Date published: 25 Mar 2021
In the current global pandemic, students are having to overcome different and greater hardship and financial difficulties. These can be exacerbated for international students, who have been away from friends, family and other support networks for extended periods of time.
In the face of these challenges, student bursaries are more valuable than ever. Now in its second year the STITA Farm Tours bursary of £1,750 to an international student at the Royal Agricultural University aims to alleviate pressures on the student so that they can focus on their study without worrying about financial needs.
STITA run a varied programme of tours and clientele across the world including the UK, Europe, Brazil, Australia and the USA, and the international focus of this award reflects their global outlook.
This year’s recipient is first year Foundation Business and Enterprise student Mary Gray, from Australia.
Mary said “I chose the RAU after coming here from Australia in 2019 to visit a friend during her summer term and simply fell in love with the University and the lifelong friends that I made in such a short period of time. Both of my parents knew people who had attended the RAU years earlier and seeing how they have succeeded since completing their degrees made the final decision for me easy.
Being awarded the STITA bursary means so much to me. I was having to work two jobs in order to pay for my rent and save to pay for my university fees each term, which did not leave a lot of time for me to focus on my studies and make the most of my time here. Now a great deal of stress has been taken off my shoulders and I can really enjoy my final semesters.”
Jonathan Taylor of STITA said "The last year has been very tough for so many people, not least in the fields of education and travel, with international passenger movements vastly reduced. This, of course, has affected people’s ability to travel abroad for study. We at STITA have seen this first-hand and we sympathise greatly with the predicament of international students caught up in the global situation. As such, we are again very pleased to support a deserving international student, such as Mary, via the STITA Farm Tours bursary.
STITA are the leading provider of farm tours in the UK and Europe, providing bespoke travel and tourism packages. Based in Cheltenham, they are a third-generation family business that has been operating for over 70 years.