From education to employment

College paves way for Hawick student’s European study

Rachel Rennie

Young Hawick woman Rachel Rennie, who has recently embarked upon 5 months of study in Valencia, Spain as part of her university degree, credits her time at Borders College as integral to her educational journey.

Having enrolled to study BTEC Art & Design upon leaving Hawick High School after S4, the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) student became interested in the field of colour therapy and psychology for children living with Autism.  This motivated Rachel to progress to the next level of Art & Design at the College before branching into Higher Social Care.  She followed this up with her HNC Social Care qualification, which she gained in 2015 before applying to university to study BA (Hons) Social Sciences with Options.

Rachel says:

“When I started looking into colour psychology in more depth, I found out about the Higher Social Care course at Borders College.  From there I progressed on to study my HNC, without which the transition to university would have been much harder – the HNC really prepared me for the workload of a degree and helped me learn how to organise my workload.”

After Rachel’s first year of her degree, UWS made changes to her course meaning that from second year she would be studying BSc (Hons) Psychology.  This tied in well with her career goal of working in educational and occupational psychology. 

Borders’ Rachel explains:   

“I really want to do something that incorporates my creativity with getting to work with children at the same time.”It was also at this point that UWS advertised a 2-week volunteer programme in Ecuador, to which Rachel applied and was accepted for:    “I spent 2 weeks helping indigenous communities and teaching children English, which was a good opportunity for helping with my career in working with children.”Last year Rachel was offered the chance to include a language in her degree studies.  Selecting Spanish as her chosen language,Rachel and several fellow students pushed for Erasmus work placements to offer a Psychology option in Spain (UWS at that time only offered Psychology as an Erasmus placement in Ireland).  They were successful, making Rachel the second UWS student to undergo a university term in Valencia where she will continue her degree, attending classes taught in English, with the intention of developing her Spanish language skills during her time there.Rachel’s experience is an inspiring example of a former Borders College student whose time at college, resulting qualifications and motivation to progress can pave the way for attending university and open up myriad career pathways.

To find out how Borders College can help you to progress to university, contact our Student Advice Centre today on 01896 662516.

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