Meet RefuAid's new language lead, Ilaria Tarulli
2 January 2024

Refuaid new language lead

Meet RefuAid's new language lead, Ilaria Tarulli

In 2017, Ilaria Tarulli came to the UK from Italy because she wanted to study English. Now she's supporting hundreds of refugees and asylum-seekers to learn the language as well.

llaria was a case worker at RefuAid for 18 months before becoming the new language lead, and has big ambitions for the job.

"I would like to make it easier for people to get back into employment or university. I would like to expand what we can offer – we have an amazing team but so many people are waiting for our support and we hope to help as many as possible in the coming months."

Understanding the language barrier

"I am a foreigner here by choice so the context is different but there are some similarities," said RefuAid's new language lead. "I've been here six years now but sometimes I still feel like an outsider. Navigating the university environment when I did my master's wasn't like in Italy, so there are some things I have in common with our clients."

"The common language barrier makes us closer and I can joke about it where my British colleagues can't."

After completing a master's in war and humanitarianism, Ilana gained practical experience through an internship in Ghana and volunteering for Care for Calais.

More pre-sessional support for refugees needed

Currently, RefuAid has around two thousand refugees and asylum seekers on its waiting list. Most of these clients need to improve their English so they can return to education or work.

Ilaria said: "One of my aims is to make as many partnerships as possible with universities. Especially if they could offer some support with pre-sessional courses which help our students to succeed in an unfamiliar system."

Academic managers and teachers can offer invaluable support for Refuaid clients

"I love working with language schools across the UK. Most directors of studies are the loveliest people – they are really committed to supporting our clients and not just in language tuition. They and the teachers form a real bond with our clients, and in general, schools are keen to help and offer places. It would be amazing to increase our number of partner schools even more."

Could your centre help in 2024? 

RefuAid is keen to increase the number of places they can offer to clients – be that more partner schools or more places from current partner schools.

The impact of our partnership

RefuAid currently has 144 language partners offering free places, most of which are English UK members. Almost 180 clients have graduated since May, enabling them to move on with their careers or university studies.




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