Twenty-five students gathered at BVI House in London on December 7 for a luncheon orientation programme where they learned more on transitioning to life in the United Kingdom (UK). They also had an opportunity to meet with Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE.
Premier Smith provided the students with an update on the state of the Territory, plans for improving the economy and social development. He also addressed the students concerns about entrance requirements of future students wishing to attend UK universities and also transitioning back to BVI after completing their studies.
The Premier reassured the students that the Government of the Virgin Islands is doing its best to create an improved environment for students to return to, and the importance of their coming home to contribute to the advancement of the BVI society.
“Meeting our students here in the UK is of great importance to me personally as the leader of our Territory. I want to reassure you that we have your interest at heart. We want you to be a part of making change at home after you complete your studies. The BVI London Office will continue the work of engaging with our students and relaying to Government how we can be more supportive” Premier Smith said.
The new students pursuing studies at universities in the UK heard from a range of speakers and fellow students on how to effectively manage finances and tips on study habits and safety. The students also participated in a leadership exercise facilitated by Ms. Rosa Scheepers of the Organisation Common Purpose UK aimed at encouraging BVI students to become leaders at home and globally.
In addition, the students heard presentations by senior government officials. Acting Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Mr. Brodrick Penn, gave an update
on the repositioning of the financial services industry and potential opportunities for students.
Acting Deputy Director of the International Affairs Secretariat, Ms. Najan Christopher spoke about her experience pursuing a career as a woman in international affairs while BVI London Office Accountant Ms. Emily George gave an inspirational message. Cultural Attaché at the BVI London Office Ms. Siobhan Flax served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the day’s events.
The BVI London Office serves as a point of contact for students in the UK and organises annual events to support them while they pursue their studies.