What is it like to receive a scholarship?
Tanvir Hossain (Bangladesh): ‘With this educational experience I would like to play a role in reducing the infectious disease related death-rate in my country, Bangladesh.’
‘I’m doing the Research Master in Infection and Immunity at Erasmus MC [LINK]. This is my second master, I have already finished a master’s in Molecular Biology and worked on a project in Thalassemia. I liked that field, but I think that infectious diseases are more fascinating and urgent. Due to over-population and increased severity or frequency of natural disasters like storms and floods, the amount of people who die from infectious diseases in Bangladesh is quite high.
I would like to play a role in reducing this rate.
I enjoy studying at Erasmus MC a lot. It is a big and famous medical center. Compared to where I have come from, the equipment and technology are advanced. In my country we don’t have enough funding to afford such equipment or machinery.
Without the scholarship it would be absolutely impossible for me to study here. Tuition fees are lot higher for non-European students. I would need four million ‘taka’ [Bangladeshi currency] to pay for this school.’
Tanvir Hossain: ‘I don’t find it difficult to get used to Dutch culture, but I still have to get used to the weather. It is so cold over here!’
Basma Mansour (Egypt): ‘I would like to go back to Egypt and I would like to work in policymaking, and be of benefit to my country in this way.’
‘I study Governance of Migration and Diversity at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences [LINK]. It is a really interesting program: it has history, sociology, and governance in it. I’m in the Public Administration track.
I used to work in a human-rights program in Egypt, where I come from. Furthermore, I did an internship in a German refugee camp. I wanted to learn more about migration, asylum seekers, and integration because these subjects really appealed to me.
Last year Egypt had a devaluation of the currency: the euro was 8 pounds, and is now 20 pounds. All my savings I had reserved for studying are now worthless, and for me prices have doubled. This scholarship was very nice, otherwise I would’ve had to save many years more to make this possible.
My wish is to work in migration and integration back in Egypt. I’m interested in migration movements across the world, and how different countries cope with them. I would like to go back to Egypt and I would like to work in policymaking or for the UN or another large NGO, in order to contribute to my country.
‘The hardest thing to get used to is the bicycles. I hadn’t been on a bicycle in ten years, before coming here. I said to myself: you can do this! Now I’m cycling. Very slowly, but I’m okay. It is a convenient means of transportation!
Melissa Gomez Montero (Canada): ‘The scholarship means everything to me. I would not be here if it weren’t for the scholarship.’
‘I’m doing the Master Health Economics, which is a collaboration between the Erasmus School of Economics [LINK] and the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management [LINK].
Because of my previous studies and work experience, I realised that this is what I wanted to do. This program best fits my interests. The scholarship means everything to me: without the scholarship I would not be here. Because I’m a student from outside the EU, the tuition fee is very high.
The master is quite demanding, but I’m coping with it and I’m doing well. It was absolutely the right decision. Career-wise I like the technology part of my program. I would like to work for a pharmaceutical company, or maybe in the field of consultancy. I already have experience in the public sector. I would love to stay in the Netherlands if possible somehow.’
‘For me the bicycles are also a difficult thing. I’m used to riding a bicycle only for fun. Now I’m cycling from home to university every day: it is a 40-minute ride!’
Panos Tagkalakis (Greece): ‘The scholarship is a huge recognition.’
‘I study Philosophy and Economics: a Research Master at Erasmus School of Philosophy [LINK]. I chose this program because my educational background is related to economics: I did Finance and Accounting and then switched to History and Philosophy of Science. This Research Master enables me to combine those two elements.
The scholarship is very generous. It is a full scholarship for the first year, and covers both the tuition fee as well as living costs. Therefore, I can live off the scholarship in full and really focus on my studies. Besides, I would like to mention that receiving the scholarship is also a huge sign of recognition!’
‘Three and a half years ago was my first time in the Netherlands. I spent some days in Nijmegen and some days in Amsterdam. One day we travelled through the Netherlands: we visited Utrecht, and also Rotterdam – I stepped out of Central Station and we went to KFC, [laughs]. Rotterdam was a really different place, compared to the other cities. Not negative, but different. Now I like it a lot. I think this city is very beautiful. It is not crowded with tourists. Rotterdam has much to offer, it is a very diverse city.’