My name is Lama Ranjous and I'm from Syria. I'm studying international policy and development. I started my master’s degree in Damascus. I finished the first year, and I couldn't continue because of the conflict. I knew about a program called 100 Syrian Women. They give scholarships basically in Canada and United States.
I applied, I got the scholarship, and they advised me to apply for MIIS. I searched for the courses, and international policy and development. I came directly from Syria to Monterey and it was huge change in general. There is certain environment at MIIS. There is international community. A lot of students from all around the world and each one of them holds a different experience.
Different story. Different conflict sometimes. And you relate to this story, you feel this connection. My support system are my friends are here. They understand a lot, they are really kind. We eat together, we cook together, and we are creating memories here. Inside Syria, there you're just overwhelmed with everything, and I was working in the humanitarian organization so I was dealing with the situation every day.
But I couldn't stop and look so what's really happening. Here, I am taking Introduction to Policy, Women and Human Rights, and Conflict Resolution. I just can sit right now and try to analyze it very far away from my emotion. Now I can understand. I can be very objective about this.
I came here with a dream and I think it's now clear for me. I want this education to empower the youth inside Syria in a way that they will be able to build the country again. Or to feel that they can go there and start rebuilding again.