Across the Pond: Interview with a Hartpury Exchange Student

By: Alyssa Murphree, February 1, 2017

Each year, equine science and management juniors at Delaware Valley University have the opportunity to apply for the Hartpury College exchange program. Hartpury College, located in Gloucestershire, England, is very similar to DelVal in that they have a rich agricultural heritage and a strong equine program located at their state of the art facilities.

You may have met a Hartpury student at some place and time here at DelVal. That’s because each fall, Hartpury sends some of their own students here to participate in the exchange as well. Having had British equine students in some of my own classes in the past, I can say that just having them here can provide a wealth of information about the international equine industry.

This semester there are four DelVal equine students currently studying at Hartpury. One of them happens to be my friend Sonia Williams, an equine business and management major. Aside from the daily Snapchat updates, I wanted to take the time to gather a detailed account of her experience at Hartpury so far.

Q: Why did you want to go to Hartpury?

A: I wanted to go to Hartpury because I always wanted to participate in a study abroad program.  When I heard about Hartpury it seemed to offer everything I could want from such an experience.

Q: What has been your favorite part so far?

So far, I’ve enjoyed exploring the campus and the city of Gloucester.  Luckily, we had almost an entire week without rain so I was able to walk around campus and begin to find all the trails as well as travel into town multiple times and get just lost enough to have an adventure.

A: What are some of the biggest challenges in studying abroad long term?

I’ve found that meeting people and making friends is a big challenge. Honestly, the packing your life into a couple suitcases for 6 months wasn’t that much of a challenge.  I’m still working on meeting people but slowly I’m beginning to recognize a few friendly faces around campus.

Q: How do you believe this experience will help you as you build your career?

A: I hope this experience will help me build my career by making me more aware of the equine industry in a global sense.  Everyone does things with horses differently and to be really successful you have to be aware of different methods.  Along those lines, you have to understand the pros and cons of all of them so that you may do you job to the best of your ability and give the horses the best care possible.

Q: What are some similarities and differences between DelVal and Hartpury?

A: Between both schools, I have found the equine faculty incredibly helpful and supportive.  I’ve also found that just like DelVal, there are the incredibly obvious “horse girls” at Hartpury, and they’re all lovely.  Both schools have small, beautiful campuses.

Q: What is your favorite class that you are taking at Hartpury and why?

A: I am really enjoying my equine biomechanics class.  So far, we’ve only been in the classroom but we will be headed to use the equine treadmill later on in the semester.  The class is taught by a enthusiastic module leader and she makes sure that the classes are engaging and entertaining.  I feel that this class will teach me useful information that I will be able to apply to future jobs.

Q: What are you most looking forward to the rest of the semester?

A: For the rest of the semester I’m looking forward to seeing how my classes turn out.  I’m also excited to travel over Easter break and to explore other countries nearby.

Q: What advice do you have for students who participate in this exchange in the future?

A: For anyone who is interested, do it!  While it’s hard to wrap your head around moving for 6 months it’s worth it.  Also, talk to the girls who have gone in years past.  Feel free to send me any questions you have, I won’t mind!  I’m happy to answer any questions you have and give you advice.  I know that for us, there were lots of unanswered questions when we came.

If you are interested in keeping up with the adventures and experiences of this semester’s Hartpury exchange students, you can follow their Instagram @hartpurystudyabroad.

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