Larysa Agbaso has been award the Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award to study MA TESOL at the University after being forced to leave Ukraine.
In 2018, Larysa attended the summer school course run by Cardiff Met's Widening Access team. There, she was made aware of the Sanctuary Scholarship and applied to Cardiff Metropolitan University to study TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Masters level. The course teaches the fundamentals of TESOL and examines key issues in the field, including teaching methods in English language teaching, teaching English to young learners and English for specific purposes, including English for academic purposes.
After working as an English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher in Ukraine for 17 years, Larysa experienced forced migration when her hometown became a war conflict zone which lead her to the UK. She met a number of ESOL (English speakers of other languages) learners whilst volunteering which inspired her to continue her teaching.
The Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award is awarded to two postgraduate and two undergraduate students who are seeking sanctuary in the UK, every year. The University has been named a University of Sanctuary for the work it does raising awareness of sanctuary seeker issues and supporting asylum seekers and refugees. The Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award includes a full fee waiver, a Met Rider bus pass, a daily lunch voucher, and personal support to enable students to identify and overcome barriers to achievement on their degree programme.
Alongside her studies, Larysa works to raise awareness of the importance of education for the wellbeing of sanctuary seekers. Larysa is also a member of the Voice Network as part of the AVAIL project (Amplifying Voices of Asylum Seekers and Refugees for Integration and Life Skills). She has also received the first Nation of Sanctuary Award in the voluntary category.
Larysa said: "The Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award has helped me find myself again and given me the ability to dream after an incredibly hard few years. I've fallen back in love with teaching and have been able to develop my professional skills, deepen my understanding of the teaching and learning process and, most importantly, the course has helped me see the possibilities for further development.
"I've received amazing support at Cardiff Met and I don't have enough words to express my gratitude towards Natalie Buckland and Paul Fitzpatrick; they were like my guardian angels who supported, guided, cared and inspired me as well as helping me to dream again."
To read this story in Welsh, click here.