In 2022, approximately 20 Cumbria students went abroad in their summer vacations to undertake volunteering internships in places as far flung as Fiji, Ghana, Tanzania and the Philippines.
It starts with a dream of foreign travel and a desire to make a difference to the lives of local people through worthwhile projects. By applying to the University’s Turing Scheme, students and recent graduates received a grant towards the cost of living and in many cases towards their travel costs too.
11 students went to Fiji living with a Fijian family and working on youth projects, community health centre builds, mental health development projects or sports coaching with our partner Think Pacific Volunteering Expeditions in the Fiji Islands | Guided by Think Pacific Others went to Ghana, Indonesia, Tanzania and Philippines with our partners the Mighty Roar The Mighty Roar - Structured & Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programmes or Work The World Work the World | Healthcare Elective Placements Abroad undertaking primary teaching or healthcare projects in hospitals. While others had semester long placements as part of their course e.g. working in marine conservation in Greece.
Whatever, they did and wherever they went, they reported that the benefits to themselves are immeasurable. There can be no doubt this is a potentially life changing opportunity by receiving funding towards foreign travel in amazing destinations that may ordinarily be out of reach for many students financially. Students need to be motivated by the chance to travel the world while making a difference through meaningful projects. Almost all students report they have developed their self-confidence, broadened their horizons and acquired many of the skills sought by employers; those returning from overseas mobility return different people – more confident, more mature, better equipped to lead, more resilient and willing to take on things outside their comfort zone. They report a change in their perspectives on a different way of life, being more grateful for the smaller things in life and by living with people who have far less but seem happier meaning they are less likely to take things for granted. They make life-long friendships on 2 levels - with fellow volunteers and the families they stay with, while with a nod to the future they expect to have enhanced their employability significantly.
But don’t just take it from me, here is a testimonial video from a student who has recently returned from Fiji [ Lily Hancock, Testimonial Video. ] I hope you enjoy watching this!
Below are a few testimonials from students who have returned from a TS funded programme.
"This has given me an eye opener the best placement I’ve had and will definitely return or complete more abroad. It was different in terms of healthcare and the way the care for patients in comparison to the UK. Makes me appreciate what we have and need to make patients more aware of not taking advantage of free healthcare. It was definitely amazing the staff and team there were very helpful and supportive and the WTW team did nothing but support us all. Honestly the best experience and eye-opening opportunity I could have. I just wish I was able to do more to help their situation there."
Child Nursing, Philippines
"I feel the mobility allowed me to meet people from different cultures, backgrounds and allowed me to work in the field I am aiming to pursue in a career....I am not the same person as I was when I left, I grew, in maturity and knowledge and confidence"
Marine and Freshwater Conservation, Greece
"Appreciate things way more. It is genuinely one of the best experiences ever. The friendship you form are like no other. It is hard but worth it and it has its up and downs. But you learn so much."
Fine Art, Fiji
"I feel that the overseas mobility has broadened my horizons and given me a new perspective on nursing in other countries. It also really allowed me to step out of my comfort zone."
Adult Nursing, Ghana
"It has very much opened my eyes to different ways of life and how the Fijian culture is rich, it has also helped me better understand myself and how to better myself, I also feel like I have come out of my shell and overcame fears for example my fear of water is overcame and my leadership has developed"
Primary Education (3-11) QTS. Fiji
“Having the opportunity to spend time abroad is the most enlightening and culturally
enriching experience you can have. I personally would urge all students to take up this opportunity! Obviously with this being an expensive experience, the Turing scheme can really make it possible to students from low-income areas.”
Primary Education, Fiji
In our evaluation survey, 85% would recommend their Turing Scheme experience to friends or relatives.
To find out about the 2023 Turing programme and the partners the University of Cumbria is working with, the range of projects, the destinations you can go to and the funding you could receive, please email email@example.com
Turing funding is open to ALL students registered on a Cumbria undergraduate or postgraduate degree, including foreign nationals from any Institute and alumni within first 12 months of completing degree and undertaking minimum of 4 weeks to 1 year mobility completed by 31/08/23. Students from widening participation backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply and places are also available for SEND students (i.e., registered SPLD Action Plan with Uni).
So do not delay, we have 50 places available in 2023 to help you realise your dreams, potentially change your life and realise your potential.
Ian Winters, Turing Scheme Administrator
University of Cumbria