Georgina graduates: ‘I travelled 80,000 miles to study at Bucks'

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Date: 8th Sep 2017

There are not many people who would travel more than 80,000 miles over two years to study – but that’s exactly what Georgina Colgate did.

The 51-year-old, pictured left, attended all ten two-day workshops in person, travelling from Dubai on a Thursday, studying at Bucks New University in High Wycombe Friday and Saturday, and then returning home on the Sunday.

Picture of Georgina ColgateStudying for the MSc Health Rehabilitation and Exercise and graduating with her Masters yesterday (7 September), the mother-of-two said: “The course that Bucks offered was exactly what I had been looking for – distance learning but also workshops and support. I had been searching online on and off for years trying to find an appropriate course.

“My first few trips to the UK I felt understandably apprehensive, but after a while, when I became more familiar with the journey, the instructors and my cohort, I started to really enjoy and look forward to the two-day workshops. This was not only for the course content and catching up with my fellow students, but also for the few short hours of free time in the evenings that allowed me to fill up a large suitcase with High Wycombe shopping!”

Getting the balance between looking after her seven-year-old twins and studying was the hardest challenge that Georgina had to face. But her trips to the UK and the University meant she could catch up with family, who live in Teddington, as well as forge new friendships.

She said: “I would write out an itinerary for my husband to follow while I was away. After returning from the first few trips, I realised these lists were left unread and the weekends were 'ad-libbed' by my husband. I think it ended up being a good experience for everyone in the family.

“Studying again after so many years was also a challenge to start with, but became easier as the two years progressed. Preparing, implementing and writing up my research project between working and being there for the kids after school, took quite a bit of organising too.

“But at Bucks I was fortunate enough to meet an eclectic and interesting group of people on the course and we all had the common goal of improving the health of both our clients and the population in general.

“There were always kind supportive words from the group if any of us were having difficulties or needed buoying up when life and study were becoming a struggle.”

Georgina, who has lived in the Gulf for 27 years and has been working in the health and fitness industry for over 20 of those, carried out a six week experiment on the effect of breaking up sedentary behaviour, for her dissertation.

She worked with a group of office workers, implementing an exercise programme into the sedentary workplace.

“The results were interesting,” said Georgina. “But they also revealed the difficulty people have with adhering to healthy lifestyle changes, however simple they might be.

“The UAE has an increasingly high rate of diabetes and other chronic disease brought about by inactivity and poor lifestyle choices.

“My work as a Health Coach involves consulting with private clients, advising on appropriate lifestyle changes while incorporating different therapies, using life coaching techniques and NLP skills to assist my clients reach their health goals. For the future, I hope to use my new qualification to help bridge the gap between the doctors/health care system and the fitness industry as well as give presentations for sedentary office workers to encourage more physical activity in the workplace.”

This project is currently being prepared for publication and presentation at the Annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Dr Maria Konstantaki (pictured right), Course Leader for the MSc Health Rehabilitation and Exercise at Bucks New University, said: “Georgina has been the heart and soul of the small group of six masters students, so much so that she was acknowledged by fellow students for being motivating and encouraging to others during the difficult times of assignment completion.

“She never minded the travelling time nor the delays and transfers at airports as she was so determined to study and excel. Georgina produced a remarkable dissertation that received an A grade. On behalf of the course team, I wish her every success for the future.”

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