Managing Academic Expectations as a First-Year Student: CSL Can Make it Work!

By Tabea Leiss, BA International Relations and Development Studies

Are you struggling with the academic expectations and demands in your first year at university? You are not alone! The SOAS Collaborative Student Learning (CSL) project can help you manage the work. 

Collaborative Student Learning is aimed at giving first-year students the opportunity to improve their degree-specific academic skills in a low-stress environment. 

Piloted in 2019, CSL is a relatively new addition to our SOAS campus. The concept of this peer-to-peer learning initiative, however, has been a success story at universities around the world for much longer. Facilitated by second and final-year students, it is aimed at giving first-year students the opportunity to improve their degree-specific academic skills in a low-stress environment. 

You may ask, how does it work? Well, CSL sessions are subject-specific and run on a weekly basis alongside lectures and tutorials. Second, third and fourth years from your degree programme will facilitate these learning sessions through fun, collaborative and creative ways. CSL is centrally coordinated, department-owned, student-led AND pretty awesome. While mainly focusing on the academic side of university life, the sessions can also connect you with other students of your degree and create a more inclusive learning environment for all. At the moment, most of the CSL sessions are running online but we are looking forward to seeing you on campus from term two 

We encourage all first-years to participate in the project, regardless of your current academic success as there will be something to take from the sessions for everybody. Give it a try and sign up to Collaborative Student Learning. 

Not yet convinced? You can find out more about the scheme on the SOAS website or simply by emailing [email protected] Hope to see you there!

Caption: SOAS students are engaged in small-group discussions in one of SOAS’ lecture theatres. (source: Prospects)

Post Author: SOAS Spirit

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