Alumni Stories – Rhiannon Healey

This series of posts looks at what our former students do after they graduate in History at the University of Gloucestershire. It demonstrates the various types of employment and further study they can go into. It provides useful guides for existing students, but also highlights the fascinating journeys of our graduates. The next story comes from Rhiannon Healey (Class of 2019) who discusses doing an MA in Broadcast Journalism, Teaching English as a Foreign Language and travelling around Europe.

If you were to tell me that after my time at the University of Gloucestershire, I would go on to complete a Masters in Broadcast Journalism during a global pandemic, before travelling the world teaching English as a second language, I’d probably say that you were joking. Whilst it’s certainly not the path I envisioned myself taking, this is the reality of my rather turbulent life.

Rhiannon (second from left) at her graduation in 2019.

I’ve always found it difficult to stick to one field of study; even whilst I was studying history, I found myself exploring other disciplines. I ended up taking modules in Journalism, International Marketing and Creative Writing – there were times I often wondered if I was going to graduate at all! However, my dissertation on the relationship between East German politics and the media really grounded me, and helped me realise my passion to learn more about the past and its impact on contemporary geopolitics.

From Rhiannon’s visit to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

The skills I gained from my time at Gloucestershire such as the ability to conduct research and cross reference sources prepared me for my time at Nottingham Trent University, but by changing universities there were different standards and teaching styles. Not only did I have to adjust my expectations, but it was far more difficult to develop a relationship with my lecturers – I had only one year to show who I was as opposed to three. And then there was the pandemic, which made the completion of a course where you are expected to operate certain tech and utilise the studios next to impossible, not to mention trying to schedule and undertake interviews! By some miracle, I was able to produce my final project – a multimedia news story on the increasing popularity of K-Pop in the UK.

The reality of my time at Nottingham Trent was far from what I expected. Although I was devoted to my chosen field, I definitely struggled, particularly with the subsequent disappointment I felt in the feedback I would sometimes receive on my work. There were times I felt discouraged and questioned whether I should even continue to pursue my studies, but thanks to the support network I had around me, I was ultimately able to graduate with an MA in Broadcast Journalism.

The Seven Saints Church in Sofia, Bulgaria

So why am I not showing up on your TV screens or on your radio’s soundwaves? After completing my studies, I decided I wanted to explore other potential avenues before settling into a definitive career. During my final year at the University of Gloucestershire, I undertook a six-week intensive CELTA course to teach English as a foreign language, which I have been doing since qualifying. It’s said that there’s little money in teaching, however, it has given me the opportunity to explore the world. Since the end of 2021, I have been predominantly teaching English all over Austria and Germany, though I have also undertaken work in Switzerland and even in Bulgaria.

the Firewatch Tower in Sopron, Hungary

For the most part it sounds like a pretty glamorous job. The constant travel sounds great on paper, but you are only in a location for a week before moving on to the next placement, and often this can be from one end of the country to another. It’s not uncommon to travel from Berlin to Vienna over the space of a single weekend. Additionally, schools in Europe start earlier than those in the UK – on average school can start anywhere from 7.25am to 8.30am. I’m certainly not complaining – with this job I have been able to travel to so many new countries and see so many spectacular sights, especially the historical landmarks and monuments. Despite taking a step back from journalism for the time being, I have set up the blog ‘Adventures of Rhiannon’ as a way of combining my passion for travel and writing.

I always thought that I would be the kind of person that once I’d chosen my path in life, I would never stray from it. My studies and experiences have given me a unique perspective, and though I don’t know what the long-term future holds, my provisional goal is to broaden my horizons and develop my career in the world of journalism.

If you are an alumni of the History course at the University of Gloucestershire, and would like to publish a story for the blog, please contact us at

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