Dagbog fra Asian University for Women
Mariam Ajir fra Afghanistan og læser økonomi. Hun er en af de fem studerende, der i februar modtog et legat fra Lone Dybkjær Fonden. Hun flygtede fra sit hjemland for at fortsætte sin uddannelse på Asian University for Women, da Taleban overtog magten og udelukkede kvinder fra uddannelse.
Life at the university is a unique experience on its own. Student life at all the universities has some similarities, but every university can be very different too.
Life for an AUW student starts with interacting with hundreds of students from different countries and backgrounds every day. On a regular weekday, when I wake up and go for breakfast, I come to see my residential fellows and friends in the dining hall and then head towards the Sun Valley building, where our classrooms are.
My classes start at 8 a.m. in the morning, which is actually an early morning time in AUW. Because Chittagong’s weather is warm and humid, students prefer to sleep during the warm hours of the day and study during the night. The instructors here are very punctual and disciplined in the classroom. Professors teach using PowerPoint slides and have class activities.
Another thing that makes AUW very different than other universities in Bangladesh is that we have tons of assignments to do, which is actually really supportive and student-oriented.
Observing the semester that I finished a few days ago, I can clearly say that AUW is a place for hardworking students. The last few weeks were dedicated to finals, and all of us worked really hard. I had 4 courses with 1 lab, which I worked hard for and luckily secured As in all of them.
Due to the absence of air conditioning in student dorms and rooms, heat is a restriction for maintaining the best performance in exams. To assist students, AUW allowed students to use the Sun Valley rooms and student space until 12 p.m. during the assessment week, which really helped me study better this semester. Other than exam week, AUW is a place where students can really grow socially and learn other life skills such as sports, crafting, cooking, etc. In my free time, I try to learn computer programs, play sports, and socialize with my friends and residential members.
Also, extracurricular activities such as participating in clubs and competitions are one of my favorite hobbies. There are more than 15 clubs in AUW that serve the interests of each and every student and help them nourish their skills and grow personally. I personally am president of two clubs and enjoy leading the team towards doing something good for the community. As I am fond of debating and growing my diplomatic skills, recently I partiipated in MUN conference in a university in Dhaka. I gladly could learn more about negotiation skills and boost my speechgiving skills during the break week.
Though, AUW is a home and members are family to us. It cannot be ignored that we miss our families in Afghanistan. I am always concerned about my family’s security in Afghanistan. Even though I try to stay in touch with them daily through Whatsapp and social media but Afghanistan’s situation doesn’t always allow me to. The lack of internet connection and availability of electricity makes it difficult for me to communicate with them. Whenever I talk with them I try to share my achievements and dreams with them to make them believe I can make my life and their lives better.
AUW is a place for growth, as an Afghan girl who’s heart is left in Afghanistan and always thinks about her family’s wellbeing I am happy to study in AUW and can dream of changing my life for better and my country’s women’s future one day.
Soma Goswami er fra Bangladesh. Hun er vokset op i en te-plantage, hvor hendes far arbejder til en dagsløn på to dollars. Hun drømmer om at vende tilbage til sin hjemegn og forbedre forholdene for arbejderne i te-plantagen. Både hvad angår uddannelse og sundhed.
Hello. A very good morning to whoever is going to read this paper about my daily life at AUW. This is Soma Goswami. After coming to AUW, everything is changing. And the changes start with morning timing. Before coming to AUW, I commonly woke up at 6 a.m. in the morning, but after coming to AUW, it has changed. Now it is sometime at 7 a.m
So after waking up, I look at the table where I have placed the statues of the goddess Showsoti Devi and the goddess Shiva Ji. After that, sometimes I get a chance to do breakfast, but most of the time I cannot do it because of the morning class. I have a class at 8 a.m. that is finished at 9.40 a.m. After finishing the first class, I go for my everyday return duty under the AUW work-study program. My work involves printing the students’ important documents. For example, slides, PDFs, assignments, etc. In a day, I do 2 hours of duty. In a week, it is 8 hours. After doing my duty, I go for lunch to another residential building that is near Sun Valley. We call the building Continental 2.
The reason I am not coming back for lunch in my residential building is timing, and it is a bit far from SV. After lunch, I went back to SV for another class.
After finishing the class, I go to the MM. Ali campus for badminton class. It took 2 hours, and it finished at 6.30. After that, I set out over the new lane for a few minutes and gossiped with seniors and juniors. At 7 p.m., I need to go to choir practice. I sing the songs in French, although I don’t have that much knowledge about France or the Jarmani language. Mr. Selvam is the director, and under his direction, we practiced the songs. And some of the time, we go to concerts in Dhaka with different embassies. Our practice ends at 9.30 p.m. After finishing all this, I come back to my room and ask my friends if I can get dinner because our dinner time is at 8.30. if I am not able to get the dinner, I requested that my friends keep food for me.
After dinner, I checked my emails, phone calls, and important messages on WhatsApp and Messenger. As in badminton, the couch does not allow us to use the phone anymore.
Then I study and complete all my assignments, and then I search for the master’s degree full-free scholarship program on Google and also in the news media and AUW emails. I need one master’s scholarship for the future. Sometimes it takes 1 or 2 a.m. to go to bed.
But during the exam week, everything is totally different than on other days. Like now, my exam is going on, and I have not got time for eating, sleeping, and so on. Every day I wake up early in the morning, and I go to the IT lab in Sun Valley for studies. I study from morning to night at 12 a.m. without taking any breaks. Just for lunch and dinner, I take a few minutes back and then return to the lab. As a result, after 12 a.m., we are not always to stay in the lab, so after 12 a.m., I come back to my room and study again. But my laptop is qualityless, so it does not give me that much support in my studies. I feel angry most of the time when it is not working properly, and I lose time and energy.
During the exam time, I have to give the paper exam and also need to make presentation slides and present them in front of the professor and classmates, making memes, posters, research papers, and other things as well. Which is very hard to do in a shorter period of time.
If my parents or family members call me, I try to give them time. Because my father is not well. And I’m trying to take him to India for better treatment, but because I don’t have money, I’m also trying to manage money. I also need to give money every month to my younger sister for her studies, which is 2000 tk. So whatever I feel bad about or sick. I am not capable of keeping up with my workplace duties.
Nowadays, with all of this, I am less involved in social media. When I communicate with my friends through social media, I get very disappointed. I am trying in everyday life to fix every problem, but why do I share my findings with other people who judge me by their perspective, and for them most of the time I get one thing: “Marriage with someone who will come into your life as a support system as you don’t have an elder brother or any other man to help you”.
But I believe in myself; I can do everything for my father. And for all I forget, I try my best always. In my life, I have motivation within myself. No one can motivate me if I cannot motivate myself. So I am taking apart my favorite sports competitions and other activities. Although I get lost in bad things from social media friends.
I also have some good friends. When I post anything relevant to me on social media, like Facebook, they always encourage me and wish me well with positive comments. Also, when I share my problem with them, they motivate me to fight the negative environment. A few days ago, I took part in the AUW poetry recitation program, and I was selected as the best reciter. Except for these, I am involved with two organizations, so sometimes I work for them as well. I work for my tea community students and also on SDGs.
All of this work and participation give me positivity. On a weekend, I take a rest and go to the rooftop, setting over there, communicating with nature, and, at night, looking at the sky and beautiful moon. I am a nature lover, and when I am with nature, I feel better. I love to sing a song in an open environment, so some of the time with my friends, we sit on the rooftop and enjoy all of these things. Some of the time we discuss and plan to go on a trip, but every time I miss going with my friends because of money. I have a dream to buy a guitar, and I will hopefully one day have all my problems solved. I am trying to balance my responsibilities and my academic life.
And I want to mention one piece of good news, which is, “I have been selected for the Summer Program 2023 at the University of Tokyo.” I am going to Japan on July 31, and I will be back in Bangladesh on August 11. For me, it is the biggest opportunity. And my family members are so happy about it. It is my nowadays life is going on. Hopefully, one day the happiest day will come in everyone’s life, and all my dreams will come true. Thank you for reading it. Always support me and pray for me that I will do everything in my life.