Meet a POI: Sarah

30 Oct 2017
Programme team - international Chevening Secretariat

Meet Programme Officer – International, Sarah. Half Japanese and half British, Sarah studied French and international relations, and also spent a year abroad on the beautiful island of Martinique.


Name: Sarah Bunting

Countries: North, Central and South America (except Brazil), British Overseas Territories

From: Kent, South East England

Joined the team: October 2016

Previous Chevening experience: I joined Chevening as an International Assistant in the International team, supporting ILOs with their portfolio work and helping out in the wider team where necessary.  


What other international experience do you have?

I'm half Japanese, half British, and am lucky enough to have been raised bicultural and bilingual, which meant many sweltering summers of my childhood were spent in my second home city of Tokyo. I studied French and International Relations for my undergraduate degree, and jumped at the opportunity to spend a year abroad on the beautiful island of Martinique in the Caribbean. My language skills have enabled me to work as an interpreter and translator for the Imperial House of the Crown Prince of Japan. 


What is your favourite food that you have consumed on a visit to a foreign country?

As a food lover, this is extremely difficult to narrow down—Georgian khachapuri (a gooey cheesy bread), omul fish on the island of Olkhon in Lake Baikal, grilled lobster after a gruelling day hike to Boiling Lake on Dominica...the list goes on and on!


What are your interests?

As expected, I’m an avid traveller and believe languages are an essential tool for cultural immersion in any country. To supplement my work in the LATAM region (or at least attempt to), I have been learning Spanish, and am currently struggling to salsa cubana with my two left feet. 


What is your favourite place in the UK and why?

Glasgow and Loch Lomond in Scotland - a cultural, historical city centre in touching distance to stunning natural scenery, and the seafood is some of the best in the country!


Are you looking forward to visiting your posts?

Of course! For marketing, I visited El Salvador (where I enjoyed one too many pupusas) and Chile more recently. I hope to be able to visit as many posts in the region as I can.  


Do you have any standout memories or anecdotes from your travels?

Having dinner in the Gobi desert in Mongolia, lit entirely by the bright luminous light of a full moon. Amusingly the camels resting nearby started grunting in unison, like a pack of wolves howling and lamenting at the lunar show.


Which countries would you like to visit that aren’t in your portfolio?

Angola, Iran, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe...I think I can safely say there isn't anywhere I wouldn’t like to visit.