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September 2022 saw 26 Ukrainian students enrol in full-time PLC courses in Sport, Art, Radio, Science & Digital Media at Tramore Road Campus, Cork.

Initially English language classes were offered but what began as a twice weekly lesson evolved into an inclusive, immersive creative exchange space for all students.

This positive learning initiative promoted integration and evolved into a mindful, hands-on art experience.

ART LIFE is the NEW Voice on Tramore Road Campus

Teachers Jenny Monks (artist) & Michelle O’Keeffe (florist) drew on their own creative practice to engage the learners in an immersive learning experience.

The success of this initiative was picked up by the wider college community and word spread on campus.  The sessions were welcoming & friendly and created a ripple effect which allowed students to share their experiences. This supportive, social engagement was beneficial to all and allowed learners to immerse themselves in both the English language and Irish culture.

‘These are hours of sincere emotions, conversations and a feeling of support.’ Mariia Bilokin, Art, Craft & Design. // Retail Floristry Level 5.

Because I am not stressed, I can better understand what everyone says,’ Victoriia Chubukova, Sports Rehabilitaion, 2023

The Creative Exchange Space began!

The benefits of the Creative Exchange Space are plentiful, from improving English skills to making friends, from honing confidence to expressing emotions. The comments speak to this.

‘I also enjoyed expressing myself through art – I felt supported and understood. Many thanks to Jenny & Michelle for setting up this special club, it means a lot to me.’ Alina Kravchenko, Digital Media student

New acquaintances, interesting lessons, ability to work in a team – all this was given to me by English classes and teachers.’ Khrytna Ivanova, Art, Craft & Design