Why did you choose to study at the University of Cumbria?  

I actually read about it in Megan Hine's Autobiography. She's a reputable survivalist and a great inspiration to me and studied at the university. When reading about it, it seemed like the perfect place for me situated in the heart of the mountains. With an abundance of natural surroundings and choice for where to go on an adventure, why wouldn't you choose to study here?  

Why did you choose the Outdoor Leadership degree course at the University of Cumbria?

Outdoor Leadership has always been my passion since I was a Scout in South Africa. For my gap year after school, I volunteered at a Scout centre near Oxford, which got me hooked on teaching in the outdoors. Reading about the degree, I valued having subjects such as coaching, psychology and theory and practice, as I knew it would help me head where I needed to go. 

What do you love most about the course?

I love the passion everyone has to learn and do things outdoors. The lecturers, demonstrators and students all have such enthusiasm and passion that it's hard not to love the outdoors.

What has been your favourite experience(s) at the university so far?

A survival experience on the Shetland was definitely the highlight so far for me, as well as ice-climbing on the side of Red Screes.

How are the lecturers?

The lecturers are really lovely and supportive. They're always up for a chat after lectures or a day out to discuss what you've learned or just to pick their brains about the outdoor sector. They're all passionate about where they are and what they teach which is so so beautiful to see.

How has this course prepared you for your future career in the working world?

The course has given me the tools to risk assess, plan sessions, and articulate my coaching philosophy. I've had access to National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and days out to build experience that I would not have afforded otherwise. There is also a careers fair coming up particularly for the outdoors students to introduce us to representatives of potential future work opportunities.

What are your plans after graduation?

Probably first just take a few days off to let it sink in! Then finish off my NGBs and get going with working in the outdoors. I'm not sure whether I'll be in the Lakes or another part of the UK but I'm planning on staying in the UK for the foreseeable future!

Visit our BA (Hons) in Outdoor Leadership in the Institute of Science and Environment!

Ambleside is a lovely town at the heart of the Lake District which is always humming with people going on adventures. I really enjoy hiking, climbing and wild swimming and have love having access to all of these on my front doorstep!

Opal Goldring

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