Staff Spotlight: Zoe Gadhavi

Study Abroad Administrator

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What is your favorite travel memory?

At the time I might not have said 'favorite' but with hindsight it would be walking the Inca Trail in Peru. A challenging but amazing experience. Arriving at the site as the sun rose after three days hiking is something I'll never forget - in spite of altitude sickness, sore feet and very cold nights under canvas!

Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

When they come to Brighton students understandably want to travel in their free time to cities in Europe - it is after all easily accessible with good travel links. However we always emphasize that there are also some very interesting and enjoyable places to visit right here on their doorstep, like the county town of Lewes in the heart of rural Sussex, surrounded by chalk cliffs, home to Anne of Cleeves House (wife of Henry VIII) and full on interesting contemporary and antique shops. Lewes is also famous for its 'Bonfire Celebrations' in November - an idiosyncratic affair which really is a sight to behold. Come and see for yourselves!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

The study abroad team's passion to give the student's the best experience they possibly can. We pride ourselves in great pastoral care, putting our mind to solving the inevitable little hiccups studying in a new country will throw up, going the extra mile, trying to make the transition into a new culture as smooth as possible - and relishing the positive changes we see in students from when they first get here to when they leave.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have been fortunate enough to work for the study abroad office for a great number of years and the inevitable challenges that life has thrown up for me during this time I hope has given me the experience to help others when facing similar challenges. In meeting students of many nationalities you can't help but change any misconceptions you may have had about different cultures or countries.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

A mixture of experience - we've all been doing it long enough (!) and a continued passion for delivering a great student experience.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.

Occasionally a student may face a difficult personal experience whilst they are studying with us, it is at these times that not only as a study abroad team we come together to help, but we can also draw on the help and experience the wider University community can offer.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I still love to hear stories of study abroad students from all over the United States (and further afield) who come together for regular reunions - friendships made in Brighton seem to be friendships for life. And that's not to mention the countless weddings we've been told about between study abroad students who first met in Brighton!