Scholarship enables Yaman's dream of making an impact as a researcher
After almost six years in exile from Syria’s war, Yaman Abujaish came to Sweden to study a Master's in Earth Sciences. The opportunity was made possible through the University of Gothenburg Scholarship Programme. “This is the first step to fulfil my dream of completing a PhD,” says Yaman Abujaish.
Yaman Abujaish escaped the horrors of the Syrian war in 2013, and since then he has done volunteer work in a humanitarian organisation for refugees in Egypt and studied at both the Cairo University and later the Malaya University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has desired for a long time to work in the academic field.
“This scholarship gives me a chance to focus only on my studies, and takes away the financial problems. I am really happy to be able to attend a Master’s programme at one of the major universities in Europe, which has high ranking in scientific research,” says Abujaish.
My final goal is to complete a PhD and to become a researcher. I want to make major contributions to the field of earth science.
Yaman Abujaish has only been in Gothenburg for two months. And even though there have been no major cultural shocks, a lot of things are different from what he is accustomed to, especially at the University. For example, focusing on one course at the time, instead of taking several in parallel. Something that suits him much better.
“Here, students are also encouraged to question everything, not just sit and listen to lectures. It is good to be critical. If you are allowed to question everything, you will learn more.”
A new way of learning
Another difference is the many excursions and the laboratory work that are part of his studies in earth sciences. Yaman Abujaish prefers this way of studying, which combines theoretical lectures with practical field trips. He also finds the interaction with his university teachers intriguing.
“The first time a heard a student call the professor by his first name, that was very difficult for me. I am used to using a title, like doctor or professor,” Yaman says and smiles.
But this is more equal and a good way break down barriers. And it encourages you to ask about everything.
Everything is within walking distance
So far, Yaman Abujaish has been impressed with the nature in Sweden, which he has seen during his many field trips. As for Gothenburg, the many old buildings have made a strong impression.“I also love the transportation system in the city. Everything is within walking distance and you don’t need a car, no matter where you live. You can just take a tram or buss.”
Keep on trying
Abujaish is looking forward to spending the next two years in Gothenburg, finishing his master’s degree. He hopes that more people get the same opportunity. “I really encourage everyone who is eligible to apply for this scholarship. And keep trying! I applied more than ten times before I succeeded.”
Written by Calle Björned