Class of 2024: Leena Alfrhat

We’re so proud of our Class of 2024. They’ve overcome enormous challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities, and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. Here, we’re taking the opportunity to share some of their stories.

  • Date

    Thu 11 Apr 24

Profile picture of former student Leena Alfrhat smiling at a person she is speaking to

Leena Alfrhat was drawn to study at Essex due to the reputation of its courses in refugee care.

Having worked in the humanitarian profession for over 12 years, specialising in mental health support, she was looking for the next step in her career.

“The University of Essex stood out to me due to its prestigious programme in refugee care and the opportunity to learn from esteemed faculty members in the field,” she said.

Leena graduates this Spring with a Masters in Refugee Care from the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, which was funded by scholarships from the Chevening and Said foundation.

“The program at Essex not only equips students with theoretical knowledge but also provides invaluable hands-on experience in supporting refugees, making it an excellent choice for anyone aspiring to make a difference in humanitarian aid or refugee care,” she explained.

During her studies, Leena seized the opportunity to gain practical experience through a placement at Refugee, Asylum seeker and Migrant Action (RAMA) – formerly known as Refugee Action.

On her placement, she carried out group and individual psychosocial support sessions aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of her clients, and organised outdoor activities, recognising the therapeutic benefits this offered to those adjusting to new environments.

“Among the many impactful experiences during my time, my placement remains the most memorable,” she said. “Working directly with refugees in the UK context and witnessing the positive changes in their lives was profoundly rewarding.”

After her placement, Leena was thrilled to take up a full-time role at RAMA as a caseworker and interpreter.

“I am committed to continuing my work in refugee care, using the knowledge and skills acquired during my studies to contribute meaningfully to the well-being of displaced individuals.”

While at Essex, Leena also actively engaged in extracurricular activities, including volunteering with refugee support organisations.

“I wholeheartedly recommend Essex to prospective students due to its exceptional academic programmes, dedicated faculty, and vibrant campus life,” she said.

“The university offers numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth, making it an ideal environment for individuals passionate about creating positive change.”