After the success of last month’s Student World Fair, Textbooks and Passports made it our business to catch up with the event’s organisers. We secured an exclusive interview with Jemma Davies, the organisation’s creator, who gave us some great advice about studying abroad and an insight into the inner workings of The Student World.
The Student World was set up in October 2010 and its university fairs are now must-visits for students considering studying abroad. Last month’s event at London’s Emirates Stadium attracted 58 exhibiting universities and institutes, and more than 1,000 visitors.
Jemma, the driving force behind the fair, told us that The Student World was created in response to a lack of “readily available information in the UK” about studying abroad. She said that her main aim is to offer students clear and easily-accessible information about pursuing a degree overseas.
The plan seems to be working. The Student World fairs have become the UK’s premiere events for foreign study and have rapidly expanded since launching in October 2011. A further two events are planned for 2012 alone: the fair will visit Manchester on 29 September, before returning to London’s Wembley stadium on 6 October.
We asked Jemma why more UK students don’t choose to study abroad. The main problem, she said, is a widespread fear that language barriers would make studying in countries such as the Netherlands, France and Sweden impossible. Jemma said that the Student World Fair, which is sponsored by The Student Room and The Independent, aims to dispel this idea and highlight the number of English-language courses available abroad.
Furthermore, Jemma said that she had been encouraged by the high number of attendees at the Emirates. She said that the attraction of “travel, culture, internationalisation and independence” had caused interest in studying abroad to rise, and that the recent hike in UK tuition fees was likely to continue the trend. More students than ever, she explained, are considering the different study options available to them.
For further details about The Student World and for more advice about studying abroad, please watch our full video interview with Jemma. We would love to hear from you about any of the issues raised in this post, so please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
Words by Oli Stratford