I am a 26-year-old young woman from a Pakistani family. I was recently accepted at the University of Oxford to pursue my masters degree. It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to attend such a prestigious university.
I hope to study the MSc course in Modern South Asian studies - a unique course that would serve my curiosity for knowledge and allow me to further connect with my identity.
I knew how expensive Oxford would be, and was hesitant to mention the application process to my father (who has always been my role model) until the day I got accepted. He was, of course, delighted to hear the news. I am in the process of applying for scholarships but there are a limited number available for my course.
Currently, the savings that I have can only accommodate my yearly expenses while I am at the University. For my tuition, there are hardly any means to get the money, as my younger siblings - I am the eldest of five - are still in their schooling years, for whom my father consistently pays for. I aspire to be their role-model, and I truly believe that with the help of opportunity at Oxford I can do something and can guide them towards their career path too.
I studied for my undergraduate degree in Istanbul, Turkey, which was a huge challenge both professionally and personally. During this time, I worked multiple part-time time jobs and received scholarships based on my academic merit. I managed to pursue all this whilst living away from my family; even reaching and surpassing a point when I did not visit my home country for almost two years.Since then, I have been working towards my career as a researcher in Turkey, focusing on South Asia, which links both my identity and my desire to understand the history, culture, and politics of Pakistan and the region.
If I'm not able to pay for funds, I will have to turn the Oxford offer down. Therefore, paying for my tuition is another hurdle I have to jump. I am willing to do this with even more effort than I have put in past five years to pursue my goals and build a strong future for myself and the people around me- especially my father and younger siblings. I really hope with the help and generosity of the community I have built over the years, I will be able to take this next step on my journey and reach the goal of raising 23,950 GBP to pay my tuition fees over the next year.
My Oxford degree will provide me with a better scope to understand my region, and through the qualification I will be in a very strong position to come back to Pakistan, benefitting my country as there are relatively few Oxford educated women. I intend to pursue my career path towards research, writing and teaching with due course in time. I thank you in advance for your support.