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"the scholarship provided me with the opportunity to study in a renowned institute where I was able to make life-long contact with international professionals working in healthcare. "
Certainly, without the support of the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to travel and study in the Netherlands—that is, the scholarship played a major role in the possibility to start my master’s programme, to begin with. Then, the steadfast support and guidance of the scholarship were key for the exceptional academic year that I have had. The continuous communication between the family foundation and the student provides psychological support for the latter, and it makes the new place a home away from home.
Studying abroad is certainly a rewarding and life-changing experience for almost everybody, including me. That being said, I would write more about the special aspects of my journey, and less about the run-of-the-mill details. From the first meeting, I sensed the convivial atmosphere of the Lutfia Rabbani organization. I knew throughout my journey that whenever I needed support, it would be there—sixty kilometer southward in the Hague. The support was unceasing and unconditional, including the fact that the scholarship was indispensable to embark upon my studies; the psychological support and invaluable advice of the organization family; and the chance to befriend other scholars who shared similar experiences.
The Royal Tropical Institute was a perfect fit for my career. The institute is a melting pot of diverse, mid-career professionals who were at the same career stage as mine, gathered as a cohesive whole towards a common goal—improving global health. Amid this international aura, I gained a key set of skills from healthcare experts and exchanged knowledge with other colleagues. I was also exposed to a new learning style that adopts open discussion, self-learning and non-hierarchical approach, which all have become values I am keen to embrace in my future academic and professional career.
Above all, Amsterdam, as a lively, multicultural city, introduced me to a unique experience. It helped me to develop the skills and attitudes that are key to indulge in international meetings, and to be culturally sensitive to people from various backgrounds. More importantly, Amsterdam is a European hub of cultural, artistic and educational events rarely found elsewhere. Overall, the experience was a crucial milestone in my personal and professional development whereby I immensely changed for the better.