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EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis

Starting All Over through University


With Spark, getting a scholarship is much simpler. Even students with lower grades can get help. Other scholarships would not accept you unless you had grades as high as 85 or 90%. There is no need to even bother and apply.

Hewa Ahmed is a young Syrian refugee, originally from Qamishli city, who is in his first IT and computer skills year at Bayan University in Erbil, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The 21-year-old student left both parents and a brother behind in Syria. He is currently living with his aunt in a refugee camp.

Hewa says: “When I first came here, I immediately applied to the university. I applied for a Spark scholarship. I heard about it through the Students’ Union. I went through an interview and was accepted for a grant.”

After he resumed his studies at Bayan University, Hewa felt a tremendous change in his life. Regular academic follow up, WhatsApp group discussions, a monthly contribution towards his living expenses and even concerts and festivals are now part of his student routine.

Ambitious and hardworking, the young man strives to get the best grades possible. He knows it is his safest bet out of instability, paving his way to secure a better future.

“My ambition is to become one of the biggest programmers. We all want to achieve something big in the field of our studies. This is what I aim for, nothing else,” he adds.

When he talks about what motivates him to push forth, Hewa always mentions his family, back in Syria.

“My parents are my main incentive. They were very happy for me when they learnt I got the grant. They told me that they would give me anything, so long as I work hard and get good grades. The idea of going back to my family is the only thing that keeps me going,” Hewa says.