators did a great job when situations like these arose. It just made me realise that sometimes talking about sensitive matters, discomfort is meant to arise. The thing is the people I discussed these issues were all open minded. I learned to listen to the opinions of the rest because not all our opinions aligned when it came to certain matters. This was a great opportunity to have an outlet to pour out my views and listen to others’ views as well.”
The virtual exchange, Social Media: a blessing or a curse? will be running again from 10 – 21 October 2022.  If you are interested in joining the next round, deadline to apply is 25th September.  More details can be found at