Greetings to our readers! We are two PhD. candidates in Nursing Science at the University of Turku, Finland, each navigating her doctoral journey from different corner of the globe. In this blog, we share our contrasting experiences—one of us on the vibrant campus in Turku, Finland, and the other managing the challenges of distance learning from Pakistan.

I, Shumaila Batool, am really enjoying the advantages of being at the university campus, thanks to EDUFI Fellowship grant. The funding support has been a game-changer, allowing me to fully immerse myself in my research and coursework without the financial burden. The scenic surroundings, the unique cultural experiences, and the supportive university environment have added an extra layer of richness to my PhD. journey. The diverse and inclusive community at the University of Turku not only encourages academic achievement but also values cultural diversity, providing a global perspective that enhances the overall educational experience. As I navigate my PhD. journey here, the university’s reputation for offering a world-class education becomes increasingly evident, making it a truly inspiring and impactful learning environment.

On the flip side of the tale is that of my friend Samina Yasmeen, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in nursing science while working a rigorous full-time job and taking care of her family in Pakistan. Although maintaining this careful balance presents many obstacles, her commitment to her studies is evident, and she provides a distinctive viewpoint on the international PhD study scene.

Our divergent experiences underscore the crucial role of funding in shaping the trajectory of a PhD. journey. While one of us enjoys the benefits of financial support, the other grapples with the realities of remote learning. The funding not only facilitates academic focus but also opens doors to diverse cultural exposures and enriching university environments. Funding plays a pivotal role in higher education, acting as a transformative force that can dismantle barriers and create opportunities, especially in low-income countries. For individuals in these regions, where financial constraints often impede educational pursuits, targeted funding can be a lifeline. In particular, women face compounded challenges due to gender-based disparities, making financial support crucial for breaking societal norms and fostering gender equality through education.

Initiatives that provide scholarships and financial aid not only empower individuals but also contribute to uplifting entire communities. Universities play a key role by fostering an environment where financial assistance is not only available but actively promoted, ensuring that aspiring scholars, regardless of their economic background, have the chance to pursue higher education. Collaborations with funders become the linchpin in this endeavor, as their support amplifies the impact of educational initiatives, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond the individual recipient. By channeling resources towards higher education in low-income countries and specifically addressing the needs of women, universities and funders become architects of change, laying the foundation for a more equitable and empowered global society.

In conclusion, our dual narratives showcase the varied paths one can take in pursuing a PhD. Each path, whether on campus or from a distance, contributes to a holistic understanding of the doctoral journey. We highlight the pivotal role of funding in creating positive and enriching academic experiences, fostering an environment where PhD. researchers can thrive.