International Women's Day is an annual celebration recognising the achievements of women all over the world. Each year, Study Group sees thousands of young women embark on a journey of personal development at our International Study Centres.
For Oishi from India, this was about championing women working in technology. After starting her time abroad studying Engineering and Technology at the University of Leicester International Study Centre, Oishi progressed to study BEng Software and Electronic Engineering at the University, completing her year in industry at Rolls-Royce.
Understanding the importance of women in technology, Oishi used her academic strength to become the Chair of the Women in Computer Science Group at her university. Speaking about the role, she said “I want to become a role model for other students and encourage the young generation, especially women, to pursue a career in engineering and technology.”
Upon graduation, Oishi was offered a job at Rolls-Royce, and now works as a Software Verification Engineer. Oishi plans to keep working in engineering, and will continue to support women working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields.
Another University of Leicester International Study Centre student, Sumaiya from Dubai, found studying abroad a great way to develop personally, as well as academically. Sumaia arrived in Leicester to study the International Foundation Year in Economics and Management.
Discussing her new-found independence, Sumaiya says that before moving to the UK, she frequently relied on her parents for help. “Over here, I went to the bank to open my own bank account, and it was a big deal for me! With the help of the International Study Centre and the University, I am confident enough to go out and put myself forward. This country made me independent.”
Many international students believe studying abroad helped them to develop their independence. One of these students is Victoria from Venezuela, who studied the International Foundation Year in Business and Management at Holland International Study Centre. Victoria hopes to work for the United Nations one day, and will use her personal experience as an international student alongside the academic skills she gains studying BSc Economics at Tilburg University.
For Vine from Nigeria, studying abroad was a chance to learn more about herself, as well as the world.
“I’ve definitely changed since my freshman year. I used to be really introverted, and was not good at talking to people. I chose Communication Studies because I needed to develop this skill. Now I am in my senior year, I can see the difference. I got a job and worked my way up to a shift manager. It makes me feel more like an adult than when I arrived.
“I am also a lot more comfortable with the culture here. At first, I was shocked by people having tattoos and piercings and dying their hair green. I just expected a stereotype, but I realised you cannot box people in. There are so many more varieties of people here than I expected, which is great. Now I’m more Americanised.”
Vine arrived at the James Madison University International Study Centre to study the International Year, before progressing to BA Communication Studies with a minor in Sociology. She plans to return to JMU to gain a Masters degree in Communications, as she believes good communication is the most important skill a person can have.
International students not only develop academically and professionally, but benefit from the new cultural experiences they are exposed to. When asked why she chose to study abroad, Victoria explained the benefits simply: “I think it is good for you to develop as a human being and as a person. You grow a lot."
To continue championing women in international education, please watch our video.
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