NUIG students win global travel scholarships

Two NUIG students have won travel scholarships which will see them volunteer abroad this summer.

The scholarships were awarded by Experiment Intercultural Learning (EIL) Explore, a programme which pays for volunteers to travel abroad and learn about becoming better global citizens.

Arron Claffey-Conneely, a final year Psychology student, will be working with Burmese refugees in Thailand from June.   

He hopes the experience of helping others will help him grow as a person and push him outside his comfort zone.

“Travel is education and experiencing Thai culture will be a dream come true,” he said.

Brian Doherty, a student of Youth and Family Studies, will spend eight weeks in Ecuador helping children in need.   

He said he was “honoured” to have won and was looking forward to learning more about the daily lives of Ecuadorians.

“I’ve been preparing by reading as much as I can about Ecuador and past winners experiences,” he said.

The programme selects candidates who, for economic or social reasons, would not normally have such a travel opportunity.  At third level, candidates can apply as a mature student or an Access student.

EIL Explore has a fund of over €100,000 for 2016 and received applications from a number of third level institutes including DCU, UCD, DIT and Trinity.

It is the fourth consecutive year that NUIG mature students have won EIL Explore scholarships.

The successful applicants showed an interest in other cultures, a strong background in volunteering and a desire to share their experiences with their own community upon return.

Aoife Geary


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