The University of Iowa

Sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic for now, Stewart Knights, international exchange student from England, vows to return to the University of Iowa for a proper farewell

April 8th, 2020
Stewart Knights, international exchange student from Manchester, England

Stewart Knights, international exchange student from Manchester, England

Drawn to the abundance of business and entrepreneurial resources available to students at the University of Iowa, Stewart Knights decided to spend a year away from his home school of Lancaster University in Lancashire, England, in order to attend the University of Iowa as an exchange student.

In his University of Iowa experience, Knights anticipated networking, business, and learning opportunities. “The professors and courses at Iowa were great and Iowa was an amazing place to build a network and participate in student organizations like Founders Club and HawkTrade,” says Knights.


Learn about daily life in Manchester, England, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Learn more about how Knights is adjusting to the transition to online learning at the University of Iowa.

Check out these well wishes from Knights.


 

What Knights didn’t expect was the tight-knit sense of community on campus. “The whole mentality of being a Hawkeye is different—it seems to permeate many different facets of your life, and I enjoyed being part of it. It gave me a different outlook on what college is all about—the friends that you make and the network of individuals who are all part of a micro-community that is the University of Iowa.”

A highlight for Knights was pitching a business idea through the Iowa Startup Games and then the Iowa Innovation Challenge. His business idea received $1,350 funding in total from the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, and is centered around a soon-to-be-developed app, Context, intended to help people navigate different cultures across the world.

No stranger to entrepreneurial endeavors, Knights had already started a public speaking consultancy, Millxnnials, that was started with the help of seed money earned at a pitch competition in England.

“I do grieve for the experience. It’s the little things – walking into Catlett Hall and seeing someone you know, spending time with friends, the campus environment…I miss the atmosphere of the whole place.”

In fact, just before the coronavirus pandemic prompted the University of Iowa to move to virtual instruction for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, Knights had returned to the United Kingdom for a conference sponsored by one of his Millxnnials clients. It was while he was abroad that he learned he would not be returning to Iowa City.

Stewart Knights (second from right) with friends at the Iowa Startup Games

Stewart Knights (second from right) with friends at the Iowa Startup Games

“I do grieve for the experience,” says Knights. “It’s the little things – walking into Catlett Hall and seeing someone you know, spending time with friends, the campus environment…I miss the atmosphere of the whole place.”

Knights is making the most of the shift to online learning at Iowa. “So far, it’s going really well,” reflects Knights. “The time difference is a bit tough for some lectures, but all of the professors are very understanding and I can go to them with questions.”

When asked if he plans to return to campus in the future, Knights responded, “I want to make sure that I’ve said a proper farewell to all of my friends and professors—people that I’ve met through the rugby team, student organizations, the Tippie College of Business, and JPEC. I will definitely be coming back to Iowa.”

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