A Journey to Remember - Monica’s blog
It's been nearly six months since Monica arrived in Exeter to live and work in in the city. As our Exeter Student Ambassador and working with the City Council, Monica has been greatly involved in the area. Here's more on her experience:
It has been almost six months since I arrived to Exeter. It was early February, one of those rainy English days, when I started my first shift as an intern for the department of Growth and Enterprise at Exeter City Council. It was exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measure, working in another country, meeting new people and all the while using an altogether different language with a contrasting set of social cues to follow. Stereotypes and generic tips will only get you so far, living within the community and immersing yourself in the culture will do the rest.
Almost half a year later, this week is my last as a participant of TTPL. During this time I have gone from being a clueless foreign visitor to being the Exeter Student Ambassador and, for the past few months, worked together with my colleague Jessica on bringing the other students together for meetings and events so that they get the most out of this experience and have the support they require should there be any troubles along the way. It has been a thrill and a privilege to be involved in such rewarding journey.
It is almost impossible to pick a highlight from the past months because there have been so many. I’ve been offered quite a privileged position since my work within the Council has given me great insight into the management of events and festivals while simultaneously offering me unique chances to partake in these as the tourist that I actually am.
I’ve attended the Exeter Food Festival both as staff and VIP, eating my way through countless samples of the best products of South Devon. I’ve visited the historical Powderham Castle and its beautiful gardens during their annual Garden Festival, petted alpacas at Westpoint Arena during the Devon County Show and celebrated cultural diversity at Belmont Park during the Exeter Respect Festival. All this while gathering media for my department’s use. For me, these examples serve as a personal reminder that, however daunting your job may feel like at first, do not let the challenges that you might encounter deprive you of enjoying your stay to the fullest.
Be proactive and outgoing or be carefree and introvert, there’s always something to do in Exeter and, I assure you, there’re always other students looking for the same things.
Don’t be a stranger.
Look forward to the road ahead,
Monica, TTPL Student Ambassador