Posted 1 October 2015
A monthly special featuring a current student from Harper Adams University.
Moving to England from South Africa only three years ago, and spending her childhood in Zimbabwe, it’s no wonder that second year student Emma Eastwick is keen to continue her global travels.
20-year-old Emma recently returned from Beijing Agricultural College in China as part of the university’s cultural summer exchange scheme.
Emma, who studies food and consumer studies, said: “It was an amazing experience and being paired up with students from Beijing Agricultural University made it even better, as it taught us so much about life in China and their culture.
“As well as intense lectures each day, we were also able to explore Beijing. China is a vast and beautiful country that I would love to visit again soon.”
Growing up in Zimbabwe with her father working in tobacco farming, Emma enjoyed a rural lifestyle, taking part in hobbies such as water sports, canoeing and swimming.
After moving to the UK for a few years, her family then relocated to South Africa in 2003 where she was able to pursue her love of swimming and sport.
Emma, who when not at university lives in Hampshire and works as a lifeguard, said: “It’s a completely different lifestyle in South Africa, with a culture based on food, eating and BBQs. You could say that this is where I found my passion for food.
“I miss the weather and have extremely fond memories, but as my dad still works in South Africa, I do travel back and forth.
“I’ve found that despite the differing cultures, the people are very similar in the two countries, but daily living in the UK is much easier, including catering for my vegetarian diet. But of course there are positives and negatives for both.”
By choosing a food-related degree course, Emma hopes to pursue a career in new product development, specialising in expanding the vegetarian food market.
Her interests vary from food marketing through to diet and nutrition, but wherever her career leads, she hopes that travel will be involved.
Emma, who works as a student ambassador whilst at university, added: “As a person, I think my multi-cultural background helps me to adapt to a variety of situations and relate to people of all backgrounds.
“I wouldn’t say no to spending my placement year abroad and would definitely like to explore more countries, particularly Australia.
“So, far, I’m really enjoying my course as there is plenty to do both academically and socially. The rural lifestyle certainly suits me.”