International Office Blog

News and information from the International Office at the University of Brighton

Brighton students Darine and Mitchelle

An update from Forward Bound scholars, Darine and Mitchelle

Darine (left) and Mitchelle (right) were awarded the Forward Bound scholarship in 2022, here they let us know how they are getting on now that they have completed their studies.

Since 2015, the University of Brighton has been delighted to offer the Forward Bound scholarship to MSc Health Promotion applicants from low or lower-middle income countries, with the kind support of donor Fiona Deane.

The core objective of the scholarship is to empower recipients to use the knowledge and experience they gain from their Masters’ to return to their country of origin and make a tangible difference to communities through health promotion in a professional and/or voluntary capacity.

Our most recent scholars, Darine Alem from Sudan and Mitchelle Kachere from Zimbabwe, graduated from the School of Sport and Health Sciences in February 2024. We asked them how they are getting on…

Academic achievements and challenges

Reflecting on her academic progress, Darine said, “One of the most remarkable aspects of this scholarship has been the chance to interact with fellow students from diverse corners of the world. The exposure to different cultures, viewpoints, and experiences has expanded my overall knowledge in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. This scholarship has truly opened my eyes to the interconnectedness of our world and has inspired me to work towards creating positive change on a local level as well as a global scale.”

She went on, “While the scholarship has been an invaluable opportunity, it has also presented its fair share of academic challenges. However, these challenges have taught me resilience, adaptability, and the importance of seeking help when needed. Moreover, these challenges have allowed me to build strong relationships with my peers and professors as we navigate through the coursework together and support each other along the way. Overall, the academic challenges have pushed me to grow and develop as a student.”

Mitchelle noted, “I have gained enhanced knowledge of certain health conditions, risk factors, and preventative strategies. Participating in health promotion modules helped grow me personally by improving my communication, community involvement, and programme planning skills, among other abilities. These are life skills that can be applied to many different areas. The degree also impacted me with information that can enhance my community’s health literacy, allowing them to make more informed decisions regarding their diet, lifestyle, and preventative healthcare practices.”

Support through mentoring

A key part of the scholarship is access to a dedicated mentor. As Darine reflected, “My mentor offered valuable guidance and support throughout my journey at the University of Brighton. She has been a source of academic advice, helping me navigate coursework, assignments, and research projects. Her insights and expertise have been instrumental in my academic success. Beyond academic support, the mentoring scheme has also focused on career and professional development. My mentor has shared her own career experiences and offered advice on career paths, job searching, and networking. This guidance has been invaluable as I prepare to transition into the professional world.”

Mitchelle agreed, telling us, “My mentor imparted their knowledge and experience, and specialised skills relevant to their line of work. My mentor also offered insightful information on current trends, the job market, and potential obstacles in the sector. I completed my placement at an organisation that my mentor recommended, and I learned a lot from them.”

Personal growth

Both scholars reflected on the personal impact of their scholarship experience. Mitchelle said, “Undoubtedly, coming to the University of Brighton in the UK has been a life-changing and fulfilling experience for me… I have built a global network through the diverse student body at Brighton University. I developed relationships with individuals throughout the globe, which can lead to future chances for professional and academic collaboration.”

Darine agreed, saying “Coming to the University of Brighton has been an incredibly enriching experience. Through this scholarship, I have been able to fully immerse myself in the cultural aspects of university life, and it has motivated me to strive for excellence in all areas of my life.”

Future plans

Mitchelle noted, “I have been given a comprehensive experience that includes personal development, cultural enrichment, and a global network of connections that can greatly influence my future. I established a network with educators, former students, and colleagues that can lead to several prospects.”

Darine told us, “My goal after receiving my master’s degree is to apply the knowledge and skills gained during my master’s programme to conduct research and evaluation projects in the field of health promotion. I would seek opportunities to engage with communities directly to understand their unique health needs and challenges. Moreover, if possible, I would like to engage in international health promotion efforts, working on projects that address global health challenges and promote equity in health outcomes worldwide.”

Thank you so much to Darine and Mitchelle for telling us about their experience so far. We look forward to catching up with them again in 2025 to find out what they get up to next.

AlumniForward BoundForward Bound Scholarshipinternationalinternational studentinternational student experiencestudentstudent experiencestudyingUniversity of Brighton

Clare Cornwell • April 19, 2024

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