Profile: Jim Newham

Jim NewhamI have always been fascinated by maps, world geography and international relations. At university, I lived in an international hall of residence, which enabled me to meet people from many countries, from Iceland to Thailand, from Gambia to Bhutan. One of the highlights of the year was International Night, when we all got the chance to sample cuisine from all over the world. Another was when everyone started throwing coloured powder at each other, Diwali-style. My degree was in linguistics, and during this I learned a little about the world's main languages as one of my projects.

Thanks to an offer of an English-teaching from an Egyptian uni friend of mine, I went to live in China for 9 months in 2002. This gave me first-hand experience of a completely different culture, and also what it's like to be an expat. I also managed to pick up a little Mandarin Chinese. Since then I have mostly travelled vicariously, by teaching students from many different countries and learning more of their country's ways. This increased my awareness of different cultures and fed my desire to learn more. Hence working for Expat Briefing is a great job for me. I'm learning new things about countries while I go along and I'm also able to put some of my own world knowledge to use.