REBECCA SET TO DINE OUT ON HER PHD PLAN
Richard Youle, Evening Post, 2nd July 2007, page 20

A Swansea student could spend three years crisscrossing the globe tucking into Sunday lunches.


Rebecca Carl is applying for a PhD at Swansea Institute so she can follow her academic dream and obtain her doctorate.
And, if she can get a part-timer lecturers' job at the institute they'll give her backing and fork out the fees. Rebecca hopes to fly out to around 20 different countries, joining families from a host of different cultures for their weekly nosh-up.

She said her generous mum will help out with the cost of the flights. But other temptations have wafted her way. "I have had job offers with advertising firms in London," said the 27-year-old. "I was thinking about them for the past half-a-year. "But people have said, 'You have to do the PhD'. "Most people think it's a really good idea. "I really, really hope it's the right decision."

Rebecca, who is originally from Leipzig, Germany, has already stumped up £3,000 on her current MA course in visual communications at the institute. During the one-year course she visited seven families in and around Swansea and joined them for their Sunday lunch ritual. While there she would take photos and record proceedings. Although she developed a love of parsnips during her research, it wasn't just about the tucker. It doesn't matter what you eat, it's the family getting together that counts," she said. "Families were really friendly and gave me a really warm welcome."

Last weekend, Rebecca had an exhibition of her project, Invited to Sunday Lunch, at Swansea's Grand Theatre. It included photos, a glossy magazine, and a chair from each of the families, around a table. Now she's spreading her net wider, ahead of the Phd she's applied for. Rebecca has been developing her contacts abroad using internet site Flick. People from Japan and Australia, among others, have been in touch. Rebecca's own website has also had thousands of hits.

In the longer term Rebecca wants to stay in Wales. "I want to have a future in Swansea as a lecturer," she said.

A Swansea Institute spokesman confirmed that if Rebecca got a full or part-time job, her PhD fees would be covered. "They would be paid from the institute's staff development fund," he said.