Tonia Antoniazzi: Democracy Week Student & Alumni Stories

November 10, 2022
Tonia Antoniazzi MP

Tonia Antoniazzi MP
Member of Parliament for Gower
University of Exeter alumna – Italian 1995 

I started at Exeter at the School of Modern Foreign Languages studying French and Italian, but my love of Italian and my Erasmus Year at Ca’ Foscari in Venice meant I ended up with a degree in Italian with French.

I was always a people person, I relished the opportunity to play rugby for Exeter women’s team in the first two years and then managed to find that Benetton Treviso had a women’s team ‘Le Pantere Rosse’, so I carried on while studying to play sport. So it literally was a case of ‘have boots and gumshield, will travel!’ I loved being able to talk different languages and share the same interests as my counterparts in Italy.

Being a student at Exeter gave me the opportunity to meet a wide range of people, and inspired me to become a languages teacher - a job I enjoyed for nearly 20 years before becoming an MP. It was also an honour to receive full sporting colours from Exeter University in 1995 after winning my first international cap playing for Wales Women’s Students. I am always very proud of past pupils and friends who have gone onto study at Exeter, and I am proud to be an alumni.