Beyzanur Inal is a Turkish student in the Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws. She ended up at IE University after a turbulent time in her life, fleeing from Turkey then Senegal to finally land in Spain. Today, she tells us about that journey and how IE University and the IE Foundation helped her secure a full scholarship that would change her path completely.
In my free time, I like writing amateur stories and poems (in Turkish), learning new languages, and reading scientific articles, especially about biology. My most important hobby, though, is volunteering. I spend most of my spare time volunteering at the UN Refugee Agency, Casa Turca, and generally helping refugee students continue studying in Spain, since I know all too well the difficulty of restarting your studies after a forced break.
I lived in Turkey for 16 years, and during that time I never traveled abroad nor thought about studying in a foreign country. However, I grew up as an open-minded and social girl. I was a successful student—very disciplined and organized. I had ambitious academic goals, and until 2016, I was on my way to achieving them.
However, in 2013, political problems arose in Turkey, which deeply affected my family. As a result of an attempted coup in 2016, the situation got worse, and consequently, my family was forced to flee from our home country to Senegal. From one day to the next, my life changed completely. After 1.5 years in Senegal, due to security problems caused by the political persecution of the Turkish government, we had to move again to somewhere safer. Under very difficult conditions, we eventually arrived in Spain.
The path to IE University
When I arrived in Madrid, I didn’t know about IE University. After six months of learning Spanish from scratch, I took an exam (the PCE) for students who hold foreign high school diplomas, which permitted me to study conditionally at a public university in Spain. However, as you may know, obtaining legal documents for someone who flees from their home country is not easy. So, I couldn’t obtain some of the legal documents required from my secondary and high school, and my admission was canceled after just three months.
I ended up with no option but to redo high school and do the EvAU process in Spain. I studied science, and there were only four months left until graduation when I came across IE University. The president of the NGO Casa Turca, where I was volunteering, recommended it to me. After researching the university, I knew this was where I wanted to shape my future.
I decided to apply to IE University because of the lessons I learned from my life. First of all, I learned that evaluating students only by their grades without knowing about their background and their achievements outside class is not fair. IE University’s evaluation system was exactly what I was looking for. It gives you the opportunity to express yourself with all your potential. Moreover, for me it was a huge advantage that IE University does its own evaluation for everything instead of relying on the SATs or TOEFL. Also, the admissions test and the Kira assessment seemed like interesting evaluation methods to me, which I wanted to experience.
Secondly, I believe that even though sometimes life gets out of control, making true decisions and using the opportunities we have still can lead us to a brighter future. So, I really liked that IE University teaches students how to make true decisions in times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
I also saw that when we can see the world outside of our little boxes, we become much more than what we are. IE University’s international campus gives you the opportunity to see the world from other people’s eyes. I understood the importance of having an international degree so that I could later work in other countries. Since IE University’s degrees are internationally valid, this was exactly what I wanted. The world is constantly changing, so I need to be prepared for the future of work, not just the present. One of the IE University’s values is being innovative. Therefore, I believed that I could catch up with the world at this university.
Last, but not least, the university educates students with respect and ethics, thanks to its values of 1) humanities to understand the world and 2) diverse nationalities, cultures and ideas. These values are important for me in order to be conscious about human rights and dignity.
On top of all this, during the admissions process, I received very specialized attention and the process was quick and fun.
For all of these reasons, I knew that IE University was the right place for me.
The right degree
I chose the Dual Degree in Business Administration + Laws because I am passionate about law. One of my goals is to contribute to building a more fair, collaborative and peaceful world where human rights and dignity are respected. And since having perfect laws is not sufficient without people who protect and implement them correctly, I wanted to be the one of the people who do their best to implement the legal system or improve it with their academic research.
At the same time, I believe that pursuing the Bachelor in Business Administration will give me many important skills such as leadership, management and communication, which will be useful for every aspect of my life. I am also fully aware of the impact companies have on society.
So, combining my legal knowledge and business acumen, I can work in or even establish a company that aims to make a positive impact on society. In conclusion, I believe that doing this Dual Degree will open many doors for me, ultimately leading me to achieve my goals.
Experience at IE University and financial aid
The Financial Aid department helped me select the most suitable scholarship for my profile. They also helped me gather all the documents required. I was not able to present some financial documents about my family, but they always offered an alternative solution when I was stuck. I think they did their best to support me throughout the whole process. I was granted a full ride on the IE University Scholarship.
IE University has certainly met my expectations so far. Though I’ve only been studying here for three months, I can see my improvement. For instance, I feel more creative, organized, and confident, and my ability to think analytically, write essays and work in groups has improved. The professors are very accessible, and as a student I can see their effort to teach well and their passion for their area of expertise. They support us with extra office hours and emails, which help a lot to resolve doubts when we feel lost.
I do think that due to the pandemic, the connection with other students is weaker. It’s online, so I haven’t been able to expand my social network as much as I expected yet. However, I believe that this will change after the pandemic and when I get more used to university life, overcoming my shyness.
Outside of class, I’ve registered for the IE Debate Club and went to the training session, which seemed very professional to me. They teach all the aspects and skills we need for an excellent debate. In the second semester there will be extracurricular activities like seminars and labs. I already submitted my application and I’m looking forward to experiencing them.
Considering my experience so far, I believe I’m truly on the way to achieving my goals. Therefore, I am very happy to have been granted the scholarship.
My experience with Liquid Learning
Liquid Learning gives students flexibility when it comes to organizing their studies, allowing them to always be connected no matter where they are. I think this was the best solution to adapt the programs to students’ needs due to the pandemic, as well as globalization and the increasing importance of digital tools in education.
I attend class in person, and the students who attend online also participate actively in class. What I like most about Liquid Learning is the non-class learning tasks, because I find them very useful and practical.
My words of wisdom to future students
Here are a few tips for the students to come:
- If you have any doubts, make an appointment with an IE University student or alum before starting the admissions process.
- Don’t worry if you don’t have experience or someone to guide you through the admissions process and scholarship application, because your admissions advisor and financial aid department will support you in every aspect of the process.
- IE University does everything they can to meet your needs, so don’t hesitate to apply for a scholarship. The only thing you need to do is express yourself very well.
- Be honest and sincere, because the university does their best to understand your situation and conditions, and tries to find a solution.
- Be confident about who you are and what your background is, because the professors, staff and students are respectful, kind and open minded.
- Make sure to get informed and sign up for opportunities that IE University offers like the mentorship society and extracurricular activities.
Like Beyzanur, there are many students that come to IE University unsure about their prospects, thanks to funding provided by the IE Foundation. The department of admissions and financial aid is here to help. Set up an appointment with an advisor today or apply for a scholarship directly on the website to see what your options are.