Unite Foundation

Wais’ Letter…

Dear Reader,

Being at university has been the best experience of my life. It’s absolutely amazing. I’m always telling people go to uni, especially people from care who don’t have much family support. I would tell them make the most of your education, keep strong, stay determined.

I am studying medicine at QMUL. I have always wanted to go to university. None of my family went to university, they didn’t have those opportunities.

I came from Afghanistan as a refugee when I was just 12 years old. I came with my younger cousin. We didn’t speak English when we arrived, so we were thrown in feet first. We were lucky to have an interpreter who spoke Farsi, one of the languages in Afghanistan. She helped translate the lessons for us that first year. English was a weak subject of mine but I was good at maths and science – less writing! I did some work experience in a hospital in year 12 and it was then that I decided on medicine.

The first time I applied to university I had two interviews but I didn’t get in. I took a gap year and tried again. I got an offer from Queen Mary University of London and they told me about the Unite Foundation scholarship. I was so excited when I found out about it. I was worried about accommodation and my year was the year when we found out that university fees were going to go up. My social worker helped me fill in the application.

I was delighted to hear that I had been accepted for the scholarship, because it meant that I did not have to worry about the rent and commute. Some people I know have around an hour’s commute and from their experience I know that it can very tiring and hugely affect your attendance too.

What am I proudest of? Getting into med school probably. As regards the future, at the moment I am concentrating on my degree course as I still have two more years left. I am not really sure about the career I want to get into at the moment, as there are so many different options but I always try to keep them open and see where my passion takes me. I would seriously encourage university for all the young people who are put off by the expenses.

What keeps me going? I believe it is my religion and belief in God that always keeps me going and gives me the drive and determination to always aim for the top and become the best at what I do.

Some people are put off university but these are the best experiences of my life. It’s incredible. What I am learning is amazing.

Good luck – you can do it.

Wais.