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The following testimonials reveal how the project helps the young refugees to improve their English language and computer literacy skills, raise their confidence and aspirations and integrate into the community:


“The students absolutely love coming here. Most of them have never been to university before, never considered that they would visit any university, so I think it’s really helped to raise their educational aspirations and made them think about what is possible.”

~ Jessica Maddocks, KRAN Communications and Development Manager


“We are very appreciative of the work that the University currently does with our young people. They have been able to access a good quality ESOL computer course at UKC since November 2016. The young people do not possess computers in their own homes and have limited access to computers outside the provision that the university has offered. The provision supports them greatly with their English and also their computer skills. Indeed, when many of them started the course, they were unable to use a mouse but they have now become adept at navigating their way around a computer. The young people thoroughly enjoy attending UKC. It is enabling them to practise their English with volunteers from the university and thus increase their confidence in speaking. Furthermore, the young people are learning about the opportunities that are offered by higher education establishments and thus the importance of education. They also are finding out about the local community and making new friends. This supports their integration in the community.”

~ Anne Hardy, KRAN Learning Lead


“The students speak very favourably of the project and we have seen an increase in confidence and motivation amongst some of the hardest young people to reach as result of the work done by the university. Having the opportunity to develop not only their English language skills but also their computer literacy will have a huge impact on their ability to transition successfully into mainstream education.”

~ Anne Hardy, KRAN Learning Lead, on behalf of the young refugees attending the project


“I loved working with the teachers at Kent University because they are so friendly and happy and helpful. It was good to have female teachers because we don’t have this in my country. The computer program really helped me with my reading and writing. I am doing well at college because I had this extra support. Thank you for helping us!”

~ AS, refugee student from Afghanistan


The following statements from the university students involved in the project also reveal how it has helped them to develop personally and professionally:


“The project has helped develop me as a person and given me the opportunity to interact with people I would not normally have interacted with. The students look forward to the classes and are improving their English. I really enjoy teaching too as it gives me some practice and lets me gain more experience in the field as well.”

~ Linnéa Björk Belmonte, undergraduate student


“This project has been a unique opportunity for me to feel like I’m making a difference, and get some teaching practice. I am impressed by how motivated and hard-working the students are. Everyone is smiling and happy to be there. We’ve built fantastic rapport considering we don’t have any language in common. It’s also been a great intercultural experience for both the volunteers and the students.”

~ Ariane Spinosa, undergraduate student


“I had always wanted to be part of a project like this, but I had never found the opportunity. I am really happy that I decided to join the ESOL classes because there is a mutual exchange. While we work on English together, the students have taught me about their cultures, their languages and their backgrounds. It is a very enriching experience and I would strongly recommend anyone interested to join!”

~ Inés Pérez González, Erasmus undergraduate student


“The ESOL for Refugees project has given me a great opportunity to practice my teaching skills and at the same time help people in a difficult situation. I believe that the interactions we have are essential for their learning as the virtual environment does not give them the chance to practice speaking or ask any questions. Although challenging at times, I believe this is a great way for aspiring teachers to spot difficulties which students encounter while learning English and come up with practical solutions for breaking the language barrier.”

~ Alexandra Nadasan, undergraduate student


“I joined the volunteering project because of my interest in teaching, but each week these lessons become a moment for making friends and learning new principles, new cultures, respect… Something that I will definitely miss when I leave Kent.”

~ Rebeca Teijeiro Suárez, Erasmus undergraduate student


“Teaching on this project is a great opportunity to offer skills and knowledge to those who will really benefit and to make a real difference to a person’s language ability and their personal experience in the UK. A friendly, supportive and sensitive environment has made working with this group a really enjoyable and rewarding experience both for the refugees and the teachers.”

~ Luke Allder, postgraduate student

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