I was living in Azraq refugee camp in Jordan when I came to hear about the LASER scholarship through a notice at the Norwegian Refugee Council centre in the camp. I had been searching for a scholarship and had applied for two. I was offered a scholarship in Norway, but I couldn't take it up due to some missing documents. 

Studying online through LASER in Azraq camp was a big challenge due to the lack of electricity and Internet. Reliable electricity only reached the camp in 2017, one year after I had initially enrolled in the programme. We then started using the Internet at the NGO centres in the camp. Further challenges for me in terms of study included not having all of my identification papers, as well as having to work to support my family financially.  

An important part of the programme for me was being able to improve my English language level, which was elementary at that time, as I needed to prove a higher level of English proficiency to apply for higher studies. My teacher, Jacqueline, was able to help with finding other relevant scholarships.

Another great opportunity which came out of the project was the chance to be a co-facilitator, and due to this I was able to work with organisations like Care International, and to get good business networking skills.  

This project has changed my thinking around online learning, as online learning can solve many issues for those of us in camps who cannot travel anywhere. It helped me develop my online learning skills, and I am now delivering online training in the camps. I would say to people in my situation: ‘Don’t give up, there are opportunities if you look for them, and the English language is key to these.’

Qusai Ahmad Al-Ma`ani is Syrian and holds a BA in Business Administration

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