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Championing female students in STEM subjects to #BalanceforBetter

08 March 2019

Every year, Study Group gives thousands of students the opportunity to uncover new passions and forge new careers through access to internationally recognised higher education programmes.

International Women’s Day is an annual celebration of the achievements of women worldwide. This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter, calling for a more gender-balanced world. Promoting inclusivity, diversity and gender balance are important themes throughout all of Study Group’s International Study Centres and collaborating universities.

Discover how, by providing unrivalled student support and creating opportunities for young women to develop their skills in STEM-related subjects, Study Group advocates for #BalanceforBetter.

Meet Rehab, from Saudi Arabia

Rehab in Brighton graduating

Studying abroad is a busy and challenging time for all students. For Rehab, from Saudi Arabia, this experience was made even busier by balancing studies with raising her young daughter. With the help of staff at the University of Sussex International Study Centre, Rehab was able to work her timetable and academic work around family life.

Rehab excelled in her International Foundation Year in Life Sciences & Psychology, and progressed to study BSc Biomedical Science at the University of Sussex. Her hard work in the laboratory led to her research being published in a journal – before she had completed her course.

Speaking about her success, Rehab said: “I feel like I’m on the top of the world. It’s so hard being a mum and a student, but now I feel like I’m super mum. Sometimes you work so hard and you feel like you deserve to get something and then you don’t, but if you just keep doing your best, you will get it.”

Meet Arthika, from Dubai


Another student who has forged her own path is Arthika from Dubai. Arthika’s mother had always regretted not being able to go to university, so was thrilled when her daughter decided to study the University of Sydney Foundation Program at Taylors College Sydney. After progressing to a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) Honours degree at the University of Sydney, Arthika discovered a passion for the study of antibiotic resistance.

On what studying in Australia means to her, Arthika says: “My mum has always wanted to have her daughter, her first born daughter, do something she’s proud of and be successful. I’ve always wanted to be a research scientist. I love research because I discover something new every single day.”

Meet Jane, from Ukraine

Jane doing an experiment

Discovering new passions is a significant part of the study abroad journey for our students. Another such student is Jane from Ukraine, who chose to study A Levels at Bellerbys College Brighton. Jane came from an artistic background, and was planning to train as a professional opera singer, before realising she had an aptitude for science, and a particular fascination with neuroscience.

“Neuroscience is something that I want to make an impact with. It is something which inspires me to change the world, something that is important for me on a deeply personal level and something that I want to contribute to. I think it is really important to have an opportunity to change other people’s lives. I think that I can make a difference by doing that.”

Despite not having a scientific background, thanks to the support of her teachers, Jane was able to thrive on her new academic journey. She said: “I’m really grateful for my biology and chemistry teachers never giving up on me. I discovered a new passion for science with them. With the help of the really passionate teachers who supported my will to explore and to question everything, I was able to rediscover that in myself.”

Meet Gabrielle, from France

Gabrielle in a lab

Gabrielle, who is studying her PhD in Aerospace Engineering at West Virginia University, shares this desire to change the world. Gabrielle’s research is focused on Mars rovers, working with NASA to create a rover that can fetch samples on Mars autonomously.

Describing her experience, Gabrielle said: “My background is in mining engineering and planetary science. I was actually part of the Mars rover science team before, so Mars terrain is my speciality. When I got to WVU, they needed someone to fill the gap between science and engineering and it was the perfect fit for me.”

International Women’s Day is celebrated each year on March 8th. Watch our video celebrating more of our students’ experiences and successes.

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