Global Teaching Labs: College participates in international programme with MIT

Bridgend College opened its doors in January to Julie Chen, a current student at the esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Julie joined the College for three weeks as part of MIT’s Global Teaching Labs (GTL) in Wales programme, managed by Equal Education Partners on behalf of Welsh Government.

MIT’s GTL programme recruits high-performing students who are interested in the Institute’s experiential approach to learning. Whilst GTL participants can apply from a range of subject areas, the programme is predominantly for students from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) courses, enabling them to hone their subject knowledge, develop their teaching practice, and gain key communication skills whilst living in their host country.

Now in her second year of studying Chemical-Biological Engineering, Julie has long had an interest in teaching Science, having mentored extensively throughout high school and now during her time at university. The GTL programme was a chance to utilise her teaching experience whilst also providing her an opportunity to travel and immerse herself in another culture.

“Everyone has been really kind and makes you feel so welcome at Bridgend College. Although I’m primarily here to support teaching, I’ve also enjoyed being a student here and having the chance to learn.”

Julie Chen, Chemical-Biological Engineering student at MIT

Julie was based at Bridgend College where she supported the Science and Engineering department through teaching and mentoring students. When not delivering a class, Julie took advantage of the range of courses offered by the College to advance her own knowledge of related subject areas, with Electrical Engineering being of particular interest.

During her time in Wales, Julie also had the opportunity to teach Chemistry A Level at local schools, and spent several days supporting Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School and Porthcawl School.

A highly knowledgeable, experienced and adaptable individual, Julie’s time spent with the College was greatly valued, not only by the staff she supported but also the students she interacted with. Bridgend College is proud to have taken part in MIT’s GTL, an initiative that  both encouraged a learning exchange and offered the chance of cultural enrichment for its students.

“Having been successful in our application to be a part of the GTL program for 2024, the whole curriculum area was excited to work with the MIT students to share their knowledge and experience. We were very fortunate to have our first choice candidate, Julie Chen, allocated to us for the 3 weeks of the project. Throughout her time with us, Julie was able to deliver a wide range of subjects from Science, Engineering and Maths to Thermodynamics to students from Level 3 to Level 5. All of the students Julie met were captivated by her experiences of MIT and working and living in America.”

Dale Patrick, Curriculum Manager for Science and Engineering at Bridgend College
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