A 37-year-old accounting student who came to Bristol from Pakistan seeking asylum says she is ‘blessed’ to have the support and encouragement of teachers and mentors at City of Bristol College.
Edith Kiran Rauf arrived in the UK from Pakistan in 2010 after her husband moved to the city previously. Since choosing to study at the college in 2015, she has completed two years of the college’s ESOL programme – all while being a full-time mum to three children.
She then completed two part-time courses in hairdressing and make-up in 2017 before starting on a business route with the business administration level 2 and ECDL level 2.
She has now successfully completed the first year of her accounting AAT level 2 course.
Edith said: “Every time I step into the college building, I find myself more enthusiastic and determined to prove myself. I found myself blessed to have supportive and encouraging teachers and mentors and also being in an environment which is committed to equality and diversity was a big help.
“I never get judged by my skin colour but treated equally, getting extra classes from Study Plus to improve my English and gaining more confidence step-by-step. I have found it helpful to use the college’s library, borrowing informative books, accessing computers and getting £5 free credit on my student cards for printing.
Edith hopes to continue on with her studies and plans to follow the AAT course to level 4. She hopes to also carry out some volunteer work to practice what she has learned and get practical work experience in a similar field.
She added: “I feel very confident about my career choice and working in accounts and finance is my first priority. I am very passionate and focused on my career in accountancy and am looking forward to new opportunities and to accomplishing my future career goals.”
City of Bristol College is the largest provider of ESOL courses in Bristol and offers support to people whose first language is not English.
The college offers a range of support to asylum seekers, including through the Learner Support Fund, with course fees, travel – if the student lives three or more miles from their centre of study – childcare, kit, uniform and course-related trips.