In 2018, Larysa attended the summer school course run by Cardiff Met’s Widening Access team. Here she learned of the Sanctuary Scholarship and applied to Cardiff Metropolitan University to study TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Master’s level.
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. Each year, Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award is awarded to two postgraduate and two undergraduate students who are seeking sanctuary in the UK.
The 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.
The Cardiff Met Sanctuary Award has helped me find myself again and given me the ability to dream after an incredibly hard few years
– Larysa Agbaso
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 while volunteering which inspired her to continue her teaching.
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 works to raise awareness of the importance of education for the wellbeing of sanctuary seekers
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.”