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The University of Southampton

Laila Al Tarabichi MSc Foundation of Clinical Psychology, Syria

Saïd Foundation Scholar

Laila Al Tarabichi's Photo

I chose to study at the University of Southampton because of the unique course they offer in clinical psychology that combines between learning therapeutic and research skills congruently. The course also focused on understanding mental health in various cultures and contexts and developing cultural humility. The beautiful green campus was also very inviting.

What is the name of the scholarship or bursary you have received?

I received a scholarship from Said Foundation. The Said Foundation awards 20-30 individuals per year from the Middle East and gives them the opportunity to study a postgraduate course in partner universities in the UK.

How has the funding enhanced your experience as a student at the University of Southampton?

The university hosted an event for all postgraduate students who hold a scholarship from all parts of the world. It was an amazing night as I got to meet other scholars and connect with them over similar experiences and learning more about their respective scholarships. 

What do you enjoy the most about living in Southampton?

My favourite thing about Southampton must be being so close to water! I often go take a cup of coffee by the waterfront to relax and enjoy the sound of the waves.

Have you undertaken any work placements, collaborations with industry, internships or volunteering? How has this enhanced your experience?

I volunteered with Macmillan as part of the placement requirement in my course. It was a very insightful and enriching experience where not only did I get the chance to apply the skills I was learning but also give back to the community and learn about how services are run in the UK.

Have you undertaken any extracurricular activities? How have they enhanced your experience?

I often join badminton sessions that take place in the Jubilee sports hall. It is always a fun way to get active and release some stress.

What do you think you have gained from your degree that you wouldn’t have developed without it?

The network I built from colleagues to professors and staff is invaluable. The wide array of skills I gained from my course: clinical, research, and leadership skills will continue to reflect on my personal and professional life.

What are you most proud of from your time at the University of Southampton so far?

I am proud of the work I put into my academics and the knowledge I gained. I am also happy to have gotten out of my comfort zone and made friends from different parts of the world.

How have the people you have met at Southampton changed your life?

Given that the University of Southampton is quite diverse, meeting people from various backgrounds made me realize that we are in fact more alike than different. Focusing on the universal human experience rather than cultural disparities is something that will stay with me.

What will you do with your degree after you have finished your studies?

My degree was a necessary step for me to become a therapist. Therefore, obtaining this degree will enable me to train in various types of therapy and eventually be able to practice my profession.

What advice do you have for future applicants who may wish to apply for this scholarship or bursary?

My first advice would be to familiarize yourself with all scholarships you might be eligible to. Read more about them and plan out the process of tackling them one by one. Give yourself enough time and energy to fill the applications as they can be quite demanding and require self-reflection. My second advice is: just do it! No matter how challenging the idea of moving to another country might be to you, take a chance and apply. You never know what awaits you on the other side of that application. Do it for the plot.

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