Get to know the Global Opportunities Team and what has inspired us to travel the world and help students to do the same! We also find out why the GO Team love Queen Mary and their top picks to visit in East London.
This week we sat down with Global Opportunities Assistant, Gunesh Jand, to find out about her experience of living abroad as a student, why she loves London and her favourite place in the world (so far!)…
1) What’s your role at Queen Mary?
I’m the Global Opportunities Assistant. I dabble in a lot of projects that GO takes on, such as the outbound summer schools, the China Scholarship Programme and of course welcoming and sending out students on exchange throughout the academic year. Most of you would have probably already spoken to me through the study-abroad email address.
2) If you could take an aspect from another country, and bring it with you back here, what would it be?
I remember being on my year abroad and complaining that nothing was like home. Once I moved back to London I was just like “remind me why we do this again?” It goes to show how easily we adapt to our environments! But in all honesty if I had to take another aspect of life abroad, it’d be something as selfish as early release dates for films/TV shows or air-conditioning on the tube- that would be an actual life saver!
3) What would you say was one of the biggest adjustments you had to make when you lived abroad?
Accepting the fact that when you’re abroad, people will always put your milk in before your teabag and hot water. So. Very. wrong. I’d also be lucky if my mum ‘gifted’ me with PG tips when I went home at the holidays. So in a nutshell, the tea situation. That and the village donkey (named Pinocchio) and rooster (not sure of his name) were rather noisy.
4) What is your favourite thing to do in London?
I love love LOVE London in the summer. There’s always pop-up exhibitions, festivals and even just strolls along the South Bank. A lot of people rant about how expensive London is- but I really don’t think this has to be the case. Plan your activities, and mix it up!
5) Did you study abroad?
I was a British Council Language Assistant in France during my degree. Having studied French and Linguistics at QMUL, this meant my options were only France or Canada for this type of placement. I was placed in a little village in Northern France called Fourmies. Working has its perks, but looking at subjects that are available in many of our partner universities I think I would have preferred to do that. It was a learning experience nonetheless.
6) Favourite place you’ve ever traveled to?
So far I’d have to say Mexico- I think I really pushed limits by going there mainly because my sister made me go this really wild adventure park. I’m also going to Peru and Ecuador this summer, so I’m hoping this will soon be the answer to this question! I absolutely love Latin culture: the food (and I’m talking REAL Latin food) the vibes- absolutely everything. Fingers crossed it lives up to my expectations!
7) If you could live somewhere else in the world where would it be?
Calgary (?), Los Angeles (?)…London. There really is no place like home *clinks ruby red heels*.
8) If you could study at one of our partner institutions which would you choose?
You’ve probably guessed already but I really do find Latin America fascinating, so I’d probably say Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia) or Universidad de Guadalajara (Mexico). For Guadalajara, I’d choose their summer programme though- it looks like so much fun. Having said this, all of our partners are amazing, so I’d be absolutely flattered if any of them said they’d have me!