BA Arabic & Persian 2016
What did you enjoy about your degree programme?
I was lucky enough to spend my year abroad in Jordan, and although some have called it The Hashemite Kingdom of Boredom, mostly due to the company I was in and places we visited, I had a fantastic year. Being so far from home in a completely alien and unfamiliar environment seems a challenging prospect, indeed at times it was tough, yet as an Arabic group we supported and helped each other at rough times, and celebrated in style at the best moments, again, I have my friends to thank for this.
Tell us about the award you have received. What does this award mean to you?
I am overwhelmed and delighted to be awarded the Tom Fattorini prize this year. Although I feel I’ve worked very hard this year I was incredibly surprised to win the award and would like to thank the teachers of the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies for their hard work and dedication to their subjects which has given me such a passion for the subject which I hope will continue to develop in the future.
What has been the highlight of your time at Exeter?
Between spontaneous nights at EX4 and delirious moments after ten-hour study sessions in the ‘Ocean Cave,’ one of my many highlights of my time at Exeter has been representing the university playing volleyball. The morale, camaraderie and high spirits experienced after a well-fought match, where you have expended every last bout of energy against an equally determined opponent can never be matched.
What will you miss the most about university?
Easiest question – my friends. The friends I’ve made at university are unrivalled. Everyone comes to university understandably anxious and nervous about whether they will make friends and find people they truly get along with, but I can say with absolute certainty – the friends I’ve made here will be friends for life, through the highs of my twenties and the lows of my eighties (if I make it that far), and for that I am truly thankful.
What advice would you give to current and future students?
Do a year abroad. No questions asked. I truly believe that you will experience so much more in a year than you ever thought possible, wherever you go, whatever you see, or don’t see, and whatever you do. Take every opportunity given to you. Don’t expect your education to be served to you on a plate. Strive to make the best for yourself. If the answer isn’t in the textbook, find another one. Keep searching for answers, striving for knowledge. Have clear goals and focus on them. Not just academic goals, life goals. Travel. Life isn’t all about grades, don’t get too tied down or obsessed with them. Expand your mind in every direction. Be the best you can be, without caring what your peers, your parents, or society’s dictates you should be.
What are your plans now that you have graduated?
I hope to hike across the Swiss Alps then fly onto Australia where I’ll spend the year working and travelling. After that, I am hoping to join the army and use my language skills as a military linguist, although I’m open to job offers.