Year 8 Careers Fortnight – Q&A with Alumni Adventurer, Erin Bastian

07 June 2017

An interview with Outdoor Girl – AKA Penryn College Alumni; Erin Bastian. This is our final article on the 2017 Year 8 Careers Fortnight.

Adventurer Alumni

Our Adventurer Alumni Erin Bastian

Erin has made adventure her life, having worked in the outdoors since she was 15! At home in both the mountains, and on the sea, Erin has organised and led Expeditions to some incredible places including the West coast of Patagonia, Iceland and Nepal. Recently, she has launched her own business as a Sea Kayak Coach. 

When Erin returned to Penryn College to speak to our year 8s during their Careers Fortnight, we took to opportunity to ask her about how she got to where she is, and what she remembers about her secondary school experiences!

What was it like returning to Penryn College? 

It was strange to walk back into my old school, it looks so different, but the uniform is exactly the same. 

What did you do on your visit? 

I came in to chat to year 8s about my job, and my journey from school to adventurer. 

What do you do for a living?

I am an outdoor instructor and adventurer, which means I get to travel the world and teach people about the outdoor sports I love.

Do you think your time at Penryn College helped you to pursue this?

Yes for sure! My love of outdoor sports came from joining the sailing club and doing my D of E when I was at school. It is amazing that a school can offer such brilliant opportunities to its pupils. I realise now how important they were for me. 

Did you ever envisage doing this while you were at Penryn College? If not, what did you want to do? 

When I was at Penryn College I had no idea what I was going to be when I grew up. All I knew was that I loved sport, and loved outdoor sports even more. 

What did you do after leaving?

After leaving school I went to Truro College to study outdoor education. This is where I got my first instructor qualification and began teaching windsurfing and sailing during the summer holidays. 

Where do you live now? 

I have just moved back to Cornwall to start my own business. For the past few years I have worked seasons in Chamonix, France and Scotland. 

Did you enjoy your time at Penryn College?

Yeah I did enjoy my time at Penryn, I would certainly say it was the amazing amount of Sport, and outdoor opportunities which kept me excited about school.

Who was your favourite teacher?

Mr Ede was pretty awesome. He taught me Science, but he ran our DofE club, and did all our training and expeditions. 

What was your favourite subject? 

PE!! I loved sport. Sometimes it was the only reason I wanted to go to school. I just wanted to play matches and learn new skills. 

What was your most memorable moment as a student? 

I remember taking part in my first ever sailing race! Mr Lushington organised for Penryn College to enter a team into the Cornwall schools regatta. We got to compete in Falmouth harbour and just 4 of our after school club members were entered.

What was your funniest moment as a student? 

I remember my science teacher in year seven, Mr Lobb. He did an experiment to show us what happens when you put potassium into water. The lump of potassium he used was so big, I think he almost lost his eyebrows when it exploded. 

Are you still friends with anybody you met at Penryn College?

Yes I still see some of my best friends from school. Although we seem very grown up these days. 

What is your lasting impression of Penryn College?

Penryn College was a place I could learn new skills, play tonnes of sport, and the teachers were all so lovely.

Any final words of advice to our current students? 

You might not know what you’re going to do when you grow up, but if you keep doing all the things that you’re passionate about, and really stay focused, at some point your dream job will come your way.

You can find out more about Erin on her amazing website: