HUNGARY: Stipendium Hungaricum 

Glodia Kgobe

Szent István University, 2018-2020

This scholarship programme made me realize that the world is indeed my oyster. It provided me with an opportunity to grow in all aspects of my life in ways I could have never imagined. The experience has changed the way I view the world and I rediscovered my infinite love for South Africa in the process. I can not wait to return home and contribute to the growth of this beautiful land.


Glodia Kgobe completed her MSc degree in Agricultural Biotechnology, specializing in Plant Biotechnology, at Szent István University under the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme where she graduated Cum Laude. 


During her studies she completed a Master’s thesis that looked at molecular marker-based genotyping of clones belonging to a Hungarian grapevine variety called Furmint, this work was published in the 4th National Conference of Young Biotechnologists abstract book ‘Fibok 2020’.


In 2019 Glodia participated in an international experimental learning program that aims to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical learning of international business, called X-Culture. Every semester about 5000 students from 40 countries participate in this programme and Glodia was among the 40 students selected to attend a symposium at San Antonio in Texas, USA.


Glodia is currently completing her PhD degree in Environmental Science, focusing on exploring the effect of drought on microbiome in grapevine, under the same scholarship programme. She is part of the MTA- EKE Lendűlet Environmental Microbiome research group which is where she is conducting her research work.


Believe in yourself, learn, and never stop wanting to build a better world - Mary McLeod Bethune

HUNGARY: Stipendium Hungaricum

Hamilton Pharasi

Szent István University, 2017-2019

 My name is Hamilton Pharasi, born in Swaziland, 45 years old and a former Szent Istvan University student, now known as Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, having obtained a cum laude Master of Science degree in Agricultural Biotechnology with specialization as a Plant Bio-technologist Engineer. 


 I am currently employed by the Mpumalanga Provincial government, Department of Agriculture as a Deputy Director; Land and Agrarian Reform at eHlanzeni District. Following my recent passion for research in plant biotechnology, I have established an accredited skills development practice with accreditations with AGRISETA including a National Certificate in Plant Production at NQF level 3 and Biological Processes in Plant Physiology at NQF level 5. The business aim is to run a technical skills transfer in terms of the recent innovations in Agri Science. 


I am intending to pursue my PhD to further beef up my envisaged plan for a wet laboratory that will serve as a molecular analysis tool for agro biomolecules and studies that will be related to Agrispeedtech. 

IRELAND: Kader Asmal Fellowship

Glorence Makharinge 

Dublin Business School, 2017-2018

 I am Glorence Makharinge, born and raised in Giyani (Jim Nghalalume Village) and currently working in Dublin, Ireland as a Civil Engineer.


When we are confronted with challenges, our response can be categorized into three actions:


 ● Giving up without attempting to solve the challenge

● Trying, failing and walking away

● Trying hard and harder to turn countless failures into success.


Through the help of the following influential people in my life, I continue to pursue my dreams:


 My family are the pillar of my strength, my parents worked relentlessly to provide for me and my 6 siblings. Papa would often wake up at 3am to travel to farms to buy fruits and vegetables, which my mother would sell to the community. To say my parents were hardworking, unwavering and go-getters is an understatement. My older siblings completed university and started working when I was younger. I was motivated and knew if it was possible for them, I could do it too.


 For as long as I can remember, I always surround myself with friends who challenged me and from whom I learnt so much. A Medical Doctor (Dr. Vhelaphi Collins Mlambo) from my community offers Mathematics and Physical Sciences classes to high school students. I was one of the students he took on. I was able to complete grade 12 with exceptional results due to the efforts and sacrifices this man made. He has changed so many lives, a remarkable example of how we can all make a change in our communities. And countless other individuals and institutions who inspired me to aim for higher heights and continue learning.


One of the biggest challenges facing young South Africans is securing funding for higher education. I obtained a fully funded scholarship from Petronas to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons), Civil at University Technology Petronas, Malaysia and graduated in 2015. Two years later, I received a fully funded scholarship through the Kader Asmal Fellowship to study a Master in Business Administration (Project Management) in Dublin, Ireland. I secured a job offer in Ireland and currently work as a Civil Engineer for residential and commercial developments in Dublin.


Opportunities are galore, let's continue searching and pushing until our desired goals are achieved. If we are breathing, there is hope.


I am grateful.

HUNGARY: Stipendium Hungaricum

Thabang Teffo 

Szent István University, 2017-2019 and 2019-2023

The scholarship gave me an opportunity to see the world differently and opened many doors for me both socially and professionally. Upon completion of my studies in Hungary I intend to return to my beloved country (South Africa) to contribute and make a significant contribution in the Wildlife Conservation sector through education and research.


Thabang Rainett Teffo studied towards a MSc degree in Wildlife Management Engineering in Hungary at the Szent István University from 2017 to 2019 under the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme. His research interests are along the scope of Urban wildlife management and Human-wildlife conflicts. In 2018 he was invited by the UN Environment Africa to be a Contributing Author for the Global Environment Outlook for Youth Publication wherein he wrote a chapter on “Transforming Important Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) in economic areas for youth in Africa” together with other aspiring youth across Africa (Book). 


While in Hungary, Thabang participated in conferences with full papers and presentations at both at local and international platforms, and claimed several awards during these scientific conferences. Upon completion of his MSc 2019, Thabang got an opportunity to work temporarily on Human-wildlife conflict and resolutions project in Saudi Arabia. Following that he was awarded the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship for the second time to pursue his PhD in Wildlife Conservation and Management.


Don’t go where the path leads, go where there is no path and live a trail - Ralph Waldo Emerson

IRELAND: Kader Asmal Fellowship

Nicole Watson 

Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin, 2014-2015

 Studying in Ireland presented an unparalleled opportunity to engage with and learn from leading minds from around the world. It allowed me to expand my worldview and step out of my comfort zone in Cape Town (which is really hard to leave). It also gave me more confidence to interact and work in international settings which has significantly helped my career and is so important in this global world!


I now work for an international social enterprise that provides ethical, impact-driven service and internship programs to participants from across the globe. Programs are high quality, with a specific focus on support throughout the entire journey, and are driven to impact the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in three main categories: community development, marine conservation and wildlife conservation. As the Director of Institutional Relations I manage university partnerships in North America and work closely with leading institutions of higher education to develop impactful programs that achieve specific learning objectives through experiential education.


I wish I could say I was drawn to Ireland because of our shared history and similarities. However, I was first attracted because of the gorgeous countryside, Enya and Dublin! The more I learned about Ireland and the role they played in supporting the end of Apartheid, and the relationship between South Africa and Ireland as espoused by Kader Asmal, the more I appreciated the opportunity to live and study in Ireland. I hope to continue building this relationship through the Kader Asmal Alumni network. 


I would encourage anyone to apply for the Kader Asmal Fellowship Program and want to share this Irish blessing: “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.” 


Nicole currently serves on the Kader Asmal Alumni Executive Committee as the Secretary. She hails from the small town of Malmesbury and completed her MSc at the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin in Strategic Management and Planning.

IRELAND: Kader Asmal Fellowship

Keletso Malepe

University College Dublin, 2019-2020

My name is Keletso Malepe. A young lady born and bred in a vibrant village called The Willows Village overlooking the Drakensberg Mountain.


I studied my undergraduate degree and Honours degree in Geology at the University of Witwatersrand and was awarded the opportunity to pursue a Master’s in Environmental Resource Management at University College Dublin in Ireland. I was awarded the Kader Asmal Fellowship in 2019-2020 and graduated with a 1st Class Honours.


Moving to Ireland was an overwhelming and yet exciting journey, filled with so many unknowns and an enthusiastic heart and mind full of questions. There are multitudes of benefits and blessings attached to my journey beyond the academic qualification. My studies provided me with a worldwide view and perspective on environmental governance and resource management, which is crucial in my career field. Through my studies, I participated in multiple international projects focused on environmental governance and assessments which further enhanced my understanding. I also gained technical skills such as ecological modelling, data analysis and GIS and remote sensing.


For my minor research project, I worked alongside internationally recognised supervisors who are well known within the environmental assessment field and this provided me with a platform to be mentored and guided. My research project was focused on evaluating the quality of environmental impact assessment reports for tourism-related infrastructure development in protected areas: Case study of Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region in South Africa.


Moving to Ireland was of great benefit, personally, academically and professionally. I was presented with a great platform to network with like-minded individuals within my industry and my academic stream. Through my academic performance and my interest in environmental assessment, I was further offered a job opportunity to work as a research assistant at University College Dublin on a project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. The project is titled: Tiering of Environmental Assessment and is focused on analysing the linkages between strategic environmental assessments and environmental impact assessments in Ireland.


My fondest memory of my stay in Ireland is the random road trips with friends, travelling around and seeing the beautiful Irish landscapes and rich culture. My takeaway from the experience and adventure is to be daring to try new things. Step out your comfort zone and dive into a new journey and overcome the fear of the Unknown. Most importantly, use every opportunity you are granted to its max, network, socialise and make great memories. Above all else, All Glory to God. 

CHINA: Chinese Government Scholarship

Masego Mothei

Xiamen University, 2019-2022 

Masego talks about going to China.

Facebook video

IRELAND: Kader Asmal Fellowship

Aisha Hamdulay

University College Dublin, 2019-2020

The Kader Asmal Fellowship was an invaluable experience in terms of personal, professional and academic growth. Covid-19 has impacted our country in so many ways, and as a young person I hope to get into spaces where I can pay it forward by becoming involved in contributing to the need for transformation in South Africa, especially regarding land, and socio-economic justice.


I felt a connection with Ireland because of the similarities with our histories, and Ireland’s support in ending Apartheid. If I can share a message with aspiring fellows and students, it is that you are your own greatest enemy as well as greatest motivator. Focus on motivating yourself. And as gloomy as things may look in our country at times, remember what we have to celebrate about it as well.


Aisha Hamdulay is a 2019/20 Kader Asmal Fellow, and completed her MSc at the University College Dublin in the Humanitarian Action, Conflict and Development program. Her research interests are transitional justice, human rights and land rights, and her Master's thesis looked at the long-term impact of South Africa’s transitional justice processes on the rule of law in relation to land rights. She has also been published in the Southern California International Review Journal of 2019. Prior to her Masters, she has worked in civil society in South Africa for 3 years in the areas of urban land justice and women’s rights. She is also a passionate creative, and has pursued photography professionally for the last 8 years, as well as embarking on social justice related projects. In the near future, she hopes to continue working in development and human rights in both the international and South African contexts, hoping to use her skills and experience to drive needed change in the country.

SWEDEN: Swedish Institute Scholarship for South Africa

Thato Brander

Chalmers University of Technology, 2018-2020

Hi I'm Thato, I am from a beautiful small village called Dinokana in the North West. Studying my Masters in Sweden has been very impactful in my life as it has moved me closer to a bigger dream.

When I left for Sweden my intentions were clear, I wanted to be at the heart of technology and innovation. I had strong a sense that studying in Sweden would develop me as a person and also develop my skills but it was more.

Moving to Sweden has expanded my worldview, and most surprisingly also the people from my community in South Africa, it has become common that young people ask me how they can go study abroad and this is a good sign for the future. Since making the move I have also developed more technical skills which has placed me in a better position to contribute positively to society in a Digital World.

I am currently working with a Space-technology Startup Incubator that helps space companies develop applications, services and products for use in space and also adapted space technologies which were originally made for use in space but are used on earth. I also work with Umnandi to provide young South Africans with practical knowledge and motivation to pursue entrepreneurial projects that benefit their communities by teaching fundamental startup theories and concepts. I'm also a seed startup mentor through a collaboration with Itzinya which is an Entrepreneurship Development Organization investing in young entrepreneurs mainly in the developing world.

While moving to Sweden has been a great journey for me. I am now looking forward to new challenges as I start working on a new business venture.

HUNGARY: Stipendium Hungaricum

Light Ubisi

Corvinus University of Budapest, 2018-2020

Article in Mpumalanga News:
"Knowledge takes Lephong Village youngster to greater heights"

JAPAN: ABE Initiative

Ulrich Fobian

Kansai University, 2017-2020

A Note to Future Participants

"This programe is life-changing"

Change is hard. The program will be hard, and not in the way you imagine. Your very character and beliefs will be put to the test as you are required to step outside all you know, into the unknown, into Japan.

Change is beautiful. You will experience beauty. Beauty in a new way of approaching what may have become mundane everyday tasks.

Change is brave
. Bravery requires self-sacrifice, and therefore to be brave is to be humble. Be brave in unlearning bad (and even good) habits, and humble in embracing and accepting traditions and a culture completely new to you.

Change is opportunity. Take opportunities. Take photos. Take moments to remember that you are a stranger in a strange but extraordinary land. Take time to miss your loved ones far away, and tell them. Take the help you are given at every turn by the generous Japanese people. Take opportunities to say thank you. Take the JICA program and use it as the unique and exceptional platform it is. Take South Africa to Japan and carry it with pride.

Change is faith.
 Hold on to your faith in choosing this program and hold on to what you believe, for you will need it when you lose faith, temporarily, in the program and your decision to pursue it.

I am living proof that change is hard. I had to give up things very dear to my heart in South Africa to come to Japan. I can confirm without a doubt that Japan is beautiful. The country has so much to offer and holds treasures unspeakably precious. I know that change required me to be brave even when I felt my weakest.

Education in Japan, including at a tertiary level, is a complete 180 degree opposite from education in South Africa in many respects. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised and deeply disappointed. This is normal. Change does this. Be brave and humble in both. This is true not only in education but also in the new lifestyle you will live. Embrace it with all the bravery you can muster. Every single day. I took an opportunity, made it my own, which included many personal failures, and successes, and now call Japan home and work in my chosen legal field in a wonderful company. Not at all in an attempt to escape South Africa. No. But, in my own right, to be a South African ambassador. My personal faith has shown me that my cornerstone is not in certainty of earthly belongings , but in Christ. In short, I have seen wonders and miracles through taking this program and my faith has grown stronger and deeper.

I truly hope you take this life-changing experience and love the journey as much as you anticipate the finish line.


“Ganbate kudasai”

(Please do your best).

SWEDEN: Swedish Institute Scholarship for South Africa

Kabelo Mutubi

Uppsala University, 2018-2020

Hej I’m Kabelo from Diepkloof Soweto in Gauteng. Reading for a Masters in intellectual property law at Uppsala University (unfortunately the programme is on hiatus) has enhanced both my world view and my research skills. Intellectual property law’s focus is innovation and emerging technologies; areas which Sweden thrives in. The comparative law aspect of my programme is an aspect I continue to use in my research to this day.


On my return to South Africa I worked for a telecommunications company as a legal intern before venturing in to academia.  I’m also involved in a social entrepreneurship incubator where we are tasked to build an app to combat societal ills. The app I’m working on is an education app meaning SDG goal #4 is my focus. This shows that the impact of my studies in Sweden is on the greater community in South Africa not just on me.


Studying in Sweden has changed the way I do things and I’m sure the experience will do the same for other scholars. It is my hope that I will return to Sweden one day for MBA studies.

JAPAN: ABE Initiative

Kwena Moabelo

Doshisha University, 2016-2018

Kyoto - Life in a Poem

YouTube Video


HUNGARY: Stipendium Hungaricum

Mfihlakalo Mabuyakhulu

University of Miskolc, 2018-2020

My name is Mfihlakalo Mabuyakhulu, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate (June 2020), University of Miskolc, Hungary.


I have an engineering background that equipped me with technical and analytical skills. However, after working for a few years, I realized that there were certain skills lacking in my skills set. I found that an MBA would be the most suitable qualification to pursue. I applied for a number of scholarships and was awarded the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship.


n September 2018, I packed my bags and left for Miskolc, Hungary. This was a life changing experience. I got to learn about a new culture, travel and to improve my skills through the MBA. I have had the privilege of participating in major road races in cities like Budapest, London, Valencia, Vienna, Zagreb, Milan, Copenhagen, Paris and Kosice.


Upon completion of the MBA, I returned to South Africa to take up my previous job and I have attended a couple of interviews where I was headhunted for senior roles because of my diverse skills set. This qualification will surely aid my career growth in the future.


This scholarship, co-funded by the South African and Hungarian governments, provides a rare opportunity for South Africans to acquire new skills and develop themselves in Hungary.

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