When Abrahams graduated with her LLB in 2017 she had decided to take a gap year and work as an au pair in The Netherlands, but returned to pursue her Master’s degree at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). When she returns from Leiden University next year, she hopes to complete her Master’s and graduate in the same year. An email alert from UWC’s International Relations Office led her to apply for the scholarship offered to South African students who want to study at the university for one semester in order to extend their knowledge and contribute to the development of South Africa.
Abrahams, who is in the Human Rights Protection stream, singled out UWC’s professors Benyam Mezmur and Julia Sloth-Nielsen. “They are so passionate about their work, so much so that I wrote an email to Prof Mezmur thanking him for the role he played,” she said.
In 1999 the late president Nelson Mandela received an honorary doctorate from Leiden University, and as of 2012 the Mandela Scholarship fund became available for South Africa students. “Nelson Mandela was not afraid to push boundaries. He encouraged everyone to pursue their dreams. He lived in a different, difficult time but he persevered. “I have been through my own challenges and now I have an opportunity to persevere and take a step into the unknown. “But this step is about informing and educating myself as Madiba taught us to do,” said Abrahams, whose thesis will look at the legal framework around the au pair industry.