BU student wins national competition for best film about placement abroad
30 October 2012
A Bournemouth University student has won a national competition for creating the best film about his placement year abroad.
BSc (Hons) Product Design student Martin Constantine spent his placement year in French town Charleville–Méziéres, working for Visteon – who design and manufacture parts for companies like Ford and Jaguar.
The film he created of his experiences won first prize in the Film Category of the British Council and Ecorys ‘Your Story’ Competition, which was open to all students who had undertaken an Erasmus placement abroad.
Martin, 23, who is now in the fourth year of his degree, has won £100 of Amazon vouchers and will attend an awards ceremony in London on November 15.
"I was just really surprised to win," said Martin, who is from Woodbridge in Suffolk but lives in Winton while studying.
"I was really pleased to be able to tell my parents that I had won and the university as well.
"It is not really about winning the prize, it’s about the recognition of the work I put into the placement and the experience that I had."
The video shows Martin at work, and some of the machinery he used during his placement, but also focuses on the experiences that he had outside of work – such as making new friends, learning French and kayaking.
"I got the opportunity to do things I would never have been able to do if I had stayed at home – like learning to play ice hockey," he said.
"I was filming bits and pieces for myself anyway as I was going to festivals and historical re–enactments and I just wanted to keep a memento."
He added: "I’m not really sure what the competition was like but I like to think that my film had a nice balance of the overall experience – so the work and the social side of things and engaging with the people in France and doing things with them."
Erasmus placements are funded by the European Union and mean students from higher education institutions can spend a placement period of between three months and one year in another EU country.
Bournemouth University helps students to find the placement abroad and offers support throughout the year, making sure students are settled and happy.
Martin was in Charleville–Mezieres from last June to July this year, and said he learnt a lot both about industry and himself.
"I really enjoyed my placement and it was actually quite difficult to come back.
"I felt like I really had a lot of responsibility and the company took me very seriously, as if I had been there ten years and I wasn’t just a work experience student.
"Everybody went to a lot of effort to make me feel welcome and at the weekend, I was making friends and we would go out and do different things, and I had new experiences because of it."
He added: "I think going abroad adds a completely different dimension to your placement year. By putting myself a bit out of my comfort zone, it helped me to develop much more.
"Now I can speak French and now I can say that I received an award for my film about the experience. It is something that little bit extra that makes you stand out."
He said that the experience has also helped him decide what career path to go down after graduating.
"It has definitely given me the direction that I was never really sure about before.
"Now I know that I want to work in the automotive industry, as I found the whole experience so great."
You can watch Martin’s video of his Erasmus placement here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16bpScHOr9I.
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