Coursera for Refugees brings transformational learning to vulnerable populations around the world. Since 2016, the program has brought free access to Coursera’s catalog to more than 11,000 refugee learners. Meet Diana, a dedicated 25-year-old business student from Syria who became a refugee due to the Syrian Civil War. Diana participates in Coursera for Refugees through the Syrian Youth Assembly.
In her own words, here’s her story:
After high school, I started studying for my Higher National Diploma in IT and Business at the Syrian Virtual University. When I was close to graduation, the Syrian Civil War started, and my access to the program was cut off. Unable to complete my degree, I worked as a translator to make ends meet.
I applied to business schools in Germany, and I was accepted to five different universities. Unfortunately, my study visa applications were rejected due to my age.
When I came across Coursera, I found the hope I’d lost over years of failed attempts to continue my studies. My friend suggested that I apply for the Syrian Youth Assembly program, and after a couple of days, I was accepted! This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me — working in the program brings back my confidence and my hunger for knowledge.
I signed up for Human Rights for Open Societies from Utrecht University — this turned out to be one of my favorite courses. It opened my eyes to what open societies stand for. From Introduction to Project Management Principles from UC Irvine, I learned priceless knowledge that cannot be acquired from any textbook, as it is knowledge one acquires after years of working in the field. The Effective Communication in the Globalized Workplace Specialization provided me with great information regarding body language and presentation skills that are crucial in any workplace.
Words fail me when I try to describe how much Coursera helped me change my life for the better. A person without hope becomes lifeless, and Coursera gave me hope when I needed it the most. I will always continue to take courses on Coursera even after I graduate and start my career. Knowledge has no limits.13