I am Ranie Catimbang, 32, from the Philippines. I'm currently a Stakeholder Engagement Specialist for GHD, a consulting firm.
I received a conditional offer for MSc in Development and Sustainability from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand. I applied for the program because I was once a trainee in AIT for the Fredskorpset Norway (now NOREC) prep course for volunteers on 2011 and found AIT to be a good place to study.
The offer comes with a scholarship covering the tuition fees of 32 of the 48 total credits. I am to raise funds to cover the tuition fees for the remaining 16 credits plus other costs such as registration, visa, accommodation and living expenses, et cetera. Based on the cost estimates from the AIT website, I will still need about 1M Philippine peso or 23,000 USD to cover all the remaining cost. I'm currently employed at the moment, but I will have to take a study leave for two years to pursue the degree. This means that I will not have an income for the next two years. I was told that I can take on research assistantship once in AIT, but the allowance is limited to a maximum of 6000 Thai baht (200 USD) per month.
Pursuing this degree is important to me because I believe it will open doors for me. I have been working in the development sector in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia for the past 10 years on causes such as gender equality, cooperative development, social entrepreneurship, education reform, human rights and democracy. I am hoping that this degree will help me professionally to take on more senior and international roles and personally, to widen my perspective in development and sustainability.
I've also recently become a father to my son Lawin Elias who is turning one year old this April. Pursuing this would hopefully mean, I'll be able to provide better for his future.
It’s been a longtime dream to be able to study abroad. If I am given the opportunity to pursue this, I will be the first in my family to ever have a graduate degree and have it from renowned international education institution. Your contribution will mean so much and will not go to waste as I intend to continue working in the development sector or even teach after graduation.