Tag Archives: Birkbeck students

Birkbeck on Ice

During the Christmas season, one of the most famous things to do is visit the Natural History Museum’s annual ice rink. In this blog, Bonnie Marnock, an MSc Management with Human Resource Management student, shares how she and her classmates got into the festive spirit at the Students’ Union’s Birkbeck on Ice event.

In the lead-up to the end of the semester, Birkbeck on Ice was the perfect way to enjoy a firm favourite – the Natural History Museum’s ice skating.

With a chill in the air and decorations adorning Cromwell Road, a group of Birkbeck students got in the spirit by trying their hand for the first time at ice skating, with those more experienced to guide them. There were some little slips and trips, but all were soon gliding around the beautiful Christmas tree and enjoying the evening.

In one corner, some pro’s provided a show, spinning and doing little pirouettes, while on the other side there was a photobooth, the timing of which made for some funny photos while skaters tried to turn around in time after hitting the shutter button. The best Christmas jumper award went to a scotty dog-inspired number, and in the following session a group in reindeer onesies graced the ice with considerable skill – practicing ahead of the big night perhaps?

Just in time for our session to end, the rain came down, so we all retreated into the loft bar for some mulled wine or hot chocolates, and to get to know the new friends made out on the ice, or catch up with how classmates were going with revision and assessments. A very pleasant way to defrost our fingers!

Thank you to the Student Union for organising the discounted tickets, a great night was had by all!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas – stay safe and see you on the other side, rested and ready for the New Year!

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Welcome to Birkbeck for 2021 Chevening Scholars

International culture and exchange are once again celebrated with the new cohort of Chevening scholars; and all are encouraged to ‘leave their mark’ on both Birkbeck and wider society.

2021 Chevening scholars

On the 9th of November 2021, the International team held a Welcome event for the 2021 Chevening Scholars. The Scholars this year hail from 23 countries: Paraguay, Ethiopia, Iraq, South Africa, Nepal, Uganda, Sudan, Russia, Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Dominica, Bolivia, Albania, Montenegro, Georgia, Morocco, Santo Domingo, Tunisia, Peru, Ukraine, Guatemala and Laos. The International diversity of the Chevening Scholars is a pivotal part of Birkbeck’s success and this was demonstrated during the event.

Professor Kevin Ibeh, Pro Vice Master (International) opened the Welcome event by highlighting Birkbeck’s achievements over the years and emphasized to Chevening scholars the importance of leaving their mark. Professor Kevin Ibeh said: “Birkbeck will be celebrating 200 years as an institution in 2023, and you we all be part of it as you are the 198th  year of students at Birkbeck University.”

There were also speeches from academics from several of the Schools including Professor Sanjib Bhakta from the School of Science, Professor Alexandra Beauregard and Andrea Williams from the School of BEI, and Dr Ali Guven from the School of SSHIP. The academics shared knowledge on their expertise. Professor Sanjib Bhakta discussed the significance of diversity and encouraged everyone to always embrace their different cultures.

The event celebrated the rich diversity of the Chevening Scholarship recipients through a Welcome to Birkbeck presentation by the international team and gave the scholars an opportunity to learn about each other’s talents, goals, and aspirations through a fun group activity. To conclude the event, the scholars enjoyed light refreshments and shared with their student journeys and advice they would give to future international students wishing to study at Birkbeck.

Nina Perunovic from Montenegro spoke about the benefits of studying at Birkbeck: “Getting to know other international students, their culture and share experiences and different approaches to the same problems is quite interesting to me”.

We look forward to celebrating and sharing more stories from our 2021 Chevening Scholars.

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A screening of Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’

Recently Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics and International Student Administration (ISA) held a Netflix party screening of Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-winning film, ‘Roma’ that was open to all students. In this blog, two Birkbeck students share their experience of watching and discussing the film as part of the event.

Azucena Garcia Gutierrez

Azucena Garcia Gutierrez

Being an international student at Birkbeck has been one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. One of the things I have found the most fascinating in an international atmosphere is the fact that you get to know people from all over the world. Not only have I had the opportunity to learn from my classmates’ traditions, lifestyle, religion and mindset, but I have also learnt to share what my own country represents as well. The cinema screening for international students organised by William Richards and La Young Jackson has been such a wonderful opportunity to share more about Mexico and its history in the 1970s through the movie called Roma.

Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, received ten nominations at the 91st Academy Awards and it also became the Best Foreign Language Film for the Best Cinematography and Best Director. Not only is Roma worth watching due to its extraordinary appraisal, but I also considered it demonstrated a slice of Mexico’s reality at that time. I believe that Roma is a good opportunity to show Mexico and part of its salient topics in history that strike a chord in our country. The use of political issues, protests, earthquakes, and single-parenting loneliness are among many of the reasons why Roma is worth seeing.  I strongly believe that knowing about the history of a place and community sheds light to a better understanding of its present in a different perspective.

Azucena Garcia Gutierrez is studying MA Applied Linguistics and Communication and is a Chevening Scholar.

Natalia

Natalie Albin Legorreta

During the viewing, done through Netflix Party, we discussed various things as we watched the film. I believe it added a good deal of commentary to watch with native Mexicans who could contextualise and explain parts of the history while allowing the viewers to form their own opinions and questions as well. It is through watching these films that evoke so much from a specific culture but resonate with people outside of it that we can truly begin to understand what it is to be a global citizen.

Roma is told through the perspective of Cleo, a maid to a middle-class family living in Mexico during the 1970s. Her and the family’s tribulations are almost autobiographical for Cuarón, however feels as though it is the story of most Mexicans. From a father leaving his family, to earthquakes and students killed by political oppression, everything feels all-to-familiar to several generations of Mexicans.

It is interesting to see how the film has not only reached a special place for Mexicans, but for everyone who watches it. It feels like a perfect slice-of-life to understand the culture for a specific country but it seems to touch a cord with most people. Perhaps, as La Young pointed out during the viewing, it’s the camera movements, how it follows Cleo around through panoramic shots as if she were a soldier in a war film. Or perhaps it’s the subtle way in which the film shows the grand scale of collective pain through the world with images of oppression and depression. Whichever it is, watching Roma with other Birkbeck students was a wonderful experience that I hoped they enjoyed just as much.

Natalia Albin Legorreta is completing an MA in Screenwriting at Birkbeck.

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