SECL Employability

Voluntary work experience in SECL

The School of European Culture and Languages offers students two main types of voluntary work: that of an Academic Peer Mentor, or student representative. These opportunities are a great way to increase your skills, learn something new, and make yourself more attractive to potential employers.

For more information on these schemes, please contact

alyssa Bullock-Singh

Alyssa Bullock-Singh - French Mentor

"Academic Peer Mentoring gave me confidence in my ability to teach and lead a class, as well as developing presentation, organisational and lesson planning skills. It was a rewarding experience to see my mentees progress in speaking French."

Academic Peer Mentoring

SECL is now offering an Academic Peer Mentoring Scheme in every subject, and around 50 mentors have already signed up to the scheme. 

An Academic Peer Mentor is trained to deliver support sessions to small groups, surrounding each week’s course material.  Mentors will usually be in their second, third, or master's year, supporting students in the year below. 

For Mentors, although a good understanding of their course is required, what is most important are qualities such as enthusiasm, dedication, and maturity.  Likewise, mentees are not only students who are not meeting their potential, they are often some of the most enthusiastic and hardworking students.


The role of the mentor

Benefits to mentors

  • Promote independent learning
  • Increase understanding of subject
  • Re-examine course material as a group
  • Provide a sounding board for ideas
  • Give support and encouragement
  • Facilitate group discussion
  • Liaise with relevant academics
  • Feed back information to the School
  • Gain experience of group work
  • Improve confidence
  • Gain communication and leadership skills
  • Kent Student Certificate for Volunteering
  • Improve your CV/Portfolio
  • Get to know academic staff
  • Be awarded Employability Points
  • Develop a greater understanding of SECL

For more information please visit the Unit for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching website.



Student representatives

One great way to improve your employment prospects is to become a student representative. Reps are elected by their fellow students to represent them, voice their concerns, and to help improve the University experience for all. 

You will often be the first point of contact for students who have a problem or complaint about their course and as a member of the Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC); you have the opportunity to get your voice heard and make a real difference by representing the views of your fellow students.

The role of a student rep

Benefits to student reps

  • Listen to the problems and concerns of others
  • Attend School and Faculty meetings
  • Attend Education Forum meetings
  • Bring about positive change in your department
  • Help improve the student experience for all
  • Develop effective working relationships with staff
  • Affect decisions made about your education
  • An understanding of educational matters
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Advocacy skills
  • Representation and leadership skills
  • Greater confidence and communication skills
  • A position of responsibility
  • Respect from your fellow students

For more information on being a Course or School Rep please visit the Kent Union website.

School of European Culture & Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 827159 or email the School of European Culture & Languages

Last Updated: 02/11/2015