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Living Through Hong Kong’s Protests: The International Student Perspective

Pro-democracy protests have gripped Hong Kong since June. These protests initially began in opposition against a bill which proposed extradition to mainland China. While this bill was withdrawn in September, protests have continued with broader calls for democracy and police accountability. These protests fall within Hong Kong’s complex history, formerly a British colony until 1997 and now technically part of China. Hong Kong operates within the “one country, two systems” structure, meaning that Hong Kong’s people experience greater rights and freedoms than in China. Last week, following months of increasingly violent protests and clashes with police, local council elections in Hong Kong showed overwhelming support for pro-democracy movements, with the election of pro-democracy councillors in 17 out of the 18 districts. Continue reading Living Through Hong Kong’s Protests: The International Student Perspective

The Reality of Being in a Relationship as an International Student

When I left Exeter to go home for the summer, I felt anxious. I was leaving my boyfriend behind (who I wouldn’t see for three months), not knowing what will happen between us. The thought of being continents apart – with no way of seeing each other, relying completely on social media to sustain our relationship – scared me. Though we made it work, being in a relationship at university as an international student comes with many challenges. Continue reading The Reality of Being in a Relationship as an International Student

So Scandi: Six Ways to Enjoy Stockholm

Admired for its candyfloss-pink and clotted-cream coloured palaces and attractive residents, Sweden’s capital is all too easy to fall in love with. Often dubbed Scandinavia’s capital, this island city has plenty to offer for aesthetes, coffee connoisseurs and nature lovers alike. Here are six ways to make the most of this historic yet dynamic city. Söderalm is the Soho of Stockholm and one of the … Continue reading So Scandi: Six Ways to Enjoy Stockholm

Is the ‘GAP YAH’ Self Indulgent for White Saviours?

We joke at Uni about stereotypical ‘gap yah’ students who leave their privileged homes to travel to faraway places in the hopes of “like totally finding myself”. It’s claimed to be the best year of their life, but there is a problematic side to these ‘gap yahs’: the harmful aspects of voluntourism. Continue reading Is the ‘GAP YAH’ Self Indulgent for White Saviours?

Postcards From Abroad: California 2.0

This summer, I was lucky enough to spend 10 days with my family in southern/central California for a truly memorable holiday. Before this trip, I’d only ever experienced one transatlantic flight, so even the idea of a 10 hour flight and arriving in the United States excited me. There’s something indescribably magical about long flights, much as they may be inconvenient (and result in lack of sleep)!

We made 4 stops on our trip: San Francisco, Napa, Yosemite and Carmel-By-The-Sea. Continue reading Postcards From Abroad: California 2.0

The Truth Behind the Year Abroad: Planning & Preparation

If you know someone spending a year abroad in Australia, you may have noticed that the dribble of year abroad posts on social media has already begun. Prepare yourself: it will only get worse. In fact, in less than a month, I will be flying halfway across the world to start my own year abroad in the US, and so, I’ll soon be adding my … Continue reading The Truth Behind the Year Abroad: Planning & Preparation

So Scandi: In praise of “Summer” by Karl Ove Knausgård

Short trousers, redcurrants, summer rain, campsites, tears, electric hand mixers, intelligence, ice cubes, skin and plums. These are some of the objects and phenomena that Norwegian author, Karl Ove Knausgård describes in his book, Summer. Continue reading So Scandi: In praise of “Summer” by Karl Ove Knausgård