Pembroke Travels: Joshua Kirkhope-Arkley


This summer, Pembroke student Joshua Kirkhope-Arkley (European and Middle Eastern Languages, 2020) used the Robert Baldick fund to undertake a work opportunity with a newspaper in Lomé, Togo.

Photo of Josh's ID during the Internship

During his time there, Joshua would choose Togolese books to read and write summaries and critical analyses about them in French. These analyses would be published in the Literary ballads section of the newspaper. Josh describes this work saying:

“This was an incredible opportunity, as I had so much independence to write about what I enjoyed. The first book I read was one very recently published by quite a famous Togolese author, Moïse Inandjo. My summary and analysis of this book were published in the released edition of the newspaper – being able to see my name and my writing in one of the most popular newspapers in Togo was an incredible feeling, one which has really made me think more deeply about the possibility of a career in journalism.”

Josh at a journalist convention in Togo

Joshua continues to describe his experience in Togo, sharing the places he visited and food he tried:

“Having lived in Ghana as a young child, I vaguely knew and remembered the basic elements of West African food, and Togolese food did not disappoint. Fufu, a dough-like food made by pounding cassava and plantain, is delicious, and luckily I enjoy fish and chillies, as they seemed to be in almost every meal in some capacity!”

Togolese food Photo from Josh

He ends his report saying:

“I am really lucky to have been able to travel to this part of the world – it has been invaluable to my written and spoken French, but it has also given me a much broader perspective on the Francophone world and the ways in which la Francophonie is and isn’t relevant in the lives of French-speaking Africans.”

Read Josh’s full report here.

Every year, Pembroke College offers its undergraduate and graduate students a diverse range of academic grants and travel funds to help them undertake further study or research alongside their degree. A full list can be found here.

The Robert Baldick Travel Prize is available for graduate students undertaking any French related study abroad. In previous years, the total fund has been £1000.