Kristyna Rempel - BSc (Hons) International Relations exchange

Current Employer: ARTSTAQ Ltd 

Current Job Title: Content Manager

Current Location: Calgary, Canada

"I decided on Plymouth ... because of its location and smaller scale, I found it to be the perfect place for me. Also the class sizes were smaller so the teacher knew all students by name and it was more personal." 

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies.
I wrote my masters thesis on Cultural Diplomacy - a case study of the Czech Republic's cultural foreign policy during the Presidency of the Council of the EU. I was awarded an internship at the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the European Union in Brussels, and conducted many interviews with government officers. I graduated with Distinction in 2010.

Right after my graduation I moved to Canada where I worked in a bank (the largest financial institution in the province of Alberta, Canada) for three years before starting a family. Recently I returned to my field which is cultural policy and art development. I work as a content manager for a London/Czech Republic based startup called ARTSTAQ that focuses on art investment. 

We have started a family and purchased an acreage where we experiment with sustainability, we raise chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs and alpacas on our small 18 acre hobby farm. It is not financially profitable, but is extremely rewarding in many other respects. I met my husband at Plymouth University and we have two beautiful boys. Being a mother is by far the best thing I could ever imagine.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?
I was a curator for art exhibitions of talented European artist Erika Voith.

Since graduating is there anything you would you have done differently?
Probably nothing, I don't like to look back this way - I evaluate, learn a lesson, conclude and move forward.

Imagine you were about to start university again - with the benefit of hindsight - what would you now tell yourself to have done differently?
Not much. I have no regrets. I studied hard and had a healthy social life. Perhaps exercise more as my understanding of the mind body connection has enhanced, and try to find placement / part-time job in my field during my bachelor studies.

What was your main reason for choosing to study your course at Plymouth? 
For me it was one of the choices as part of the Erasmus Socrates Program. I was also chosen for the London School of Economics and Political Science but decided on Plymouth instead. Because of its location and smaller scale, I found it to be the perfect place for me. Also the class sizes were smaller so the teacher knew all students by name and it was more personal. 

How did we support you in your studies? If you used any support services whilst at the university how did they enable you to get to where you are today 
The international student centre was great and I could not have written my thesis without the Library. The databases and journals are an amazing resource of information.

How did studying at Plymouth change your career aspirations and plans?
It made me look at international relations from a totally different perspective (UK tradition versus Continental Europe approach to European integration, refugee studies, European identity and so on).

What is your favourite memory of studying for your degree at Plymouth? 
I met my husband in Plymouth and that changed my life completely.

Why would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University?
Because of the quality of the courses and approach of professors.

As an international student, how did we help you to get used to living and studying in the UK?
The student centre was amazing - with international potluck parties, historic tours and others. I felt that I had lots of support.

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