Gaia Ruzzenenti

Country: Italy
Subject of study: Arab and Islamic Studies
Year of graduation: 2023
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

What did you enjoy most about your degree programme?

This degree programme gave me the opportunity to become a very independent person thanks to this degree programme and especially the year abroad in Jordan. This unique experience strengthened lots of important skills which I consider fundamental to start a future work career. Furthermore, the three months in Tunisia which I spent during my final year, gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in the Arab culture and to enjoy it even more.

What was the highlight of your time at Exeter?

The highlight of my time at Exeter has been getting to know all the amazing people in the IAIS community. Starting from all my classmates, with whom I deeply enjoyed spending four years of my life. We had the chance to experience wonderful moments together. Thanks to our amazing teachers I will remember this period of my life as the most amazing opportunity I have ever had. 

What will you miss the most about University?

I’m still not ready thinking that I will graduate in less than a month. I will definitely miss all the amazing people in the IAIS department, who have always been very supportive. I spent most of my time there getting to know all the Staff and students. Therefore, I can definitely say that everyone in this community had an infinite interest and love in the Arab world, which is what I was looking for when I applied to study here.

What advice would you give to current and future students? (If you are an international student what would you like to tell future students from back home who might be thinking about applying to study in Exeter?)

 The way that my programme helped me strengthen my skills is unbelievable. Therefore, I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested in studying Arabic to come to Exeter University. I am an international student from Italy and before applying to Exeter I looked at some universities in Italy to study Arabic. I can definitely say that there is not such an intense programme in Italy . Therefore, I also highly recommend it to international students like me.

What are your plans now that you have graduated?

My future plans are still not very definite, but I have a few interviews planned after graduation. My dream would be to find a job in the Italian embassy that deals with Arab countries. I hope to achieve my dream.


Similar Alumni

Manami Goto

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies/ University of Exeter. I started my postdoctoral position at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Japan.

Mohamed Fahmy Menza

American University in Cairo. I’m now the Senior Director of Executive Education at the School of Global Affairs & Public Policy (GAPP) in the American University in Cairo (AUC). Since finishing my PhD, I’ve been engaged in the fields of socioeconomic research, development, and cross-cultural education, whereby I developed a plethora of multidisciplinary educational initiatives within Higher Education Institutions in the Arab world, the Global South, Europe and North America, using virtual exchange pedagogies.