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Masoumeh from Iran: 'The MICM programme at The Hague University of Applied Sciences gives me space to grow and flourish'

Refugees are given the opportunity to build a career and create a new future in a new country, which is the goal of the Bright Future Scholarship, offered by the Academy for Masters & Professional Courses. Those who have arrived to the Netherlands as refugees are given the chance to further their studies and make use their talents and skills. One of them is Masoumeh Jamalinia (32), a journalist from Iran who had to flee her country and work (with the BBC) to Georgia for her own safety. With her personal, powerful and poetic essay, she won the scholarship. "I am now able to further develop in my field."

"I worked for the BBC for five years in Armenia and Georgia, however, due to problems with the Iranian secret service, it was not safe for me there anymore. Subsequently, through the Dutch embassy, I was able to arrange a visa in August 2014 and come to the Netherlands. I then found myself in Schiphol, dressed in summer clothes while everyone had their jackets on. I was feeling a mix of loneliness, frustration and excitement, all at the same time, it was overwhelming. Eventually I made it to the AZC (asylum seekers centre) in Ter Apel."

Learning the language

Masoumeh Jamalinia

Masoumeh Jamalinia "I arrived in Dronten through various AZC’s. Shortly after, I realized that I must start meeting new people, learn the language and find a job. It didn’t even matter to me whether it was paid or not, as long as I was putting myself out there. However, being in a small community like Dronten, made this difficult. Eventually I started working as a volunteer at Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland, a Dutch council for refugees that offer practical support and help with integration."

Going back to school

"While working there, I met a woman who fled to The Netherlands to be with her husband who had been living here for five years. In one of our conversations, her husband suggested to go back to school. When I told him that I had already completed a Master's degree in International Relations in Iran, he told me I didn’t have much of a chance in the Netherlands. It was through my leader at the Vluchtelingenwerk, that I found about the Bright Future Scholarship offered by the Academy for Masters & Professional Courses, leading me to where I am studying today."

The essay

"I poured my heart and soul into the scholarship essay applying for The Master in International Communications Management (MICM). I was so nervous the night before the results that I could hardly sleep. Then, the message came through, I’ve won the scholarship! I was so happy and grateful for the opportunity!"

Found my place

"My father always told me: “go to school, educate yourself and study what you want, but be a professional at it.” After completing this master's degree, my goal is to get started at a PR department at a large company where I can further develop myself. I see life as a garden, where we are all flowers, and in the right place and with the right care, we can all grow and flourish to become our best selves. Thanks to this scholarship, I will be able to find my place again. "