Interview with David Brimage: Executive Officer of Sussex Abroad
When I-Student Global visited University of Sussex in November 2015, we spoke to David Brimage, Executive Officer of Sussex Abroad, their study abroad office. We left with a souvenir Sussex Abroad mug and a much better understanding of the support in place for the University of Sussex students wanting to study abroad. Read on to find out more...
1. If you were to sum up your job role in one sentence, what would it be?
Prepare outgoing students for Study Abroad in the EU and Latin America.
2. Can you describe a typical day working in the office of Sussex Abroad?
The nature of our work here is quite cyclic, in one year instalments. The first term is spent on promotion of the Study Abroad programme and opportunities to the current students. The second term is spent preparing the students for the Study Abroad experience – helping to arrange insurance, Visas, module choices and other academic aspects.
3. How did you arrive at your current role at the university? Did you always want to work in Education?
I worked in a number of roles, all within the field of education. I used to work in the International Office at City College in Brighton, which was a very hands-on role. I’ve also worked teaching maths and English to refugees and asylum seekers to get them to the required level, so from working with incoming students to outgoing students, I’ve gone full circle now.
4. Are there many degrees that allow you to study abroad as part of the course (other than the obvious language courses and American Studies)?
Sussex has recently changed its programme and now you can study abroad with almost all of our degrees (with a few exceptions such as medicine). There is a big uptake within the schools of social sciences, languages and humanities and it is growing all the time. This year we are preparing to send out around 350 students and have approximately 450 coming to Sussex.
5. How many institutions globally are you paired with for the Sussex Abroad Scheme?
Sussex is very well connected globally and has connections with around 150 universities worldwide. We set up links with the US early on and have a lot of language students spend a year in Europe. We are constantly working to develop the scheme with our partner universities and are working on increasing the visibility of the scheme for home students.