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Starting university is an extremely exciting time.

It is moving from the very ordered world of high school to a freer environment where you will meet new people from completely different backgrounds. It is also the end of many years of hard work and the beginning of many more years of hard work. Here at DIFC, we are constantly reminded of the importance of hard work in achieving one’s goals.

Last year, 2014, Amjed El Ashger was the perfect example of a hard-working student. Amjed comes from Libya and was studying with us on the NCUK IFY Health and Science (Medicine) Foundation Programme, Class of 2014. As teachers, we were all deeply impressed by his enthusiasm and willingness to do the work that was required (and more!). As a result of this work ethic, Amjed received an award for outstanding achievement in Mathematics as well as a place in NUI Maynooth (named here as one of the Top 100 universities under 50 in the world).

As the Class of 2015 come to the end of their time with us in DIFC, we thought it might be a good opportunity to catch up with Amjed, who has now finished his first year in NUI Maynooth, to see if he has any words of wisdom.

Amjed El Ashger

Amjed receiving his award for oustanding achievement in Mathematics from DIFC Principal Eimear Morhan and NCUK’s Alan White.

What are you now studying?

I am studying Biological & Biomedical science at National University of Ireland Maynooth

How have you enjoyed your first year in university?

My first year in Maynooth went very well, I joined the Red Cross and I learned many new things from them. I enjoyed learning new sports, especially swimming and basketball. I also got the opportunity to study with Irish people; they are very friendly.

What was the biggest challenge(s) you faced?

The biggest challenge for me this year was writing lab reports, as we have to write two lab reports, chemistry and biology, every week. That was a challenge because it took half of my time from studying.

Has it been hard work?

For a student who wants to get a first class honours, he\she has to do all the assignments and hand them in on time, do lots of research and also study at least 2 to 3 hours a day, so it is quite difficult to do all of that but it will be worth it in the end.

Do you think the course in DIFC helped you get through year 1 in university?

Of course, DIFC helped me a lot not only to get into college but also how to write essays and give presentations, these are the most important skills in college. In addition, when I do not understand something, especially in maths or biology, I always look at my DIFC notes because they are very helpful and not complicated.

What advice would you give someone starting university in 2015/2016?

I  advise them not to leave things to the last minute. Start studying from your first day. DO NOT MISS LECTURES at all – they are very important even if you think you know everything I guarantee you will learn new things from the lectures. And always go to the library and do research.


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