Whanganui scholar chases her dreams of studying abroad during pandemic

Photo / Bevan Conley

Covid-19 has destroyed many dreams over the last few months but a Whanganui scholar was determined not to let anything get in the way of her European study dream.

Sarah Miller has recently received a scholarship from the Ministry of Defence that will support her to study a two-year European joint masters degree in international security intelligence and strategic security studies at the University of Glasgow.

"I don't want to waste this opportunity now that it's within reach," the 22-year-old said.

"Before all this Covid stuff was on the radar it was just so exciting and I applied for it without knowing if it would go anywhere and when I got accepted and got the scholarship it was really exciting."

Miller said she has been monitoring the Covid-19 case numbers in Scotland and said it looks slightly better than England, but it would just be a matter of being careful when going through airports.

She expected the start of her experience to be slightly different than planned with classes being taught online or in small groups on campus.

Due to New Zealand now being a low-risk country she said she would not need to self-isolate on arrival as they had relaxed restrictions for those travelling into the country.

Miller is set to jet off on September 4 and she will study the degree for two years.

Having studied abroad in Paris in 2018, as part of Victoria University's exchange programme she knew she wanted to study abroad again and said she chose the certain programme as she will move around three different universities within the two years.

She will begin in Glasgow and in her second-semester she will go to Dublin City University and then go to Charles University in Prague.

Having a strong interest in international conflict and counter-terrorism she said "to have that opportunity for travel as well as getting all the different expertise from the universities will be very awesome."

After her studies are complete has work placement opportunities through different institutions that have all kinds of different facilities that monitor online counter-terrorism.

Miller graduated from Whanganui High School in 2015 and has been studying a bachelor of arts degree from Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in French and international relations and a first class honours degree in international relations.

This year she was also awarded three academic prizes from Victoria University, the European Union Prize for a post-graduate essay on an aspect of the EU, the Margaret Clark Prize for a research essay written for her honours degree and the Alan Robinson Memorial Prize, awarded to the best student completing an honours degree in political science or international relations.

Her scholarship covers most of her tuition fees but she is now looking for financial help to help cover her accommodation and travel costs.

To sponsor Miller you can visit https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/get-sarah-to-glasgow

Lucy Drake
Whanganui Chronicle 21/7/20

(*) Last Reviewed: July 21, 2020

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