Written by Shaun Butcher
Shani Minogue, a King’s College London student, has been awarded the prestigious CRCC Asia British Council Disability Scholarship and will be interning with the British Council in Tokyo, Japan in summer 2019.
This scholarship, which CRCC Asia previously organised in China as part of their Global Internship Programs, provides successful candidates with a short-term internship placement with the British Council in Tokyo, accommodation throughout the Program and a whole range of social, cultural and business events. The travel company StudentUniverse will be providing Shani with return flights as part of this scholarship.
Speaking with Shani upon being awarded the scholarship, Shani explained why she initially applied: “I applied to the CRCC Asia Disability Scholarship, with the British Council & Student Universe, because it’s an absolutely incredible opportunity. As somebody who is from a working-class background and disabled, travelling to Japan is something I never thought would be in my foreseeable future.”
Andrew Kidals, Global Opportunities Officer at King’s, said: “King’s is committed to supporting students from all backgrounds and abilities in accessing high quality employment. Disabled students and graduates are under-represented in many professions so we are delighted that Shani has been awarded this fantastic scholarship. We hope she can inspire future students from similar backgrounds.”
Shani is currently working as the Disabled Students’ Officer at King’s and said that “disabled liberation has always been at the core of my interests.” This is something that has been important to Shani for some time and Shani is excited to internationalise her work experience. Shani explains: “I’ve worked with several organisations and charities to help improve the living conditions of disabled people in the UK and the chance to do this in Tokyo with such a highly regarded institution like the British Council is an opportunity that means more to me than I can place into words.”
CRCC Asia offers various opportunities for students and graduates to internationalise their work experience and gain vital career skills by organising holistic internship programs in various Asian cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tokyo, Osaka, Ho Chi Minh City and South Korea. The program offers participants the unique opportunity to work and travel and Shani said: “I’m immeasurably excited to explore Tokyo and to meet the team who I will be working with.”
Matt Burney, Director, British Council Japan when commenting on this scholarship and partnership said: “We are keen to do everything we can to identify and dismantle the barriers facing disabled people who come into contact with us, whether as staff, partners or customers. And we feel that we have a clear duty to make adjustments to our facilities and way of working in order that everyone – disabled or non-disabled – can realise their full potential. Often disabled individuals are seen as ‘the problem’, but we feel that organisations, and institutions, in failing to put in place reasonable adjustments to accommodate and allow for full participation, are actually the ‘disablers’ – they are ‘the problem’. That’s why we are delighted to be working with CRCC Asia on this programme so that, together, we can demonstrate our approach to providing equal opportunities to everyone.
The pre-departure team at CRCC Asia will be working with Shani over the coming months to ensure that preparations are made and Shani has stated: “I’m so grateful that due to the nature of this scholarship the reasonable adjustments that I require will form no barrier to my journey.”
Learn more about CRCC Asia’s Social Responsibility initiatives, and get up to date on our latest volunteering activities including our work to help local families in need in Japan. If you do not qualify for a scholarship but are looking for funding opportunities, check out our Funding page.