Seizing the Opportunities Life Gives You

Farah is a DP2 student from Palestine, one of the first cohort of young people who received the Aurora Gratitude Scholarships that were given the chance to spend two years studying the internationally renowned IB Diploma programme. She spent her summer break in Armenia and in her own words had a very productive 2 months. And now she is sharing her experience.

You don’t always get what you want, this world works as simple as that, but I believe that when life takes away something it gives something else in return.

It is hard to get rejected more than once, especially if it is something that you really wanted. I got rejected from the embassy twice. After I applied for the third time, I just felt that it would be so unfair to get rejected again and I decided to be the one who rejects the visa this time and to make the best out of my summer break here in Armenia.

I’ve spent the first two weeks of my summer break in my friend’s house in Yeghegnadzor. She and her family were very nice to me and they did their best not to make me feel away from home. I used to climb up the mulberry tree and eat the berries and that was one of the things I used to do back home. Together we used to clean up the garden and start our day with a fresh akroshka (cold Russian soup with cucumber and greens in yogurt).

I didn’t want my summer break to finish without doing something that adds to my personality and helps me develop myself, so I contacted Dr. Nara from our college. She helped me find a great opportunity in Arabkir hospital to “shadow” a doctor for two weeks. I’m grateful to her and to Dr. Biayna who helped me understand more about neurology, learn more about the atmosphere doctors work in and discover new sides of my personality. This experience allowed me to get one step closer to my goal of becoming a surgeon.

During the time that I spent at the hospital I was hosted by my Armenian friend’s friend who lives in Nor Nork, so I got to know the neighbourhood and learned how to use the public transport. It was interesting how I lived with people that I didn’t know at all and slowly became friends with them, we started sharing our cultures and our knowledge. Living with Armenian families has helped me understand the culture and made me feel like being part of this country.

After I have finished my observership at the hospital, I stayed in a hostel in Yerevan for two weeks meeting my friends and spending some time with them. Then, I moved to live with an Armenian friend who is also my first-year. I had a lot of fun with her and her friends, they were super nice to me and together we went through a fun adventure in Ijevan. I tried the zip-line for the first time in my life, it was an unforgettable experience and I will always remember the excitement I had when I jumped from the mountain for the first time. I can’t talk about the time I spent in Yerevan without mentioning Vardavar; so far it has been one of the most interesting and enjoyable days of my life.

This experience taught me that we will always have a chance to be happy and to develop ourselves as long as we don’t give up and we stop having hope.

During the time I spent in Yerevan, I had an internship with IDeA Foundation, and I met an amazing staff there. I was helping on a project about Tatev, collecting a feedback database. During the internship I visited the city, which was also something new I learned.

My summer turned out to be so much better than I thought it would be. I discovered new places in Armenia, I got to meet wonderful people, I gained experience and knowledge during my time at the hospital and I helped in a really useful project that will contribute to developing the country. Maybe getting rejected three times is not really bad after all. This experience taught me that we will always have a chance to be happy and to develop ourselves as long as we don’t give up and we stop having hope.