It was Sunday 7th of May when our first lot of Pre-sessional students arrived from all over the world including Thailand, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan! My fellow ambassadors Esther, Paige, and I eagerly awaited their arrival to welcome them to the University of Kent!
Our warm welcome was further extended by inviting the students to a lovely meal at Woody’s in Parkwood to get on a first name basis and find out more information about them including what courses they are doing in September. We had a lovely diverse spread!
The next day we offered a walk into Canterbury to both the Pre-sessional students and some short-course students from Dubai. We showed the Eliot footpath route students at Kent University are oh so familiar with to introduce the quaint and idyllic city of Canterbury. And we pinpointed some iconic places including Westgate Gardens and of course, Canterbury Cathedral.
The day couldn’t be escaped without a marvellous group photo.
As the students’ first week went by, all the while Esther and I were busy prepping and hyping up our first Saturday day trip to Whitstable.
The weather was cloudy and we met the students at Keynes bus stop and travelled the short 20 minutes by bus to Whitstable and got off by the Horsebridge Arts Centre.
Less than 50 metres away and we were confronted with Whitstable beach and the Whitstable Oyster Farm which spanned a hefty distance in the horizon and enjoyed (not) the gusty winds that the seaside so often offers.
Despite the cold wind, we remained positive. We snapped a shot of everyone at the beach on top of oyster middens and set everyone off exploring the harbour market, boutiques and town centre agreeing to meet back in a couple hours.
The last stop in our day in Whitstable was its castle and gardens and we were blessed with some afternoon sun, a change very much enjoyed by our students (see their smiling faces?).
Whitstable castle and gardens were cosy and serene to walk around, and the wisteria was to die for.
Following our successful Whitstable trip, our next trip was to Ashford to experience the bowling centre (and arcade) there and show the students the designer outlet.
The bowling sparked the competitive nature of our students for sure and we enjoyed watching everyone succeed and cheering everyone fail (we formed the gutter club).
Our two winners from bowling were Kasumi and Sachi. Coincidentally, on this trip the RSPCA were having an open day whilst we were there, and we took the opportunity to make friends with the resident cats in the cattery there.
Our most recent trip was to Dover Castle and engaged a lot of physical activity especially walking up the hill to get there, but what a spectacular day it was and the view from Dover castle made the journey worth it.
It was WWII weekend at Dover castle, the sun was shining, and it was full of live and action-packed re-enactment of WWII battle events and themed activities which we all enjoyed.
We went on their WWII Dynamo operation tour of the WWII tunnels at Dover castle detailing the events that occurred in the lead up to the massive Dunkirk rescue operation of May-June 1940 which involved the successful evacuation of 338,226 soldiers.
All in all, the experience at Dover Castle was both poignant and happy, being able to witness the history that occurred all those years ago and share it with our Pre-sessional students was a reminder of the privilege we have today and what we must be thankful for.