India-Dundee move transforms Priyanka and Ishaanvi’s lives
Published on 22 June 2023
A student who travelled more than 4500 miles for a fresh start after experiencing multiple personal challenges says her graduation from the University of Dundee vindicates her decision.
Priyanka Joshi graduated from the MSc Digital Marketing and Social Media Management course at the University’s School of Business, nearly 18 months after she and her daughter left their home in Indore, India for her new life in Scotland.
As a single parent, Priyanka was forced to juggle caring for Ishaanvi (9) with her studies and the two part-time jobs she worked to pay the bills. Priyanka is used to facing up to obstacles having experienced mental and physical health challenges and the breakdown of her marriage.
Despite all the other demands on her time, she even found time to establish herself as a respected mental health blogger and win £1500 in the University’s Enterprise Challenge competition to enable her to turn her blog – www.sanitydaily.com – into a business.
Priyanka, who worked in administration and the financial sector before matriculating at Dundee, says she now wants to use the knowledge and skills she has picked up at the University to further her career and to inspire Ishaanvi.
“I moved from India to Dundee in January 2022 as a single parent and sole provider but I was determined to achieve my degree,” she said. “Some years ago, I was diagnosed with lymphadenitis. I had 15 tumours in my body and was on steroids for a whole year. The infection has just begun to spread when it was diagnosed.
“After that, my marriage ended. I was left with no savings or support from my ex-husband but my family helped me throughout the physical, mental, emotional and financial challenges I faced. My dad really encouraged me to move on with my life after my divorce and helped me with my fees to come to Dundee.
“I decided to come here based on the University’s reputation and the course being right for me, and I’m very glad I did. It has been tough to study, work and look after Ishaanvi all at the same time but I wanted to do something that would advance my career and set a good example for her.
“I worked in two part-time jobs while studying – one in marketing at Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA) and one with the University’s Careers Service. It was hard but I was determined to give my daughter a good life. Ishaanvi settled in quickly and made friends at school so that made things easier and helped me decide to apply for the postgraduate visa and work for another two years in Scotland before returning to India.
“I feel fulfilled and more confident as I now have two master’s degree, relevant work experience and the support of my amazing family keep overcoming any hurdles in life.”
Priyanka’s mother and father were unable to travel to Scotland for the graduation ceremony but she was accompanied by one proud member of her family as she received her degree.
She continued, “It is great that Ishaanvi is with me today as part of our adventure together in Scotland and she was super excited about getting to clap me on the stage!”
Senior Public Affairs Officer
+44 (0)1382 384768G.Hill@dundee.ac.uk