If you follow my blog posts here on Inside Edge, you know that I’m currently in the United States of America, on a sandwich placement at the Morton Arboretum. I was fortunate when arranging up this work placement that Edge Hill University had just set up its Student Opportunity Fund (SOF) – a fund that students can apply for to help them make the most of career enhancing opportunities. The fund’s goal is to make sure that no student at EHU passes up a potentially life-changing experience because of the financial burden it might impose.
When I was in the midst of applying for my placement as a Research Affiliate at the Morton Arboretum, I realised quickly that costs would add up. An updated passport, a visa, flights and insurance would quickly put a hefty dent in my finances, leaving my maintenance loan severely lacking for the year abroad. Thankfully, my personal tutor, Paul Ashton, and the Money Advice Team (for whom I was working for at the time as a Money Buddy) informed me about the Student Opportunity Fund and that I could potentially be successful in acquiring additional funding.
Any student on an undergraduate or PGCE course attending EHU can apply for the fund, which will supply them with up to £2000 to support the proposed activity. The projects can be near or far, large or small, requiring the maximum amount available or a portion. Applications could cover travel and accommodation expenses, for example, for unpaid work experience or volunteering; interviews or assessments not covered by the employer; or conferences, festivals, or events where you’re showcasing your work. The fund could also cover costs of developing and making creative material.
Many students have already made use of this amazing fund to enable them to experience some wonderful opportunities that improve both their transferable and career-focused skills:
- Four Creative Writing students presented their poetry at The Enemies Project’s annual University Camarade.
- Graduate Chelbie Seed helped to create a full-length feature animation, spending two weeks in a studio painstakingly creating props and scenery.
- Two Edge Hill students immersed themselves in Chinese culture while attending an intensive Mandarin course.
- More examples can be found here.
Applications are judged by a panel and must be submitted over ten working days before the panel convenes. For this academic year, 2017-2018, the remaining dates of convention are:
- Friday 13th April 2018
- Thursday 3rd May 2018
- Wednesday 6th June 2018