Tre’Shawn Griffin-Noordermeer always knew he wanted to study in the UK. ‘I was obsessed with British history and the monarchy. From the moment I studied European history and learned about the Queen in 10th grade, I knew I was going to live in London.’
‘I chose Regent’s because of its location and flexible courses. I wanted to study somewhere where I could choose a major and a minor – for me, this was Politics and History – and the BA (Hons) Liberal Studies course at Regent’s was perfect for this.’
Post-graduation, Tre’Shawn combined his two subjects in his next steps. Now living in the Netherlands, he has just completed his MA in Museum Studies, as well as taking on the role of Party Secretary for the Democrats Abroad in the Netherlands.
‘Nine million Americans live abroad, and 40,000 of them live in the Netherlands. As an official part of the Democratic Party, Democratics Abroad ensures that these Americans aren’t forgotten about; we hold primaries during the election period, we fight for the rights of Americans living abroad and we remind and encourage fellow Americans to vote.
I joined the party because of the outreach aspect – it's great to connect with the American community right across the country. However, there is also the opportunity to take on significant leadership roles in the party, which I would never be able to do this early if I was back in the States.
Regent’s absolutely prepared me to take on this leadership role. For example, building my debating skills was an essential part of my Liberal Studies course. I vividly remember my lecturer telling me to argue against the monarchy during one class. She knew how much I love the monarchy and wanted to demonstrate how important it is to understand both sides of the argument. I even managed to win that debate!
Regent’s offered so many different perspectives on culture, politics – on life, really. We all brought our own viewpoints from all over the world and that translated into such a rich learning environment.’
Whilst Tre’Shawn was at Regent’s, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. ‘Because Regent’s has such a family feel, from the moment I was diagnosed, I was looked after by the whole community. My friends and classmates knew exactly what to do if I had a seizure in class, as did the lecturers. Accommodation staff would check in on me, and the disability advisor was outstanding. I made some of my closest friends during this period.’
Tre’Shawn is now looking to take the skills he learnt at Regent’s towards Cultural Diplomacy. ‘I’ve realised from the international exposure I’ve had so far just how important sharing experiences, artefacts and cultural traditions across the globe really is. I would love to be in a role that can really drive this.’