Caroline Stotesbury in front of a red, white, and blue flag

Caroline graduated from Swansea University in 2009 with a BA in American Studies.  She is now a British Vice Consul at the British Consulate in Houston, assisting British Nationals overseas within Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. 

Why did you choose to study at Swansea University? 

My decision to study at Swansea was made almost the moment I got off the train from London for the open day. I remember touring the campus (back in the day when it was just Singleton) and the welcome I received from the start was so friendly. I also loved how close the campus was to the sea. The course outline was the most interesting I had seen, and the professors were open to discussion, commentary and feedback. 

What are the highlights of your student days? 

I would have to say the friends I made. I am still incredibly close to friends I made through my part-time job, who were also all students, and with a number of my housemates. During Covid, our WhatsApp group has been pinging like mad! 

The annual Varsity games are also a highlight. One year my younger brother came to visit and joined us for a Varsity game – I loved being able to share my university experience with family, and they always had such a wonderful time visiting. 

What did you do after you graduated?  

I was incredibly lucky to be offered a position at Disney World as part of their Cultural Representative Program. During that year I was able to travel throughout the USA, meeting so many people from different states and backgrounds. Once I returned, I applied for a position at the US Embassy in London, where I worked for the next four years before moving to Texas with my husband. 

You are currently British Vice-Consul for the states of Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Are you able to explain what your role involves? 

I am responsible for providing consular assistance to British nationals who are in trouble, in hospital or jail. I provide support to family members following a bereavement, child abduction or custody matter and provide advice and assistance following a rape or assault.  I process emergency passport applications, represent the British Government at consular-related events and provide consular support in a crisis.   

Has Covid-19 affected your role? 

Covid-19 has meant we have had to adapt. We are no longer able to see those seeking consular support in person, so all assistance has been provided through telephone/email. 

Has your time at Swansea had any impact on your role? 

Over the past year, I have been very fortunate to see the continued development of the University’s Texas Strategic Partnership. I love it whenever a representative from Swansea comes to visit Texas! It gives me the chance to reminisce, find out what is going on with the campus expansions and learn of any news from the area. 

What would you say to anyone considering Swansea as a destination for study? 

Swansea University is a fantastic place to obtain your degree. The facilities are first rate, but the environment, the culture and the experience are what will really make your time there memorable. There are hundreds of societies, extra-curricular activities and some of the most beautiful local areas to explore.  The opportunities to enjoy student life are limitless!