What started out as the idea of becoming a peer coach to reach students with study problems faster has expanded into a weekly English-language podcast dealing with all different kinds of problems faced by students. Fleur van Dinteren and Letizia Tessaroli, fourth-year students in International Business, are providing local and international students with useful information, with the help of experts. They provide tips ranging from how to eat a ‘tompouce’ (the Dutch variety of the millefeuille) to how to study for exams.
When Fleur recently became a peer coach with Avans Extra — someone who helps other students and offers guidance for difficulties they run into during their studies — she noticed that not many students were coming to her for help. She was only approached now and then. “And maybe that makes sense, if you’re struggling with something it isn’t easy to go looking for help”, Fleur explains. Then she hit on the idea of making a podcast. “With a podcast, students don’t have to come to us, instead we bring the tips to them.”
Lots of topics
At the direction of Avans School of International Studies (ASIS), her own programme International Business, and Finance and Control, she and her Italian fellow student Letizia decided to make a series of podcasts. Every Friday the two record a new English-language podcast of 15 to 20 minutes, which they also edit themselves. The episodes range from what it feels like to come to the Netherlands as a foreign student to how to be well prepared for examinations and other helpful advice for student success. Fleur and Letizia don’t do this by themselves. “Every week we invite a guest on the show to discuss the topic. It might be one of Avans’ coaches, but it might also be someone from a student society”, says Fleur, who had no experience making podcasts until she started on this one.
“I took a real leap into the unknown, but now I love it. Almost all the responses we receive are positive. We heard that our instructors are thinking about setting this up on a larger scale”, the Breda-based student says proudly. “We can tell that there is a real demand for such a thing.”
There are a number of things that go into making a good podcast, the Avans student explains. “It has to be accessible, informal, catchy and informative”, Fleur confidently states. “You have to be able to listen to each episode separately, so that you don’t miss anything if you skip one. You just choose the ones that appeal to you. We hope that it will be a good series that way.”
For this ‘season’ they have nine episodes planned. And even though the two have lots of topics already on the drawing table, they’re open to suggestions from other Avans students. If you have a good idea, send it by email to peercoaching.ASIS.email@example.com.