Edinburgh has been proud of its international outlook since its foundation, and the O'Shea Global Scholars Initiative seeks to give many more students the chance to have a rich experience abroad while studying with us.
The Initiative will help our students become global citizens, with a rich understanding of the world informed by their diverse experiences both inside and outside the classroom.
Our short-term international experiences give our students the resilience, cultural sensitivity, language skills and drive to take on the world. Whether for an internship, a conference or cultural experience, the Go Abroad Fund supports students wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the wider world and become truly global citizens.
Research from the British Council and Association of Graduate Recruiters shows that employers prioritise the ability to work collaboratively with people from diverse backgrounds in young graduates. Edinburgh’s Go Abroad Fund helps students gain these skills through an international experiences.
Our case studies below show how an international experience can change the direction of a young student’s life.
Vali Constantin, 4th Year Student in Public Health
I have now worked with a charity called Ashinaga twice – the first year I worked in Japan as a member of their student support team and I reapplied a year later to work on the same programme in Senegal. Ashinaga helps orphans and other financially disadvantaged students get to university through providing them with loans.
I am studying Public Health but my aim is to work in education policy. I am learning a great deal from my degree but I want to go further than that, which is why I knew I wanted to do an internship abroad. Health problems in developing countries – where do they come from? It’s often a lack of education and so I wanted to learn more about the relationship between these things.
I feel the internships have been essential to make that connection between what I do in my degree and how it is applied in the wider world. The internship was hard work and a lot of pressure, but such a life-changing and interesting challenge and the best thing I’ve ever done! I’m applying to go for a third time this summer.
Lydia Stoddart, 3rd Year History Student
I worked at a central study camp in Uganda with the charity Ashinaga for three months teaching students who want to go to University. I was there to help fill in the gaps between what they had learned at school and what they would need for university, so my role was as a mentor and a teacher.
I learned how to work hard, but take more of a relaxed approach to life, as things never are ‘just so’ - I realised that it’s enthusiasm, trying hard and engaging with people which goes a long way.
It’s an experience that has shaped my life unlike any other: I am now going to train to be a teacher after I graduate and I’m currently writing my dissertation on the education system in Uganda in 1963! I would never have chosen that topic if I hadn’t had the opportunity to go out there. I even managed to find some amazing primary sources from a local village whilst I was there.