Rabiaa arrived in the UK from Syria a year ago with two of her sisters. She has siblings in Syria, France and Lebanon, where her parents also live. Since arriving in the UK, Rabiaa and her sisters have been keen to integrate into their local community in Durham, taking up English conversation classes and volunteering with local organisations such as Diverse Women’s Network.
This summer, Rabiaa took part in the Undergraduate Summer School at King’s studying International Commercial Law, made possible by a Summer@King’s scholarship. She sees the summer school as a stepping stone in the right direction towards her future studies, having already studied law as an undergraduate for three years in Lebanon.
I am positive my experience at the King’s Undergraduate Summer School will help me in my upcoming plans, and I am optimistic about my future here in the UK.
– Rabiaa, Summer School participant.
The scholarship supports the vital work of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, by offering places to refugees who have been granted leave to remain in the UK to study at the summer school. It is the second year in a row that ten scholarship places, covering a tuition fee of £1,500 for a three-week summer module, have been offered to refugees.
‘I was worried it would be overwhelming for me,’ Rabiaa says, but ultimately thanks her own perseverance and drive, which led her to win a place on the module.
Dr Sarah Williamson, Director of Summer Programmes at King’s said: ‘Access to education in this way enables the awardees to build on existing academic knowledge, offering a platform for them to acclimatise to the perhaps unfamiliar education systems of their host country. Importantly it’s an entry point to being part of community, connecting with new friends, growing a network and offering a space for reflection and inspiration in which to plan their futures.’
Rabiaa says her experience at the Summer School has inspired her to continue learning English for another year and then apply to a foundation programme with a pathway in law.
‘The scholarships can be an important bridge back into full-time study or a career, especially for those refugees who may have spent years in limbo,’ says Laura Padoan, External Relations Officer for the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR.
Find out more about the Summer School here.
Find out more about UNHCR here.