Natasha Montagu

30 Jul 2013 | by

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natashaMy name is Natasha Montagu, a 19 year old half English, and half Taiwanese girl about to embark on the very new and exciting journey at Les Roches. I have yet to start at Les Roches, but it is looming ever closer, and I will be part of the summer batch of BBA students starting at the end of July 2013.

I am very much an expat child; born in Manila (Philippines) I have lived in Dubai, the Dominican Republic, England and am now back in Dubai for the second time. The reason behind all the different places and moves, which does admittedly seem a bit random, is due to the fact that my father works in the shipping industries and hence each country has its own special connection with the ocean. I have very fond memories of living in the DR since I lived there at a very impressionable age and long for my return one day. It is also where my love for all things Hispanic stems from; the people, the food, the culture and of course the language.

After our seven year stint in the Dominican Republic, my family and I moved to the very beautiful town of Cheltenham in the heart of the Cotswolds (England) which is where I would spend the next seven years of my life at a very prestigious all girls boarding school. It is after I have left The Cheltenham Ladies’ College that I became fully aware of how well they have prepped me to step out of my comfort zone and embrace all the opportunities and differences that come with it. It is also my belief that being at an all girls’ school actually helped rather than hindered my development as it gave me the clarity to separate the necessary from the unnecessary. I, unlike the majority of English students who take A-levels during their final last two years at school, did the International Baccalaureate which takes into account that our world is an interconnected web and challenges you to continue on subjects which aren’t your forte to make you a better all-rounder.

After I finished at the Ladies’ College I took a gap year, something which is very common in the UK but not so common elsewhere. A gap year is literally a year between finishing school and starting university where people use the opportunity to clarify what they would really like to do and also go travelling/ volunteering. I did exactly that. During my time I made up my mind that I would like to read History and Spanish at university, plus I went to Peru (my first time in Latin America) to do some volunteer work. My time in Peru was more than eye opening, it was humbling. The lesson I took back with me is that education above everything else will help you break out of social barriers and ultimately poverty. I also did a three month intensive Mandarin course at Beijing Language and Cultural University, to help kick start my Mandarin and introduce myself to China. It was extremely intensive, 6 hours a day, five days a week in the class room not including prep (homework) time. After my time in Beijing, I spent a month exploring China which was extremely liberating and refreshing.

I am now about to go to Les Roches because my original plan of studying History and Spanish didn’t work out. I started at the University of Exeter in September 2012 and by January 2013 realised that it wasn’t for me. I had to think of another alternative. Hotel management had never occurred to me before, but now it seemed really obvious since I had a lot in common with current students and the qualities needed to work in the industry.

I look forward to writing more upon my arrival at Les Roches, until then stay tuned!

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