The 25 students are taking part in a wide range of activities in Nairobi.

Exeter students in Nairobi trip

Students from the University of Exeter are visiting Kenya as part of a week-long experience designed to help them develop their employability skills, cultural intelligence and widen their global networks.

The 25 students are taking part in a wide range of activities, working with several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and eco-entrepreneurs who are addressing some of the challenges faced by Nairobi.

They will also learn about efforts to turn it into a “smart city” run by coordinated computer and internet technology, to benefit the lives of its inhabitants and the local economy and environment.

The trip was organised in collaboration with Common Purpose, which runs global leadership development programmes.

The aims of the trip include building confidence and equipping the students with the skills to play a part in tackling the biggest societal issues facing businesses, governments and societies worldwide.

“This is the fourth group from Exeter to go on a Common Purpose trip, and we hope the experience will make students consider options they hadn’t previously thought of,” said Anna Moscrop, Study Abroad Manager at the University of Exeter.

“Many employers highlight the value of international experience when selecting potential employees and it is with this in mind that we promote these programmes.

“The students will develop a range of skills on this trip, including their ability to work in diverse teams and their communication skills.

“It will also test their drive and resilience, self-awareness and their ability to appreciate the point of view of other people from other backgrounds.”

Research has shown that international experience plays a large part in boosting students’ employability, and the students on the trip will develop a range of “transferable skills” that will help them throughout their personal and professional lives.

“The biggest takeaway from the immersion sessions is that there are many wonderful African solutions to African problems and the best thing we can do as youth ambassadors is to champion these pre-existing projects and give them the exposure they need,” said Hope Hughes, a third year History and Politics student at Exeter.

“The NGOs and individuals we've come across have really expanded and challenged my perception of what Kenya is like, and the work they're doing is truly inspiring.”

Amy Matthews, an English student who went on a Common Purpose trip to Kuala Lumpur last year, said: “CI learned that, with understanding, empathy and curiosity, I can embrace a new culture with interest rather than estrangement. It dissolves boundaries and encourages communication.”

Date: 28 July 2017

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