Matilda Olai


Adventure Education BA (Hons)

Matilda Olai

I was a wanderer for many years after finishing school. During my travels I realised that I very much enjoyed being outside and doing practical things, something that I had never considered before, being a rather bookish city-person. I volunteered on various farms and walked and swam in my free time. While volunteering for a camel trekking company in Australia, I met some outdoor educators for the first time and realised that there existed a career path that I had never thought about before. So, I returned to Sweden with the intent of pursuing a career in an outdoorsy line of work. After a lot of searching, I eventually found the School of Adventure Studies. 

I have certainly enjoyed my time in Fort William. The college is really small which means you get to have a great relationship with your lecturers and the lectures feel more like a dialogue than just having someone talk at you. The natural surroundings are fantastic and the many practicals we did in first year were really valuable as a way of getting to sample the different outdoor sports. There are so many opportunities at SOAS, you just have to be self-organised and pursue them. I enjoy living in a small town where I know many people and have constant access to such beautiful and spectacular surroundings, excellent mountain biking and hillwalking right on my doorstep. This degree has allowed me to test my intellect and ponder philosophical questions about the natural world and humanity's relationship to it, that I would undoubtedly never have thought about otherwise. It has honed my ability to think critically and to question things.  

Covid has not made job-hunting any easier, but perhaps I will try to apply for various graduate schemes at outdoor centres or I will try to get a job at a forest school.