“I was studying and working at the same time to cover my financial expenses. It was hard but pleasing at the same time; I have a career now.” - Shamseddin Hashimi, HOPES participant and IELTS invigilator

Due to the conflict in Syria, more than seven million Syrians have been displaced internally and around five million have fled the country, finding refuge in neighbouring countries. As a result of that, the higher education systems in the host countries have been heavily affected and a situation has arisen where only a small fraction of young refugees are currently enrolled in a university programme. With HOPES programme, university-aged refugees from Syria are now offered English training and certification to complete their degrees and start new academic degree programmes. Shamseddin Hashimi shared his journey from being a HOPES student to being an IELTS invigilator.

“I was forced to leave my country due to the war in Syria. I was studying communication engineering there and when I came to Turkey, I got accepted in Istanbul University to continue my education and joined HOPES programme for English training.

The key benefits of taking part in HOPES was not limited with one subject. It offered me general learning from how to write a CV to improve my social skills through many other trainings.  As a result of being part of HOPES, I was able to develop my English and communication skills. Learning a language is the best way to communicate in a foreign country. In my case, learning English opened me doors to a new job in Turkey. I was able to become IELTS invigilator after taking my Aptis test and proved my English. British Council in Turkey offered me a job which helps me improve myself, be successful and earn my living. 

With participating HOPES, I learned that everything can be achieved by working hard, improving yourself and believing! The programme helped me build a professional career and I hope someday I can help HOPES to reach more talented refugees who are eager to learn and make their life better.