Emma Schmieg

Emma Schmieg

Can you talk a little bit about yourself and your background?

I am originally from Manchester but I left the UK in 2011 shortly after completing my BA in Theatre Studies. After a summer performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, I packed my bags and jumped on a plane. After two years travelling, with no plan to embark on a career in Education, I eventually settled in Germany where I began work as an English Teacher in a Bilingual Nursery. Here, I completed my Early Years Educator Diploma and TEFL certification. I continued to work in multilingual and International classrooms for the next 7 years, I learned a lot and I loved it!

What prompted you to pursue an online programme with University of Exeter? Specifically, why was online appealing to you?

It was only after my experiences in Germany that I felt Education was an area which I wanted to pursue further. I was a little apprehensive when it came to making the decision to apply for a Masters in Education, considering I wasn't a qualified teacher (in the UK) and had little experience of education/teaching models in the UK. I thought I may be a little out of my depth. However, after many phones calls and email exchanges with support staff at Exeter University I was greatly assured and confident that I would be just fine, and I was! There are so many students from all over the world, with different backgrounds and experiences, this was a real highlight for me. And, as it was important that I could study at a top UK University whilst remaining in Germany, the fact that the course was completed entirely online was hugely appealing (during the last two years I have worked on the course from the UK, Germany, Switzerland and now China!).

What has your experience been like? Has it met your expectations?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The online learning platform is set up in such a way that you can easily navigate each semester in your own time whilst adhering to important deadlines. This enabled flexibility alongside a focussed schedule which promoted high levels of interaction and maintained learning with fellow students and tutors. The taught material is informative and thought provoking with lots of opportunities to discuss and share ideas in a collaborative manner. This was new to me, I was used to sitting at the back of the lecture hall contributing very little.The online platform helped me find my voice. There was always lots of encouragement for original thought supported by the excellent knowledge of the tutors and availability of great resources and this was especially prominent during assignments where individual interests could be pursued.

If you were giving someone who was considering an online course advice, what would it be?

I had been considering a master’s for a while, but wasn't sure how I would fit it into my schedule, and whether it would actually be worth it? It absolutely was! I believe I have become a more accomplished educator and have developed a deeper understanding of education on a global scale, specifically regarding my own interests and motivations within the subject. The course demands time and energy, for sure, but it will certainly be rewarding if you can see it through. The high quality content, online design and excellent support system at Exeter provides a strong foundation to guide you on the journey. Two years goes by in a flash, I miss it already.

Would you recommend the Exeter Programme and if so what aspects of the course do you find appealing?

Yes! I would absolutely recommend the programme. What was particularly appealing was how I always felt supported both personally and academically. Feedback on assignments was always constructive and the dedication of my dissertation supervisor, the tutors and student support staff was out of this world!


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