Hitchin student Natasha learns first class result while stranded in Thailand

Natasha Gilbody with her proud parents Nick Gilbody and Sirina Duriyapraneet Gilbody

Natasha Gilbody with her proud parents Nick Gilbody and Sirina Duriyapraneet Gilbody - Credit: Archant

A graduate from Hitchin learned about her first class degree success while stranded in Thailand because of bureaucratic red tape.

Former Hitchin Girls’ School pupil Natasha Gilbody, 21, found out that she had awarded top honours for her BSc media production studies at Leicester’s De Monfort University while stuck in Bangkok at the end of her two week holiday in the country because of passport problems.

Dad Nick Gilbody, of Oughton Head Way, said: “Natasha has dual British and Thai nationality, and went to Thailand with friends to celebrate finishing her course.

“She had a wonderful time exploring cities, jungles and islands but at the boarding gate on her return to England the officers found she had been allowed to enter on her Thai passport which was out of date.

“Her British passport was in date but she wasn’t allowed to use it as there was no entry stamp – despite pleading with the authorities she was forced to remain at the airport in a very tearful state.

“Thankfully after getting over the initial stress friends and family rallied round and helped.

“My son James actually works for a media company in Bangkok so luckily Natasha stayed with him – and helped him out in the office – it was good in a way as it was like an extended work experience for her!

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“While she was in Bangkok her degree results were published which she checked online, and she phoned us in a joyfully tearful phone call.

“Thankfully the Thai authorities allowed her to use her British passport to leave the country after two weeks, and we all had a very emotional reunion when she got back to England.

“We’re relieved she is back safe and sound although there were a few jokes about checking passport dates once the dust settled.

“We are proud of her getting a first – there can’t be too many 2015 graduates who received their results while in exile.”

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