#DMUglobal

You’re driving back home or maybe just walking down the road from the corner shop. You see one of those big billboards above your head, reminding you of Times Square or Piccadilly Circus. Propaganda. These advertisings are always reminding you of things you wish you could do, could buy or places you dream to visit – that certainly is something that can give you a headache.

As humans, it’s part of our nature to always be unappreciative of what we have, and jealous of what our neighbours have.

Like toddlers always want the next kid’s toy, we want the next countries weather, the next model of the car; you name it, wanting what we can’t have. Well that might be so for most things in life, but thanks to a huge “project” by DMU, your education certainly won’t be the dream of a billboard.

Whether it is just personal or also professional reasons, studying abroad, actually, being abroad is something enriching. Concepts, ideas, independence, self-sustaining, vision; all of these things broaden and enhance when you are out of your comfort box.

Today, De Montfort University is happily launching #DMUglobal, the project that will give, us students, the chance to do all that, and even beyond.

In the UK, according to the BIS Student Strategy (August 2013), just 6% of UK students currently enjoy an international experience during their studies. The plan is for that number to be completely different in DMU. In a space of 5 years, 11,000 students will have had an involvement abroad.

This time of the experience can range from a 4-week visit for language training and cultural awareness activities, to a year-long overseas placement with one of DMU’s global business partners.

This brings us up to none the less than 51% of students being given the opportunity to undertake overseas engagement during their time in DMU.

The founding will partially be made by De Montfort University in order to significantly reduce the costs for students. It’s anticipated that circa £1.5m will be needed each year to fund the scheme, coming from our own resources and from external sources.

Now let’s just be clear. This is an incredible opportunity. It is one thing to travel for tourism and vacation, but it can be a whole different one to go abroad and work or study.

It’s a quest with an end and a purpose, a voyage to the external that brings you straight back to the internal. It’s a self-discovering process, something that comes, in a very ironic way, with stepping out of yourself for a bit, comes with embracing new cultures, new forms of life, new traditions.

To create awareness of the world around you is to be aware of how similar we are, and that can be something really beautiful. Not to mention a great professional gain, the expansion of networks and an advantage in a fiercely competitive global marketplace.

A Pilot Project will be starting in Spring 2014, and the full programme will begin in the 2014/15 academic year.

As a student, you can either choose to stare at the billboards and always wonder “what if”, or take some action and put your image on a billboard.