I was lucky enough to receive the Principals Go Abroad Fund to help me finance a trip to complete a research internship with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya.
I chose to go to Nairobi specifically to complete this internship. ILRI is an organisation I have been hoping to visit for several years and, luckily, through multiple jobs and PGAF’s generous funding, it was a dream I could realise.
I am currently in my final year of Veterinary Medicine at Edinburgh and I have just returned from an intercalation in Global Health (BSc) at the University of Bristol. My veterinary studies and my intercalation course have both led me to developing a firm interest in one health; how the convergence of disciplines may work towards promoting better human health. I hoped my internship would aid me in pursuing this interest, and open opportunities to work with individuals currently performing the research I had read about in numerous papers. I was also keen to visit Kenya, a country rich in culture, fast developing scientific research and incredible people.
My main concerns before embarking upon my trip were, of course, travel health and safety concerns. I was aware Kenya might not be the safest of countries to travel to but with much research and kind help from Kenyan friends, these concerns were quickly dealt with. I hoped I would enjoy my trip and I was proved very much right!
I learnt a huge amount from my trip this summer. I learned an incredible amount about the wonderful people of Kenya. During my research trips I heard first hand of trials and tribulations within personal lives – to their working lives. My research was piggybacked onto a brilliant Masters student – who I owe much of the enjoyment of my trip to – who enabled me to be part of a fun, vibrant and dedicated research team. I was also introduced to and mentored by a fantastic team who are very much at the forefront of work most interesting to me within Kenya and internationally. The opportunity to work with and learn from these individuals was invaluable.
Another brilliant part of my trip was meeting many farmers and having informal discussions about their working life. As an individual with a background in farm work – I think I speak for both parties when I say we had exciting, interesting and fun discussions on the differences and similarities of farming – from the UK to Kenya.
It was a brilliant experience that has let me go on to make great friends, realise further my academic interests and, hopefully, been an opportunity that will be beneficial to me in future life. I can only express my sincerest thanks to the PGAF office for enabling me to take this opportunity. Without the fund, this would not have been a possibility! Thank you!!