ERASMUS in Naples: Teaching and Learning in Europe

ERASMUS in Naples: Teaching and Learning in Europe

Last week, I went to Naples for an ERASMUS staff exchange with our latest Italian partner, the University of Naples “L’Orientale.” Following a visit from Professor Anna Maria Cimitile, a colleague from Naples who gave an inspiring series of lectures and seminars here at LJMU last March, my stay concluded the first year of this fantastic partnership. Teaching in Naples for a week has been a highly enjoyable and invaluable experience, which I recommend to both staff and students in English and LJMU more widely. Naples is one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, a ‘porous’ city where, philosopher Walter Benjamin famously wrote, you can experience ‘a stretching of frontiers that mirrors the most radiant freedom of thought.’ Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean sea, it offers a vast array of historic and artistic milestones, from ancient archaeological sites to music and performing arts festivals, a thriving theatre scene, and the breathtaking landscape of the Amalfi Coast and the isles. It...
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SCSU’s Professor Brian Johnson gives Poetry Reading at LJMU

SCSU’s Professor Brian Johnson gives Poetry Reading at LJMU

Last Wednesday night, as the sun set (really rather poetically) over the Mersey, Professor Brian Johnson from LJMU's transatlantic partner Southern Connecticut State University gave a reading of his poetry to staff and students. Professor Johnson currently teaches composition, creative writing, and modern literature at Southern, and is the author of Torch Lake and Other Poems (a finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award), and Site Visits, a collaborative work with the German painter Burghard Müller-Dannhausen. During his week-long visit to LJMU, Professor Johnson also observed a variety of classes on the English programme, as well as leading a poetry masterclass for final-year Creative Writing students. He gave a paper on the Site Visits project to the Research Centre of Literature and Cultural History. LJMU English and Creative Writing are exploring a range of exciting opportunities for our students with Southern Connecticut State University. We'll both be welcoming Study Abroad students from our sister institutions next year, and are working towards a programme of staff exchanges that will give all our students the chance...
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LJMU English Welcomes Colleague from Transatlantic Partner Southern Connecticut State

LJMU English Welcomes Colleague from Transatlantic Partner Southern Connecticut State

Next week, LJMU English will be hosting a visit from Professor Brian Johnson of Southern Connecticut State University. LJMU has a unique 'transatlantic alliance' with 'Southern' (as it's known to its staff and students). We have an English Major from Southern studying with us this semester, plus a number of students on our English programme have applied to Study Abroad there next year, and are anxiously waiting to hear if their applications have been successful. Professor Johnson currently teaches composition, creative writing, and modern literature at Southern. He is the author of Torch Lake and Other Poems (a finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award), and Site Visits, a collaborative work with the German painter Burghard Müller-Dannhausen. Whilst at LJMU he will give a paper on the Site Visits project to the Research Centre of Literature and Cultural History, and a Poetry Reading on Wednesday 15th March at 5.30pm in Redmonds 523: all are very welcome. As well as observing a number of classes...
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Studying English: From Southern to LJMU

Studying English: From Southern to LJMU

Tyler Korponai is a English major at Southern Connecticut State University, LJMU's transatlantic partner. He is studying on the English programme this semester. Here, he shares his advice to Southern students planning to study English abroad at LJMU.  As a Southern Connecticut State University student investigating the English program at Liverpool John Moores University, there are some distinctions between these two universities’ programs of which you should be conscious. Before beginning classes it would be to your benefit to prepare yourself for a different orientation and style of teaching. You should attempt to contact lecturers, who are akin to professors, module leaders, who are essentially directors of an individual course and communicate with lecturers, and finally your Learning Technology Officer, who would be in charge of connecting you electronically with faculty on Blackboard. If all has been done properly before your departure, the names of your modules, lecturers, and at least one contact in the English department should be in your possession. Being connected early...
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Study English Abroad in the USA

Study English Abroad in the USA

Since 2014, LJMU has been developing a unique transatlantic alliance with Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut. At the centre of this agreement is the chance for LJMU and Southern students (as the latter are known) to experience life and study abroad, whether this is for a semester or a year. New Haven is perfectly located to give students the experience of an American college town whilst being in easy reach of cities like New York and Boston. LJMU English has long been dedicated to giving our students the opportunity to expand their experience by travelling abroad. Our 'Working in the USA' module was established over twenty years ago, and since then has supported the second year students who choose to take it in finding a vast array of both paid and unpaid work in the US. One of our External Examiners described the module as 'truly trailblazing'. You can read about how recent 'Working in the USA' students found...
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Study Abroad at SCSU: Your American Grades and How to Understand Them

Study Abroad at SCSU: Your American Grades and How to Understand Them

Unfortunately, travelling across the Atlantic has not necessarily turned you into a genius... Jessica Rimmer guides you through the differences in the US grading system.  The expression of marks and grades differ greatly between the UK and the US. As percentage values don't carry the same grade weight, marks in the US are generally higher to those we're used at LJMU. It's fairly usual for students to receive marks in the 80 - 100% range, as this is considered the threshold for good work. Once tutors establish a student's percentage grade, they are able to convert it into a letter grade (A, B, C, D or F), which is then recorded on the student’s transcript. It is important to keep this in mind when receiving your percentage grades, as your interpretation of them may be clouded by your understanding of the UK grading system. For instance, if you were to receive 85% on your transcript in the US, you've not necessarily enhanced...
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Study Abroad at SCSU: Taylor’s Tips

Study Abroad at SCSU: Taylor’s Tips

LJMU English intern Jessica Rimmer met SCSU student, Taylor Bird, to share her experience of studying abroad, and get her advice to students who are considering crossing the Atlantic in the other direction. Taylor spent one month studying French in Paris and stayed in a French University for the duration of her trip. When I asked about her highlight of the experience, Taylor revealed that, 'you make connections with people and you get to form strong relationships which result in lifelong friendships. One of the people that I'm now working with is a friend I met in Paris and we're still really close, we live together'. Taylor went on to offer some brilliant advice to students who are considering studying abroad in the future. She said: 'My advice is definitely do it! Whether you're just thinking about it or having doubts, just figure it out later - make it happen. Also, don't be afraid to do new things whilst you're abroad because that's one...
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Study Abroad at SCSU: English in America

Study Abroad at SCSU: English in America

Featured Image: 'Flag' by Jasper Johns, 1954, in the Museuem of Modern Art, NYC This summer sixteen lucky LJMU students had the opportunity to spend 3 weeks at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, USA, and I was one of them. Our two universities have set up a 'transatlantic alliance' to open up possibilities for study abroad for their students. SCSU laid on a full and exciting programme of activities across Connecticut for us, and these are my English-related highlights! Libraries I Saw Obviously the first thing I needed to know as an English student abroad was, where is the nearest library? Southern's Hilton .C. Buley Library on campus was my first stop. Don't tell the Aldham Robarts, but it was a pretty impressive building, smack bang in the middle of the beautiful New Haven campus (the sunshine helped too, I guess). The library boasts some very fancy Tiffany stained-glass windows and, most importantly, its own Starbucks, not to mention an array of spectacular and comfortable chairs...
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Study Abroad at SCSU: Exploring the Campus

Study Abroad at SCSU: Exploring the Campus

Signed up to study at SCSU? Isobel Currie will be your campus tour guide today... Southern Connecticut State University, or just 'Southern' to its students and staff, was founded in 1893 as a teaching college, and in 1937 it became the New Haven State Teachers' College. In the spring of 1953 it moved from Howe Street to its present 168-acre site on Crescent Street, and began a period of huge growth and diversification. Southern expanded into general education in 1959, and then became Southern Connecticut State College. Today they have approximately 11,500 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. Now of course, the best way to get acquainted with the Southern campus is to show up and have a walk around. Pictures can give you an idea, but it's so much better to go and discover everything when you get there. Southern invests a lot in its campus, which has recently acquired a new School of Business, three new parking garages, a new residence hall complex,...
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Study Abroad at SCSU: Where Will I Stay?

Study Abroad at SCSU: Where Will I Stay?

Thinking of studying abroad as part of LJMU's 'transatlantic alliance' with Southern Connecticut State University? You'll want to know where you're going to live. Here, LJMU English student Jessica Rimmer gives you an idea of the kind of accommodation on offer on campus.  Schwartz Hall offers apartment-style living for students with 45+ credits including three different housing options (two-, four-, or six-person apartments). Each apartment has a full kitchen equipped with stove/oven, sink and garbage disposal, full-sized refrigerator, and dishwasher. Individually controlled heating and air conditioning units are located in each apartment. The two-person apartment is studio-style with a large open area adjacent to the kitchen. A full bathroom and small walk-in storage area are also provided in the apartment. A dining room table and couches are provided for the living area. Finally, each student is provided with a bed, mattress, dresser, desk, and chair. The four-person apartments offer the same amenities as the two-person apartments, but in the four-person apartments, the living...
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Study Abroad at SCSU: Using the Library

Study Abroad at SCSU: Using the Library

Going to study at SCSU (or thinking about it)? This post is part of a series to help orientate you to their campus. Your guide is LJMU English intern Rupert French.. You’ll be pleased to know that for all the complex differences between the systems of Higher Education in the US and Britain, the SCSU library (aka The Hilton C. Buley Library) remains very library-ish. But there are some differences for users to be aware of to get the most out of their study time. The library is at the centre of campus and during semester is open from 8am-11pm.During the summer months this changes to 7.30pm. 

Much the same as LJMU, there are plenty of computers, but not enough for everyone at every time. As a Study Abroad student, you will have your own account to log in to these desk-top computers. You can reserve study rooms online as well as solo study on particular computers with any necessary software for your particular course. Perhaps the key difference when you're...
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Study Abroad at SCSU: New Haven’s (Serious) Pizza

Study Abroad at SCSU: New Haven’s (Serious) Pizza

You say Pizza, they say Apizza…: The foundation of the food scene in New Haven is Apizza: I'm told this is the local dialect of saying pizza. I'm not quite sure what the difference is, but you're probably okay just calling it as it is. Everybody will tell you that there are 4 pizza places you cannot leave New Haven without trying: Modern: Thin base, big crust. Large is huge. Try a white pie with clams ( it's a New Haven tradition). Less wow-factor, more traditional. Definitely feels like a classic spot to come with a group of friends and share a couple of large pizza's. Bar: The crust is fairly non-existent in the best way possible. It's all basic flavours and less dough. Order large and they come in squares to share, definitely big enough to fill the most rumbling stomach. This place offers mashed potato on pizza. Depending on who you are that could either sound disgusting or like a...
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Study Abroad at LJMU: University Study in the UK

Study Abroad at LJMU: University Study in the UK

Now compared to your fiendishly complicated system in the USA (that's how it seems to an outsider anyway!), the UK system is relatively straight forward for British students. In the UK, most students buy an (expensive!) ticket for the subject (or combined subjects) of their choice, get on and travel straight to their destination/graduation over three years of full-time study. For the most part, students study on single-honours programmes (that is, they major in one subject from the very start of their course, like Mathematics or English), or joint-honours, which combine the study of two subjects (Criminology and Psychology, for example). LJMU students take six modules per year, three in each semester (and our semesters run from September-December, and January-April), for 20 credits per module. On some programmes, all modules will be core (that is, obligatory), but on most students take a combination of core and optional modules. (In my second year of study on single-honours English, I chose the 'Working the USA' module, hence why I’m talking to...
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Study Abroad at LJMU: Your British grades and how to understand them

Study Abroad at LJMU: Your British grades and how to understand them

The main message here is simple: don't panic! Jessica Rimmer guides you through the ways in which the grades you get at LJMU will differ from those at Southern.  The expression of marks and grades differ greatly between the US and the UK. As percentage values don't carry the same grade weight on both sides of the Atlantic, marks in the UK are generally lower. Therefore, receiving marks in the 60 - 70 percentage range is no reason to despair, as this is considered the threshold for strong work in the UK. Another UK grading difference is the way in which results are characterised, as GPAs don't exist over here. Instead, students receive a mean mark for each year of their studies, and results are ultimately categorised into final degree classifications such as 'first class', 'upper second', 'lower second', 'third' etc. In order to aid your understanding of these seemingly incomprehensible differences in grading, please consult the 'UK/US grading system conversion chart'...
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Study Abroad at LJMU: Welcome to Liverpool!

Study Abroad at LJMU: Welcome to Liverpool!

Want to know how to spend your free time in Liverpool whilst studying at LJMU? Ask a local. Isobel Currie lets you in on her favourite places to visit... Liverpool is a vibrant city with so much to do and see. The city revolves around its nightlife, so there are options for different types of people and very different nights. I'd say my favourite is Seel Street, as the bars here have something for everyone - R&B, Soul, House and Pop music. Victoria Street offers some of the best clubs and gets very busy on a Saturday night. Liverpool is home to two huge football (soccer) teams, Liverpool FC and Everton FC. They both have stadiums in Anfield and Everton that you can take tours of or try their websites for game tickets. The derby in which the two teams play against each other really divides the city for the day. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that Liverpool is also the birthplace...
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Study Abroad at LJMU: The British Classroom

Study Abroad at LJMU: The British Classroom

LJMU English intern Isobel Currie tells you what to expect in classes at LJMU.  The average university day at LJMU differs massively from that at Southern. If you're studying on the English programme, for example, each of your modules will usually be timetabled for three hours per week. Usually, you'll start with a lecture for 50 minutes with 10 minutes break at the end. (Science programmes have a different schedule.) Lectures tend to be a single tutor speaking at the front of an auditorium to all the students registered on that module (this can be up to around 200 students). Generally students don't contribute to lectures, unless called upon by the tutor. Tutors also often make announcements before or after the session - regarding events, room changes etc.  Seminars are usually straight after lectures, and run for an hour and half to two hours, depending on the subject, the tutor and the contributions from you and your fellow classmates. They will feel more familiar to you, as they work in a...
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Study Abroad at LJMU: Trips from Liverpool

Study Abroad at LJMU: Trips from Liverpool

Now, our country is nowhere near the size of yours. This may have its downfalls, but it does mean that you can experience lots of different cities while you're studying at LJMU. From Liverpool you could easily visit Manchester and London on a day trip, and Edinburgh for a weekend; all are easily accessible by train from Liverpool's Lime Street Station. Manchester Trains between Liverpool and Manchester run frequently due to their close distance, usually once an hour. They can be as cheap as £6 for return tickets if you book in advance, but even booking on the day shouldn't be more than £8 each way. No-one fully understands the pricing systems of British train travel, but online booking is the most reliable way to get the cheapest tickets. Depending on where you live in the city, most stations will go to either of Manchester's main stations, Victoria or Piccadilly. For the town centre, I'd recommend using Victoria, as it's only a two minute walk from...
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LJMU, Meet SCSU: Working in the USA Internship Project

LJMU, Meet SCSU: Working in the USA Internship Project

On 12th July, three LJMU English students on the second year module 'Working in the USA' - Isobel Currie, Rupert French and Jessica Rimmer - travelled to New Haven, Connecticut to begin a three week internship project at Southern Connecticut State University. Part-funded by LJMU's Curriculum Enhancement Project and the International Office, they are going to produce a range of online resources for students considering taking advantage of the 'transatlantic alliance' between LJMU and SCSU (or 'Southern' as it's known to its students and staff) that should allow hundreds of students to experience life and study on the opposite Atlantic coast in the next few years. Alice Ferrebe, the Head of English, who arranged the internships and travelled out with the interns, said, 'This is a really exciting new development - for LJMU, in its alliance with Southern, and for our long-running "Working in the USA" module. We hope that in the future lots of students who have always dreamed of...
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LJMU at SCSU: English Students Join Trip to Southern Connecticut State University

LJMU at SCSU: English Students Join Trip to Southern Connecticut State University

LJMU English students Ryan Pickering and Katie Taylor are among those currently visiting Southern Connecticut State University on a trip funded by the School of Humanities and Social Science. LJMU has formed an exciting alliance with SCSU (or 'Southern' to its students and staff), and we hope that lots of students studying English will take up the opportunity to study there for a semester or a year. Ryan, Katie and two other HSS students are experiencing everything Southern, New Haven, and the surrounding area has to offer. As well as New Haven's museums and galleries, they will explore Connecticut's beautiful shoreline (they were instructed to bring their swimming costumes), and visit both the Mark Twain and the Harriet Beecher Stowe houses. New Haven, which is also the location of Yale University, is a mere hour-and-a-half on a train from New York (and around two hours from Boston) - an amazing location for exploring the east coast of the US. On Thursday, 9th...
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