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Joanna Horsely

BA History with Study Abroad

What has been the highlight of your time at Exeter?

It’s very difficult to select a single highlight; I have enjoyed being at Exeter so much. I definitely made the right decision in my choice of university. If I had to pick one highlight, I would say that having the opportunity to learn white water kayaking and to develop such a fantastic group of friends through the Exeter University Canoe Club has been amazing. Firstly, this is a sport that would be more difficult to experience outside of university and it’s fantastic that such diverse opportunities are offered to the students. As I also mentioned, through the canoe club, I formed strong, lasting friendships – friends, who have shaped and helped me through my time at university.

What will you miss the most about University?

My friends – most definitely! I’ve made such good friends through my time at university; they have shaped my university journey through the bad and the good. It’ll be sad to part and go on our different, separate paths, but I hope we will all manage to remain in touch.

What did you enjoy about your particular programme?

Studying History at the University of Exeter has only strengthened my love of the subject. The diverse modules offered by the History department allows students to study such a range of historical periods and events. It’s this opportunity to constantly learn something new - discovering new figures, events, and cultures – that I have truly loved about studying History at Exeter. My programme also allowed me to spend a year studying and living in New Zealand. This has to be the ultimate highlight of my programme. Not only did I expand my historical knowledge, I learnt so much about myself and of what I am capable. New Zealand is a fantastic country and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity.

What advice would you give to current and future students?

Take advantage of all the opportunities that the university offers you – there are so many! Join some of the plethora of university clubs, be committed to them and make lasting friends; as people say, the more you put in, the more you get out. It might be nerve-wracking to begin with, but be confident! For me personally, the prospect of spending a year in a foreign country away from my family and friends was daunting to say the least, but it was such a fantastic opportunity and I would never change my decision to study abroad. Take those opportunities that challenge you, make you nervous and push you out of your comfort zone – it is through these opportunities that you develop as a person and learn more about yourself and what you’re made of.

What are your plans now that you have graduated?

When I finished my final year exams, I still didn’t really know in what direction I wanted to head. I did not have it all sorted. But shortly after finishing exams, I started doing some job research and discovered an employment opportunity in the travel industry that really appealed to me. It would allow me to use the geographical knowledge I had acquired through my travels over the years and particularly my study abroad in New Zealand. After numerous stages of interviews, I discovered I had got the job!