I had a great year studying international development at the University of Edinburgh this year. During a challenging year, doing a Masters course was different from usual; it was nevertheless both interesting and satisfying. Starting the course digitally was a challenge as everyone tried to get used to the new format, but as the year progressed, it became easier to work together and collaborate effectively. As I finished my second semester and the restrictions eased, I was able to take advantage of a number of university facilities such as libraries to work - and escape! It was not possible to join societies or attend university events because of Covid's restrictions, but this may have helped in the long run as I realized how much work there was to do!
To complete the course, I was required to write a dissertation – a long and tiring process but a good opportunity to research and gain a deeper understanding of my chosen subject. The topic of the dissertation was non-state security actors and how they can play a role in security and development processes. Although I was glad to see the end of the 15,000-word essay, I was also grateful for the opportunity, and support, to research the topic in detail and refine my writing and research skills.
Living in Edinburgh was an unforgettable experience. I will treasure my time in a wonderful and vibrant city, and will definitely return some day. An important part of the experience was the friends I made and the people I met, who I shall keep in touch with, despite distance.
I probably wouldn't have been able to attend an Edinburgh University to study for an MSc without the generous grant offered by the James Pantyfedwen Foundation. I am extremely grateful for their financial support and proud of the opportunity I had to further my education. This higher degree has allowed me to be in a stronger position to start a career, and hopefully work in the overseas development sector.