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By Michelle Lillywhite

2nd year BU Student, BA (Hons) Social Work

When I got the email asking ‘What would you say to a placement in Colombia?’ there was really only one answer – YES! It was however closely followed by – How?

That’s when I remembered the BU Global Horizons Fund.

You see, BU support and encourage their students to have an overseas experience be it for one month or a whole placement year and to support people financially they have set up the Global Horizons Fund that we can specifically apply to for support with costs like flights and accommodation. Let’s face it, long haul flights are expensive and we are students after all!

So when my framework leader offered me the opportunity I just said yes knowing that some support was out there. Jill, the framework leader, had already been out and established links with the Universdad EAFIT in Medellin Colombia and they were keen to offer UK university students the unique insight that volunteering and studying in Colombia would inevitably offer.

So I had two things to do – firstly make an application for some funding and secondly start to get excited!

Luckily for me two of my closest friends also signed up for the trip so when the deadline for applications came round I was not the only person madly checking for incoming emails. After explaining to the Global Horizons Fund team how important I felt this experience would be in terms of really understanding cultural diversity I was thrilled when I finally got the email saying congratulations – you have been successful. The money we were offered paid for the flights and our accommodation so it was full steam ahead to get things booked.

I was one of 100’s who get financial support from the BU Global horizons Fund every year which not only gives me the opportunity for an amazing life experience but also to show employers that I have a unique global perspective and awareness of vulnerability and poverty.

So at the point we had flights and accommodation secured it was with great pleasure that I emailed Jill and told her – tell Colombia we are coming!!

3 Responses to “An opportunity to study abroad…”

  1. Study Abroad

    Congratulations Michelle!! Truly heartening to hear about your experience.Very encouraging to a lot of other students just like you who are keen to take up internships but may not have the funding available or may have some other obstacles in the way which seem initially insurmountable but later get overcome. Hope you had a fantastic experience in Colombia !!

    • Katie Dancey-Downs

      Thanks for your comment! If you’re interested in hearing how Michelle got on in Columbia, if I were you I’d keep a very close eye on the blog over the next couple of weeks…


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