Erasmus Mundus students
I would like to welcome any and all students who find this site in a quest to find out more information about the Erasmus Mundus Advanced Masters in Network and eBusiness Centred Computing (NeBCC). In fact, any student looking for information on any Erasmus Mundus program is welcome. It is my hope that through this site, I will be able to bridge the gap between the prospective students before their program even starts.
One of the major complaints that I had about my particular program was my inability to contact any of my classmates before arriving at the first university (in my case the University of Reading). I was fortunate that one of my classmates did manage to track me down via my former site rhuvok.com. However, it should have been easier than that. I realize that the university is bound by certain privacy rules, but there are possible ways of providing contact without divulging our email addresses.
The first way is to have some sort of forum or message board where students who were interested in contacting others could speak up. It might even be possible to provide contact through the website so no one’s email is left exposed. You could even password protect the site to only allow access for the accepted students.
Another way would be to simply give us access to our Reading University accounts when we are excepted. That is a pretty standard practice as far as I’m concerned, and for those few people that don’t end up going, then you can just drop those accounts. Since the university has no problem with sending an email with 23+ emails in the To: field using the university’s email address we could just communicate in that manner. [Note: Sending multiple emails using the To: field is just asking for trouble. Use the Bcc: field.]
Either way would work, and I’m sure that there are other solutions that I haven’t considered. Just imagine how much more at ease you would be moving away from your friends and family and the comfort and familiarity of your own country if you knew the people you were going to be spending the next 1 to 2 years with. The people who will be your group members and team mates as well as long time friends. And if you are offering a course for computer scientists and engineers, you are going to be dealing with people who feel more at home with email and instant messaging and web forums as a way to meet and get to know people. It is hard enough adapting to a new culture and possibly language, does it make sense to isolate the new students from each other until the last possible minute? Maybe it does… maybe it is all a social experiment and someone is watching me right now, noting my budding dissidence.
I could go on about the benefits, regarding the process of additional applications that needed to be handled after being accepted — not to mention the huge headache of obtaining visa, that embassies don’t want to give you because you won’t be in their country for another 8 months. But my intention is to foster the communication that I lacked and help give back or something like that.
So to reiterate my bottom line: if you would like to try and get in touch with someone from your program then send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to see what I can do. I can say at the moment that I am in touch with two students who are short listed for the NeBCC program starting Oct 2006. If you want to make contact let me know.
My plan is to put a forum up in a location that facilitates the communication of all Erasmus Mundus students and might be a step towards creating a global Mundus network for students. I’ll keep everyone posted on this.