A conversation with John Hitchman, of Wroxton College
Interview by Dan Landau and Andrew Rose
Photo by Andrew Rose
One of the most popular members of the Wroxton College community is also one of the newest: John Hitchman. A jack-of-all trades, Hitchman drives students into Banbury, does odd jobs around the Abbey, runs the bar in the Buttery, and organizes the college choir.
FDU: Where are you from?
JH: Shipston-on-Stour, a small market town in South Warwickshire, roughly 10 miles from Stratford-on-Avon.
FDU: What do students come to you for at Wroxton?
JH: Lots of things: everything from advice on how to get to places, to sorting out problems with their room, or just talking about all sorts of things and passing the time of day.
FDU: What did you do before you started working at Wroxton?
JH: I was a publican in a small village pub.
Editor’s note: Publican is the British term for someone who owns or manages a pub.
FDU: As an English person, what is it like to work with American students?
JH: Great. They are always so friendly. It’s a pleasure to welcome them here and make them feel happy.
FDU: What have you learned from working with American students?
JH: Working here is like a second education for me and it makes me realise the opportunities I missed out on the first time around. I enjoy learning more and more about the Abbey and the surroundings so I can share this fascinating history with the students.
FDU: What is your favorite Wroxton memory?
JH: A student is a recent group told me, ‘this place has made me realise that studying is a pleasure.’
FDU: What does it feel like to work in a study abroad campus?
JH: It is always sad to say goodbye to students at the end of their time here. A few weeks or months gives just enough time to get to know everyone properly but it is always exciting driving to the airport to greet an new group.
FDU: What is one “insider tip” you would like to share with future Wroxton students to help them prepare for the experience?
JH: Manage your time. Plan your stay here both with your studies and your leisure and ‘cherry pick’ the leisure trips to work around your studies.
FDU: Anything else you would like to share?
JH: Wroxton College is a great place to be. The Abbey, the grounds, the surrounding countryside makes this place a pleasure to work at. There is an abundance of history in this part of the world with many fascinating places to visit. But most of all, the friends I have made since I started here, both work colleagues and students, makes this the best job I have ever had.