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UWTSD hosts Douglas College Students for Early Childhood Education Exchange

THE University of Wales Trinity Saint David has recently hosted students from Douglas College, Canada, as part of an enriching exchange programme focused on Early Years Education.

19 students and two academic staff members spent two weeks on the Carmarthen campus, immersing themselves in the offerings of the University’s Early Years Education discipline. During their visit, they participated in keynote lectures tailored to Early Childhood education and had the opportunity to explore various nurseries and tourist attractions across Pembrokeshire, Swansea, Cardiff, and London.

UWTSD’s Early Years Programme Manager Alison Rees Edwards said:

“After several emails and Zoom calls were exchanged between Early Years’ departments at UWTSD and Douglas College, it was wonderful to finally meet staff and students who are just as passionate about early years, child development and the outdoors as we are. As the focus of their stay was outdoor provision, visits to excellent early years’ settings were arranged. It was a delight to see the staff and students’ reactions to the outdoor environments and how staff here in Wales make the most of the provision that is available to them.

“ A common misconception among us at UWTSD is that practice in Canada would excel at outdoor provision for young children, so to learn that this is not always the case, and to see the Douglas College staff and students’ wonder at our practice was particularly interesting. Students’ faces as they learnt about Forest School provision in the settings , such as young children toasting their own marshmallows and having opportunities to care for animals, is something I will treasure! I am now looking forward to exploring further opportunities to develop this new and exciting relationship between our Early Years team here at UWTSD and Douglas College”

Minnie Mossop, Faculty Instructors: Early Childhood Education from Douglas College said:

“From the warm welcome we received upon our arrival to the unwavering support throughout our stay, every moment has been a testament to the incredible dedication and hospitality that you and your team have shown.

“We, along with our 19 students, have been truly blessed to experience the rich history, nature and vibrant culture of Wales, surrounded by the most wonderful people, including yourselves, the centres, guest speakers, etc. These interactions have not only enriched our knowledge but have also left us with warm hearts and lifelong memories. Please convey our sincere gratitude to all involved. We are departing with immense appreciation and look forward to the possibility of welcoming some of you to Vancouver in the near future.”

Kath Griffiths UWTSD’s International Regional manager (North America and Outward Mobility), Wales Global Academy said:

“The importance of inward groups from Douglas College students visiting early years settings in Wales cannot be overstated. Such visits not only foster international collaboration but also provide an opportunity for sharing best practices, ideas, and experiences between professionals in the field of early childhood education.

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“One of the key benefits of these visits is the exchange of knowledge and expertise. Douglas college faculty and students can bring fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and different approaches to early childhood education that Welsh practitioners may not have encountered before. Similarly, Welsh early years settings can showcase their own practices and methodologies, offering Douglas college students insights into successful strategies that they can adapt and implement in their own context.

“Furthermore, these visits can help strengthen professional networks and relationships between educators in Canada and Wales. By collaborating and learning from each other, practitioners can build long-lasting partnerships that extend beyond the duration of the visit. This can lead to ongoing communication, collaboration on research projects, and the development of joint initiatives aimed at improving early childhood education outcomes in both countries.

“By working together, professionals can ensure that children in both Canada and Wales receive the highest quality early childhood education possible, setting them up for success in later life.”