Published: 31 January 2017

How could a travel bursary change your life?

In 2016 Emily Cross was awarded The Holt Education Trust travel bursary. Emily, who was a chemistry student at the University, used the £1,000 bursary to fund an internship at the Australian Institute for Biotechnology and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland. Read our interview with Emily below to find out how the bursary changed Emily’s life. If you’d like to have an experience like Emily’s, why not apply?

Deadlines for The Holt Education Trust travel bursary close Wednesday 1 February 2017 at 5pm. To apply, please download and complete the Travel Bursary Application Form. Once complete, please return your form to the Development and Alumni Relations Team. You can find out more information about the bursaries here.

Interview with Emily Cross

During your internship, what did you do?

“I worked on developing nano-sensors for detection of particular chemicals such as those released by cancerous cells and those associated with chemical weapons. This was particularly interesting and proved to be really enlightening.”

You must have worked hard, but did you have free time too?

“As well as working I was able to explore Queensland, and found it to be the most beautiful place I have ever seen. During my spare time I was able to explore the beaches of the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, surf in Surfers Paradise, climb Mount Coot-tha and visit the Australian Zoo.

“I made many friends whilst being in Australia particularly with those who I lived with. I also enjoyed playing a few games of rugby as well as watching all the Brisbane bronco’s home games, which was a dream come true.”

During your trip, what did you learn?

“The trip enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of the chemistry involved in the studies I was partaking as well as new methods for analysing systems.

“Most importantly, which I did not expect, I was able to see the ‘bigger picture’. By this I mean I was able to understand how academic collaborations work and how this can benefit personal research, as well as the research in the organisation visited. I also learnt about the logistics of chemicals (mainly sourced from Europe) and the massive influence that the UK/Europe has on Asian/Pacific research.”

Do you think the internship changed you in any way?

“On a personal level I learnt that I was more resilient than I thought, I was able to achieve goals that I set myself regardless of the hurdles along the way, which in retrospect gives me confidence in my future development. This realisation occurred explaining my situation to people along my journey and them acting surprised that I managed to set this up and go through with my plans whilst enjoying myself without worry or difficulty. I was unable to identify this in myself prior to this journey.”

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