Who's Who - Dhruti Shah, International Student Engagement Officer
The "Who's Who" series focuses on introducing you to key members of the International Student Mental Health project. Today we're talking to Dhruti Shah, International Student Engagement Officer
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am Dhruti Shah. I am a 3rd year student at University of Nottingham studying Mathematics and Economics. I have been born and bred in Nairobi, Kenya and of course, that is where my heart and soul will always lie.
In my schooling years, I recall being the quiet one, who would not stand up for herself. However, here I am today, a more confident, humble, and jolly person. This journey began a while back where I understood, even more, the importance of self-love.
Fun fact about me: I love doing art in any form, be it mandala drawing, or paintings. I am no professional (definitely not better than my sister either) but I find it very therapeutic. Apart from that, I love nature walks, going on a shopping spree and travelling. I found this lockdown slightly difficult due to the restrictions on movement and social life, going against my personality.
What do you do?
My role in this project is as an International Student Engagement Officer. I work to support the International Student Health Improvement Officer in actively engaging students in relevant campaigns and events and play a vital role in the co-production of new materials and resources. This includes looking around the wellbeing map, making Microsoft forms to roll out to international students to understand their student experience better.
One of the best parts of my work is getting to share my experiences with my colleagues, getting to engage with different people (something that I particularly enjoy).
Why did you get involved in the project?
Being an international student, I faced a few challenges when I arrived at the university. I wanted to ensure that I could put forth my experiences so that certain aspects can be looked into and improved. On the brighter side, it would also give me a chance to share my good moments.
Alongside this, I believe the mental health and wellbeing of someone is a very necessary part of their life. It fills me with joy to see that this project was taking place as it would help reduce the stigma attached to mental health enabling people to be more open about their project. I wanted to help ensure that I could give in my input to better the world.
Tell us about your header photo
It was taken on a ranch in Nairobi during my cousin’s wedding. During this pandemic, we have been unable to dress up in traditional wear. It makes me a bit upset since wearing our Indian wear makes me feel connected to my culture. For this reason, this picture is a reminder that these days will come back soon, and it is a great memory at the same.
Thanks to Dhruti Shah, who was our International Student Engagement Officer who wrote this post. Dhruti is currently studying mathematics and economics at the University of Nottingham.
Working in Partnership
The project is nation-wide, and we're making a real effort to engage with everyone interested in international student mental health, including universities, mental health services, students unions, sector bodies, charities and organisations such a private student accommodation.
The project is led by the University of Nottingham, in partnership with the University of Nottingham Students' Union, University of Leeds, Leeds University Union, SOAS, SOAS Students' Union, Student Minds and Campuslife Ltd.
Project funded as part of the Office for Students Mental Health Challenge Competition.