Tabitha Musa is a second-year Spanish and Linguistics student at Pembroke College. She's also a recipient of the Oxford-Arlan Hamilton & Earline Butler Scholarship and shares her experience.
Embracing the Oxford experience
"My name is Tabitha and I am a student from South East London studying Spanish and Linguistics at Pembroke College. I am enjoying my second year of living and learning in Oxford and am currently preparing for my compulsory year abroad. I am a recipient of the Arlan Hamilton & Earline Butler Sims Scholarship which was launched last year and is awarded to one student of Black African or Caribbean descent.
I found out about the scholarship when doing some research on the Oxford website and honestly just applied hoping for the best. The scholarship has enabled me to cover costs without worries and engage fully in the Oxford experience. Coming from a complex family background, as I understand that many people do, the Scholarship has massively helped with any financial shortfall. It is also particularly special as it exhibits solidarity and support for the educational empowerment of Black students from a donor across the globe."
Outside of my studies I have been greatly involved in the local Christian community, participating in fellowship, outreach, and fun whilst growing in faith, hope and love. I enjoy partaking in access and outreach schemes such as Oxplore and UNIQ, as well as getting involved in the college scene, helping with Freshers’ week, interviews and telethons.
Alongside this, I create content on a variety of topics from Oxford life to lessons learnt and have helped to mentor younger students on their Oxbridge journey through the organisation Target Oxbridge. I have also joined the University kickboxing club to try out something new."
Advice for prospective students
My main piece of advice for prospective students or offer-holders is the reminder that being an Oxford student is not as distant an idea as one might think. One minute, Oxford seemed like a world away and before I knew it, it became my own. In the preparation process, it would be helpful to look into practical aspects such as accommodation, costs and available support as well as aiming to gauge the lifestyle, and day to day experience of students here, as it is a unique one.
In all this, I think it’s also important to remember that no two tales will be the same with each of us having the opportunity to curate our own experience by what we choose to get involved in. There are so many people to meet, places to explore and spaces to navigate, and as such, I see university as an exciting adventure. All I’d advise is to make sure to have fun amidst all the hard work!"
Looking to the future
"Whilst I do not have a concrete plan for once I have finished my degree, I have mainly been engaged in professional services internships such as consulting and business development. That said, my true passion lies in teaching, communicating and encouraging so I would love to use that skillset in my work.
Learn more about the Arlan Hamilton & Earline Butler Sims Scholarship on the Oxford Students website.