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Scholarships via Tilburg University Fund

Knowledge, research and education are indispensable building blocks for a good future. The Tilburg University Fund Foundation bridges the gap between university and society for projects and initiatives that need a financial boost. With your donation you can give students, education and research the support they need to make a difference.

Thanks to donations by Tilburg University alumni and companies with close relations to the university, several scholarships have been granted to talented students from all over the world. Next to scholarships for international students, top sports and exchange scholarships have changed the lives of Tilburg University students.  These scholarships were created from donations during our annual Phone Campaign,  Have a Seat and earmarked gifts. 

Scholarship student stories:

Fizzah Malik

In Augustus 2016 Fizzah Malik from Pakistan started in her Master Program at Tilburg University. With the scholarship provided by the Tilburg School of Economics and Management alumni, she obtained her master degree in Economics.

'Education is something no one can take away from you, once you have it, it will be forever yours.'

At the very end of Eastern Pakistan, next to the borders of India lays the city Lahore. The second largest city of Pakistan (with a lively history) was home to Fizzah Malik (23) for almost her entire life. Now she left the country for her first abroad experience and arrived at Tilburg University to obtain a master degree in Economics. I got to meet someone with an intriguing story, an inspiring vision and strong determination.  She calls herself a ‘math junkie’ and fights for accessible education for children, which she has been actively trying to improve in Pakistan herself in multiple ways.

Challenges conquered

Fizzah is someone who learned to take care of herself at an early age. [Both her parents passed away at a young age and her sisters moved to other places, as she got older.] Her childhood shaped a strong personality who knows what she wants. With two part time jobs, a research assistant internship on micro financing and studying a bachelor in Economics & Mathematics she is the opposite of what one could call lazy. Before she arrived in Tilburg she lived at a hostel in Lahore. “It wasn’t always easy in Pakistan. I’ve overcome many challenges during my life. After my sisters moved, finding a good hostel to live was important, since many places aren’t safe for girls alone.” Determined, she manages all challenges, completes her bachelor and finishes her jobs. Her experiences and life in Pakistan showed her the importance of education. “In my country many children are forced to work in factories to support their families. There are so many smart children, but their talents and intelligence are simply not backed-up.”

Education changes lives

“My mom used to say ‘education is something no one can take away from you, once you have it, it will be forever yours’.” During her life in Pakistan she made serious efforts to help others in obtaining an education. “I traveled to remote places and villages where only small schools exists to assist and teach youngsters and I helped students in English to pass their proficiency tests, required to enter the universities. I believe this can change lives, as long as there is an access for children to get an education. Unfortunately, now it’s only for the privileged that can go study, while others work and suffer at young ages. This is unacceptable, but a widespread reality.”

My ultimate goal: accessible education in Pakistan

It was clear for Fizzah that a master degree was a necessary next step. “My eventual goal is to become a professor and use this position to study and improve the access to education in Pakistan. My master in economics with the track behavioral studies is critical in this process. I want to write my thesis on the generosity and financial aid policies of states. Major differences between states exist in the ‘why’ and ‘how’ in providing financial aid for purposes like education in underdeveloped countries. In western countries for instance it’s often observed that something horrible must happen first before some form of help establishes. I want to understand these tendencies and write a publishable thesis in the hope to continue a longer study during a PhD.”

Building schools

“One day, when I’m back in Pakistan again I will build one or multiple schools to provide [as many as possible] children with education. I have experienced the importance of it myself and saw the crying need for accessible education back home. Another dream I have is to sponsor and enabling a child to study. But before I can make these dreams come true I need good education myself. Tilburg University helps me to focus on my study by this scholarship without the need to work on the side continuously. I can dive deep into my study now and start building my way to bring more educational possibilities to Pakistan one day.”

Update July 2017

“When I first arrived in Tilburg, there were quite a few things that took me by surprise. The weather, the amount of bicycles, the quite of city at night, to name a few. However, after having lived here for almost an year. These are the very things that I am going to miss. My time at Tilburg University has been truly memorable. Getting to study here has been a enormous privilege for me. I have had the chance to study along side students from very corner of the world, which has made me realize that at the core of it, we are not that different as we believe. The problems we face and the goals we strive to achieve are more similar across the globe than we think. My time here has lead me to challenge my abilities and grow into more of the person I hope I someday will be. This place has given me awareness and knowledge of the world that I have been a part of, some great memories and friends that I will forever cherish. This has been an epic year of taking classes all over the campus, spending more time in the library cafeteria than in the library itself, having picnics in the forest and just enjoying the good weather (whenever we had it). For that, I will always be grateful to Tilburg University – Regards Fizzah ”

Sunday Heagbetus

The journey that Sunday Heagbetus made from his homeland Liberia until he arrived at Tilburg University can be called admirable to say the least. During the interview with Sunday, it becomes clear what this optimist endured before he could take a seat in the lecture halls in Tilburg to follow a master's economy (track sustainability & growth).

'I want to do the same for Liberia now and help others out of poverty by developing our economy.'


During his childhood, Sunday's parents both worked in health care as medical assistant and obstetrician. Because the family consists of seven children, it is necessary to work hard. There is no overflow, but the basic necessities of life and primary education are provided for all. The place of residence of the family is far from the hospital and therefore the medical knowledge of Sunday's parents is of great importance to the community. This also applies during childbirth of fellow villagers. When he was about 12 years old, his mother rushed to a young family, where the woman was about to give birth. The birth is going well. As there are few resources available, she decides to get some things that every mother needs for her new offspring. But on the way back, fate strikes when she is bitten by a poisonous snake. Because the village is so remote, the necessary medical help cannot be provided and a few hours later she dies. "I was about to write a major school examination when I heard that my mother had died," says Sunday. It marks the beginning of a long series of challenges that he must overcome, for only a year later, as a result of this incident, he also loses his father, who lost the battle with his inner tormentors. From that moment on, he is on his own and is also responsible for the care of his brothers and sisters.

Currency and kerosene

Without parental - and therefore financial - support at the beginning of his teens, he is self-reliant. In order to earn money and pay for his school, he changes currency in the evenings and sells kerosene that is used in lamps. "While changing money, I studied as hard as I could, because I knew how important school was." Over time, he was able to work at a petrol station and then even at a hotel. Here he meets by chance a hotel guest who works for the Ministry of Health. The two get down to talking and eventually he offers Sunday to pay his tuition fees if he wants to go to university.

Choosing a sustainable future

At the age of 19, on top of all the challenges,  Sunday's fiancé becomes pregnant. They get a daughter and want to build a family together, but he realizes that a child means extra responsibility. He concludes that studying is the best way to ensure a sustainable and good future in which he can provide for his family as well as for his brothers and sisters. He called the man who offered to pay for his first year of study. Not much later he left for the capital Monrovia to do a bachelor's in Economics at the University of Liberia. He arranges a room in the capital that he shares with another person. "In return, in addition to my studies, I had to do all kinds of household chores for the owner, such as washing and cooking. To make ends meet I started to help other students as a mentor and in the end I taught in several secondary schools. In exchange I sometimes got some money or food." After four years of hard work he earned his Bachelor's in Economics. Through his efforts and many (voluntary) activities during his studies, he builds up a lot of contacts and is offered a volunteer job as a research assistant at the University of Liberia, among other things. He has no shortage of capacities. With a bachelor's degree and a beautiful voluntary job, things finally start to move.

'I couldn't believe it'

Despite his success in Liberia, Sunday still sees his goals unfinished. "This is only the beginning", he says. He has experienced poverty and knows that, in addition to his difficult childhood, many others have to endure similar challenges on a daily basis. This means that every day you are worried about a place to sleep, your dinner, your family and your future. "I couldn't distinguish between breakfast, lunch and dinner, because I ate only once a day." Determinedly, he invests his hard-earned money in a laptop in order to apply for study grants and thus be able to follow a master's program abroad. The cooperation between the University of Liberia and Tilburg University provided a solution. "When I heard that I could come to Tilburg University, I couldn't believe it at first. It was really incredible. Only when I was in the lecture hall did I realize what I had achieved and tears rolled down my face. At the most important moment during my application for Tilburg University I had to sell my laptop again in order to pay the immigration costs. This opportunity is truly unique for me as a Liberian and it changes my life, but my focus is crucial. I cannot and must not fail! I am doing everything I can to make this a success. With my faith in God I have confidence."

Massive impact

"There is a saying: man's true nature is not how he behaves in times of comfort and convenience, but in times of challenge and controversy. It is important for any result-oriented person to turn obstacles and adversity into opportunities that are attainable." Sunday further tells about the enormous responsibility he feels. For his wife, his daughter, his brothers and sisters, his university, his fellow Liberians, his future and that of the country as a whole. "I try to be a source of inspiration for all of them, and I am terribly grateful that Tilburg University makes this possible. I have no idea who the alumni were who made this grant possible, but it allows me to change my own life and that of others. I am by no means the only one to benefit from this. My aim is to help Liberia move forward in order to get my beautiful country out of the economic downturn." He understands what it is to experience poverty, but has worked out there in an admirable way. Alumni scholarships can have a huge impact. It allows Sunday to shape the future. "I now want to do the same for Liberia and help others out of poverty by developing our economy."

Tea Kipshidze

In August 2017. Tea Kipshidze travelled from Georgia to Tilburg University. She will stay for two full years and will take the research master's in Sociology. In  this program she focuses on the acquisition and development of the statistical knowledge needed for her future research plans. Gathering this knowledge contributes to her goal of tackling one of Georgia's biggest problems: social inequality. 

'I want to contribute to knowledge development in Georgia.'

Understanding Society

After finishing high school, it soon became clear that Tea wanted to study at university. She had good grades, which led to a scholarship, so she was able to start studying. Sociology was the choice. "When I started this study, a whole new world opened up for me. I finally started to understand the society and world around me somewhat." This positive experience marked the beginning of perhaps a promising academic career. Meanwhile, she already feels quite at home at the university in Tilburg. "It's funny how well the university motto: Understanding Society actually suits me."

Social Inequalities

After completing her Bachelor of Sociology at the University of Tbilisi, Barcelona was her next stop. Here she completed her first research master's and came into contact with the subject that still intrigues her today: social inequality. Since then, Tea has been involved in an academic career in which she focuses on teaching Georgian university students. She actively shares her knowledge about social inequality in order to enrich others with that knowledge and thus to make the problem known in her home country, where social inequality is a serious problem.

Own University Course

Tea is concerned about the extent to which social inequality is affecting citizens in her country and in many other countries. Once she returned from Barcelona, she had the opportunity to develop a subject at Ilia State University on this subject and also to teach it herself. She wrote a syllabus, searched for the right literature, wrote an exam and supervised the students. "This was a great opportunity to contribute something to my country by sharing and further developing this knowledge. I am following politics and can only conclude that nothing is being done about this problem, even though it has serious consequences for our society. The fact that I may be able to make a difference is therefore extremely motivating. When I look, for example, at the social policies of Scandinavian states, I am always very inspired to see how things can be done differently and better."

Failing Vital Institutions and Critical Media

In Georgia, there is little knowledge of the harmful effects of social inequality. People simply do not know what it is or do not understand its seriousness. "Critical media, respected research institutions or other social awareness raising initiatives simply do not exist or are deficient. In addition, there are no left-wing or social political parties in Georgia out of fear of Communism. People are still afraid of this."

Contributing to Knowledge Development

"After I have acquired the necessary knowledge, I want to do doctoral research into social inequality. Research is simply of the utmost importance! Without the right knowledge and experience of a second research master's, it is extremely difficult to do quality PhD research and achieve my ultimate goal: to develop a research master's program at the university in Georgia. It would be fantastic to contribute to knowledge development and education programs that can improve the future. I feel very happy with this opportunity and I want to be able to offer all the knowledge I have gained through Georgian education in the form of new research master's programs! That is how we can slowly but surely bring about change."

Robert Ndung'u

In September, Robert Ndung’u (32) flew to Tilburg University from a country with a diversity of climates, but where it is mostly warm and humid: Kenya. At his home university he studied Criminology. He really wanted to study at Tilburg University because this is the only university in the world where they offer the master’s program Victimology and Criminal Justice. It’s his dream to become a lecturer in Victimology. And with his knowledge that he gained at Tilburg University he can lecture other students and pass on the information he learned, so there will be more experts in Africa who can help victims. So he was grateful when he heard that he was awarded an alumni scholarship and could come to study here at Tilburg University.

'What I know now, can change lives in my country.'


"Sometimes I am wondering why Africa is behind with development. We have a good climate and we have the best products in Africa. We produce tea, but then the tea is processed in other countries while we could also do that in our country. Only the people who are in the highest positions are the ones who benefit from the things produced in our country. Corruption… For example, at Tilburg University you can find all the books you want in the library, and if not, you will find it on the internet. In Kenya this is not possible because of corruption. In Africa in many countries people are poor and still people are stealing of them."

Victim support like the Netherlands

"In Kenya there is no system to support the victim directly. The only compensation that is given by the government will go to the lawyer and eventually the victim will receive money from the lawyer. So chances are that the victim will never get his money, because of this corrupt system.” Robert thinks that the system in the Netherlands is much better. ”One course that I take here at Tilburg University is about how they have special programs to support victims in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands a victim is getting support from the government or can expect compensation. He is assured that he gets the money since it is payed immediately from the government, because there is a fund for that. I think this is one of the best ways to approach a victim and when I am back in Kenya I want to introduce this system."

Lack of specialization in the field of Victimology in Africa

"I’ve always had a passion for criminology. After middle school I became a police officer, but then you are only focused on the crime and you’re not really helping the victim. In Africa there are less than four experts in victimology and all of them live in South-Africa. This field of expertise is just not really developed in Africa and I think it is really important to help victims. I am a criminology tutor at the public University in Kenya, but I am developing my expertise and I want to become a lecturer in Victimology. The reason why it is a dream for me to become skilled in Victimology is because for a long time the criminologists and the criminal justice have been ignoring victims in Kenya. Now, people are realizing that there is not only an accused person, but also a victim and we need to give attention to this person. It is a field that is in need of a specialist who can train others. So when I was looking on the internet for a university that was offering a specific course on Victimology, I found Tilburg University. When I read the course description I knew that this was what I really wanted."

It is the best thing someone else can do for you

"The scholarship was one of the best things that happened in my life. With the opportunity I’ve got to come to Tilburg University because of the scholarship, I’m so much closer to my dream of becoming a specialist in Victimology. My mission after graduating is to go back to Kenya and become a lecturer at the public University of Kenya and go tell students what Victimology is with all the knowledge that I gained here. What I know now about victim support, can change lives in my country. I understand that the victim support in the Netherlands is started as an NGO, so we can also start it in Kenya and the government will see this idea and then we can also apply it as the way it is in the Netherlands. With my knowledge, I can develop a good victim support system."

Making dreams come true

"I am very grateful that I got this scholarship. I appreciate it so much what the alumni have done for me to make my dream come true. Helping someone else is the best thing that you can do and I like to be part of this fund. In the future I want to donate a small amount to this fund as well. Somebody else can benefit so much when I give a little amount of money. Contributing just a little bit can already help someone else making his/her dream come true."

Xiaoyue Zhang

Chinese student Xiaoyue Zhang (26) is doing a two-year Research Master’s in Economics at Tilburg University and is in her second year now. Her plan is to stay in the Netherlands for another four years to finish her Research Master’s and obtain her PhD.

'When I become an alumna, I want to relay this help to future students'

"I started my studies at Wuhan University in China. After studying mathematics for some time, I realized that my main interest is in social sciences. I admire universities in the US because there are lots of interaction and inspiring discussions in class. At the age of twenty, I transferred to Johns Hopkins University in the US and after that I studied at London School of Economics (LSE) in the UK. After London, I did an internship in a consulting company in China. This internship made me realize my true ambition is in academia and I was ready for a PhD program to challenge the frontier of knowledge. I heard about Tilburg University from a professor at LSE and found the Economics department at Tilburg University is a good match with my research interest. Professors at Tilburg University are friendly, intelligent, and willing to discuss all kinds of potential research ideas. The campus is quiet with a beautiful nature and away from noisy cities."

Solve real world questions

"I am currently working on corruption, collusion and industrial organization. I really like my program because I feel like I am getting closer and closer to my goal to solve real-world problems as an economist. Many courses I am taking here at Tilburg University are related to what I want to do later, though some are less relevant at the moment. I think those less relevant are more valuable in the long term, because they help to build the big picture which is indispensable for solving real-world problems. After the PhD program, I will be very familiar with my own field. Being able to publish decent academic papers is one thing, while being able to make meaningful contributions to society is another. Most real-world questions require knowledge in multiple fields. One need to know something of everything and everything of something. Those less relevant courses are part of the training on 'knowing something of everything'. The diverse courses and rigorous PhD program offered in Tilburg provide me exactly what I need."

Practical insights to social problems

"After finishing my PhD, I want to go back to China and stay in academia. If I am successful with my research on corruption and industrial organization, I wish to provide a different way of evaluating the existing market structure and economic policy in China as well as other developing countries that share similar problems. If I’m going to be even more successful, I wish my research will provide practical insights to social problems and help decision makers design even better systems."

Being supported is heartwarming

"I am confident that the work that I am putting a lot of effort in, is going to be very promising. Receiving this alumni scholarship is very encouraging and it helps me support myself. Before, I had to rely on my family and but now I can make my own decision more independently. Furthermore, being supported by alumni is always heartwarming because you can feel the connections between you and people ahead of you. You also know there are a group of kind people ready to back you up when you are in trouble. This also makes me think when I become an alumna, I want to relay this help to future students."

Justice Fushai

Justice Fushai (28) from Zimbabwe is studying the Master in Communication and Information Science degree in Data Science (Business and Governance Specialization). The scholarship from the University Fund allows him to continue his studies in a field in line with his background in Operations Research. 

'My goal is to be part of innovative changes in society'

His family was proud of him that he had the opportunity to study abroad in the Netherlands. "Luckily, I was qualified with a statistical and mathematical background, so I could directly enroll in this program. Data Science is an emerging and attractive field, because it is very important in this world where we exchange a lot of information. My goal is to be part of innovative changes in society and that is possible by helping to give people honest and transparent information. By studying Data Science and Governance, I want to obtain skills that I can apply in different sectors in my own country."

Governance in Africa

"The lack of information in the governance and in the leadership in Africa will always be an issue. There are so many things that we could have done already, but the leaders fail to understand what the exact problem is.  It is important that there are experts in my own country, because as a local you can develop your reputation. Because Africa has so few Data Scientist, I can be one of the go-to-guys for these services. You can see opportunities and you can see how things are changing, it makes it more efficient than having an expert from abroad. This is why I think that working in my country will contribute to its workflow and improve services."


"The lack of information in the governance and in the leadership in Africa will always be an issue. There are so many things that we could have done already, but the leaders fail to understand what the exact problem is.  It is important that there are experts in my own country, because as a local you can develop your reputation. Because Africa has so few Data Scientist, I can be one of the go-to-guys for these services. You can see opportunities and you can see how things are changing, it makes it more efficient than having an expert from abroad. This is why I think that working in my country will contribute to its workflow and improve services."

Home is best

Being the eldest sibling, Justice feels he has to set the example for the rest of his family. "I have to go back at one moment and do my faithful part, so I can try to contribute to the nation. So after I am done with my studies here at Tilburg University, I want to discover how data science is used in companies. I am not sure yet if I first want to stay a little bit more in Europe or if I go back to Zimbabwe immediately. Home is always best. There are some issues at home, but that does not stop it from being your home."

Amaka Bianca Paddy-Okafor

Amaka Bianca (31), mother of two children is from Nigeria and is studying the track Human Rights of the Master International and European Law at Tilburg University. She always wanted to study Human Rights Law and this was the perfect opportunity. "I hope that one day I can contribute positively to the fight for Human Rights in Nigeria."

'I hope that one day I will be able to make a positive contribution to the fight for human rights in Nigeria.'

Tilburg University has it all

"Before coming to Tilburg for my Master’s degree, I worked in Sales & Relationship Management as a Business Development Manager. It was really interesting and I loved it, but I have always wanted to get my master degree in Human Rights Law. I searched the internet for the best universities in Europe offering the LLM program with Human Rights track and Tilburg came up. My application went through, but unfortunately I was not selected for the Orange Knowledge Scholarship. However, a short while after that, I was offered the Alumni Scholarship through the University Fund.

Human rights in Nigeria

"I am studying this specific track because I want to broaden my horizon and experience life first hand in the European legal environment. I choose this track because of my interest in the machinery of Human Rights, within and outside the State that impact peoples lives. I hope that the knowledge and skills I acquire here at Tilburg University will enable me to constructively address human rights issues pertinent to Nigeria with an informed view on how to prevent, provide and fulfill the human rights obligation of the State to its citizens."

Educational shock

"Studying in Tilburg has been intens. I literally feel the pressure especially as the first semester exams are about to start. I expected that it would be different from the way studies are structured back home but I don’t think I was quite prepared for the course load, although I like to think that I am finally adjusting. I love the lectures. The feedback on the mid-terms, papers and assignments prepare you better for the semester examinations, so you are constantly developing your academic skills."


"After I graduate, I hope to do a one year internship program with an organization in my field of study here in the Netherlands before going home. It would be a chance to see the practical side of international legal work in its element. I attended the ‘Thank You Event’ organized for the alumni donors. It was great to meet some of the people who made it possible for me to study here. I really believe that I have a duty in the future to give back in the same way. I am very happy that I was selected for the Alumni Scholarship and for the opportunity to study at such a unique institution."

Zahra Sultany

Zahra Sultany is from Afghanistan. Because there was no Dutch embassy in Afghanistan, she had to travel to Pakistan to arrange her visa. Despite the fact that her trip was not harmless, she was determined to follow the master's in Global Management of Social Issues at Tilburg University. During her internship at Care Nederland she did research on social media use for women's rights in Afghanistan.  

'My research gave me even more insight into the challenges that women in Afghanistan have to face every day.'

Large differences on the work floor

"I also worked with Care in Afghanistan, but immediately noticed enormous differences when I started my internship here in the Netherlands. In Afghanistan, the hierarchy is still very much present. If I wanted to speak to a programme coordinator, I had to make an appointment, while I can just have a chat with them here. Everyone here is more on the same level." In addition to experiencing differences on the work floor, Zahra gained several perspectives on the problematic situation of women's rights in Afghanistan. "Of course, I already knew the problem, but it seems to be even bigger. I would like to work on this at an organisation where I could work on gender inequality. Maybe through an internship in my master."

Return is difficult

"Last summer I was back with my family. It was very difficult to be there again. I noticed that when I went outside, people started talking about me. In the West things are very different from what they are in Afghanistan." After her studies, Zahra would like to work on the inequality in Afghanistan, but from the Netherlands. "I would like to continue working on the situation here in the Netherlands. I have the feeling that I am learning faster here. Maybe I won't be there physically, but I can still do something for them." In addition, it is safer to work on such subjects here. As a gender advisor in an organisation in Afghanistan, you are under a lot of pressure. "When you're there, people can approach you, criticise you and discourage you more easily. I want to avoid that."

Proud and grateful

Without the scholarship, Zahra would never have been able to come to the Netherlands. Despite the fact that she sometimes misses home and is homesick, she is very happy that thanks to the support of alumni she can do her master's here. "It was quite a journey. I am so grateful and proud that it worked, and it is such a great experience. Challenging too, but it's all worth it."

Nolly Mlandu

Nolly (Nolwando) Mlandu comes from a small village in South Africa and has not had an easy period. After starting her Master's in Finance in Tilburg, she temporarily had to return to South Africa, because she turned out to be pregnant. A few months after her daughter's birth, she returned to Tilburg to finish what she had started. And that was not easy. Leaving her child with her sister was hard for her and a period of depression and insomnia began.

'Despite my situation, I will do everything I can and with my strong willpower I will achieve my goal.'

Responsibility from an early age

Nolly lost her mother when she was 12 years old. Her father worked an 11-hour bus ride away, so her relationship with him was not strong. She only saw him during the holidays, when he returned home. "I was raised by my sister. When she went to college and met her future husband, I was only a teenager. I had to grow up quickly and take on the responsibilities. I suddenly had to take care of all the housework, as well as dividing up the monthly money my father sent us." That's how Nolly learned how to handle money at a young age. "I noticed that I was getting better at saving and managing my finances. I remember how proud I was when I bought my first phone call from the money I had saved up myself with a side job. I didn't have much, but I knew what I wanted and I'm grateful for that."

Prove that I could do it

After obtaining her bachelor's degree in South Africa, which was also made possible thanks to scholarships, she found out that she could also advise others on financial matters. "I started with consultancy at a company and improved their expenses. That work experience was educational, but I really wanted to continue studying. I was told that I was accepted at Tilburg for the Master of Finance, Chartered Financial Analyst track, and that I could do this thanks to a scholarship," Nolly started her first semester and even took courses, despite her low energy level as a result of her pregnancy. Then she returned temporarily to South Africa and gave birth in May. Despite the difficult period Nolly remained positive and determined to return to Tilburg, to finish her master's degree. "A family member once told me that I would never go to high school and that I would never achieve anything. That remark made that I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, even though I don't have access to everything that rich people have. Anything is possible, as long as you put the time and effort into it."

Opportunities for the future

"I came to Tilburg because I wanted to see more of the world. I heard about it from others, but had the feeling that I shouldn't rely on it. I had to get out of my own 'bubble', see it with my own eyes and get new perspectives on the world. I miss home so much now, but I have to finish what I started." Nolly has already thought a lot about the future. She goes home anyway to be with her daughter again, but also to contribute to the society there. "I want to share with the young people there that they shouldn't limit themselves to what lies ahead of them. They must continue to cultivate and discover their lives." In addition to showing the youth what opportunities there are for them, Nolly also wants to give financial advice.