AEM 2017 exchange student
Who are you?
I am an Afghan medical student, Ehsanullah Niazai. I am a hardworking and self-confident person. These two characteristics of mine have played the biggest role in my achievements. I have never considered any obstacle bigger than my commitments. Besides being a hardworking person, I consider my social life as well. I gather with friends, we play games, share our ideas and support each other as much as we can. If I get free time, I mostly listen to classical music and sometimes I play cricket with friends. I have always tried to spread love and knowledge among people, that’s why I participate in social events and work as English language teacher in some institutions in Kabul. The ultimate goal of my life is to help human beings to the best of my ability. To achieve this goal, I found medicine the best profession.
What is your first impression of The Netherlands?
Living in Netherlands for the past two months, I have a good idea of how life is in this country. People value each other and give each other the right to think freely. Studying the history of Leiden, when people preferred having a university over a tax-free life, simply implements how much Dutch people value knowledge. It was not a big deal to get familiar with the environment here as people are pretty friendly and cooperative. The best thing here is that everyone speaks good English so I never felt trouble in communication. I have been to several cities of Netherlands, each of which offered a lot to see. As I like classics, I was really impressed by the classic buildings and monuments especially in Leiden. Moreover we witnessed some modern pieces of architecture in other parts of the country. Public transportation in Netherlands is environment friendly and well organised. The Netherlands with its diverse museums seems the best place for museum lovers.
Have you eaten a Dutch dish yet? Did you like it?
Dutch food may not be as well-known as French or Chinese cuisines but there are some good Dutch food which is worth at least trying. Goudse Kaas (cheese of Gouda) is a typical Dutch food and I personally found it delicious. Stroopwafel (syrup waffle), a delicious chewy cookie, is a handy food easily found in every grocery. It really made me drink more cups of tea than often. Appeltaart is another Dutch food which I found interesting. There are more good Dutch food I have heard about and hopefully I will try them.
Do you think your participation to this project changes your dreams and ambitions for the future?
I think there may not be a better experience for a student than attending an academic exchange program. Being among students from a wide range of nationalities gave me thousands of lessons. We exchange our ideas, learn from each other and introduce our cultures to one another. It really gives me energy and adds to my self-confidence when I see myself among the most excellent students from nearly every corner of the earth. Most importantly, it really motivates me to work as hard for Afghanistan as we will compete the world in terms of knowledge in future.
What makes you tick?
Life is never easy for anybody in anywhere especially in a war-stricken country like Afghanistan. The only thing that keeps us moving is hope. I have always had faith in my abilities and supported myself. The Japanese proverb, “If others can do it you can too, if others cannot do it you must do it”, really gives me the dare to dream big. It is obvious that everything will not always go in our favour, but what we can do is to fight for it and turn things in our favour. If you do not get what you wanted after spending your full energy for it, then realize that you deserve something better, you just have to wait a little bit more. In short terms, my hard-work and commitment are my weapons.