The 2nd Applied Economics Intensive took place over four weeks at one of YNU’s partner institutions, University of Edinburgh. Starting on August 10th, thirty YNU students underwent intensive ESP (English for Specific Purposes) training at the Paterson’s Land campus in central Edinburgh. The program was overseen by Professor Alexander McAulay, Professor Morinao Iju, Professor Keiko Ishiwata and international affairs administrator Tomohiro Kamano from College of Economics. This 80-hour course included core content lessons on the economics of Fairtrade, the Scottish whisky industry, and the economic impact of the Edinburgh Festival & Fringe on the city. All students were accommodated in homestays with local families. While working on their academic research, writing and presentation skills during the day, they were able to develop their speaking and listening skills and learn about UK culture and society over home-cooked food at night.p>
AEI started last year with 16 students visiting University of Edinburgh during August 2014. The syllabus, jointly developed by English Education academics at YNU and University of Edinburgh, focuses on nurturing the academic skills needed for future long-term study abroad, in particular academic writing. Edinburgh in August is of course the venue for the world-famous Festival & Fringe, when a myriad of artists and performers descend on the city. During that time there are literally thousands of plays, musicals, concerts, recitals and street performances occurring every day. In the first year, AEI students took full advantage of the many delights Edinburgh has to offer during the Festival & Fringe. Their reports were published on the dedicated website, and word spread about the efficacy and enjoyment of this program. The very competitive costs involved also proved an attractive feature. This meant that this year’s AEI was over-subscribed and despite expanding to 30 places, unfortunately not all the students who wanted to go could join the program.
As well as the academic study and homestay elements, the program includes a social and cultural side. Visits to local places of interest, such as museums and Calton Hill, are organised. There is also an optional Highland Tour which as well as some breath-taking scenery, includes singing, dancing, poetry and interaction with visiting European students. This is a very popular option and all 30 students signed up this year.
Feedback from this year’s cohort is currently being collated and evaluated and will be published on the YNU website soon. Initial findings suggest the students greatly enjoyed their time in Edinburgh and feel they made important language-learning gains, as well as having an unforgettable study abroad experience. More details of the program are available on the College of Economics dedicated Study Abroad website.