A Swansea student who had never left Wales before starting his American Studies course found that studying abroad was such a positive experience that he helps other students to study overseas and is now planning to teach in China.
Twenty three year old Christian Dennis, who is originally from Morriston, and is a former pupil of Morriston Comprehensive School, is graduating with a BA Honours degree in American Studies at a Degree and Award Congregation for the University’s College of Art and Humanities, held in the City and County of Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall today (Monday, July 14). Christian will be supported at the event by his proud mother and sister at the ceremony.
Christian said that a major motivation for his choice of American Studies was that the third year was spent studying in the USA, at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. While many students find that a period spent studying abroad has a transformative effective on them, Christian felt that the contrast with his life was even greater as he had not travelled overseas before.
He said: “Although the prospect of moving to another country was exciting it was also a bit scary. However, people were so friendly and kind and I really enjoyed having the chance to study and socialise with the American students and other international students from many different countries.”
On his return to Swansea University, Christian decided he would volunteer for the International Development Office as a Peer Advisor to help prospective students consider the benefits of a period of times spent abroad.
Now he has graduated, Christian has more plans to travel the world. He said: “I’ve really been bitten by the travel bug and am now planning to move to Hunan in China in August, where I am to teach English and after that I want to go to South America to teach too.”
Sian Impey, Head of Internationalisation at Swansea University said: “Many students have either never thought about studying overseas or are daunted by the prospect. Christian worked really hard during our Open and Visit days to really engage with prospective students and by recounting his experiences and giving them practical advice, he helped to inspire some students consider studying or working abroad. I’m so happy that Christian found his experience a positive one and wish him all the very best for his future travels.”