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Mohammed, 20, escaped from Syria - becomes medical student

Requirements, application, admission, et cetera.

29 dec 2015, 15:23

Original article in Swedish:
http://www.metro.se/nyheter/mohammed-20-flydde-fran-syrien-nu-blir-han-lakarstudent/EVHolC!bEoC9niX0yiEg/

Translation to English:
Metro skrev:Mohammed Issam Alghaeb, 20, says that he faced an ultimatum: if he did not quickly leave Syria, he would be conscripted into the army. The choice was easy - in July 2014 he travelled by himself to Sweden along the common route through Turkey, by boat across the Mediterranean sea to Greece, and then northwards through Europe.

– I could not continue my university studies in Syria. They said that I would have to do military service, but I did not want to kill my own people, he says.

Since then, Mohammed Issam Alghaeb has learned the Swedish language, supplemented his high school grades from Damascus through a special course for new arrivals at Angered Gymnasium in Gothenburg, and been admitted to the medical degree program which starts in the middle of January at the Sahlgrenska Academy (Gothenburg University).

– I met many people who told me that I would not be capable of learning Swedish in just one year, that it is really difficult, but I trusted myself and I have noticed that Swedish has a lot in common with English which I already had learned, he says.

Mohammed Issam Alghaeb says that one trick was to watch English movies with Swedish subtitles, borrowing children's books in Swedish and then moving on to more advanced literature, such as George Orwell's "1984" and Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist" which he had previously read in is native language, Arabic.

– I learned a lot of Swedish by reading Metro, even though I only understood a few words per article in the beginning. Now I understand most of the verbs, but I still need to increase my vocabulary.

Mohammed Issam Alghaeb's goal with the medical studies is to become a surgeon.

– It feels absolutely wonderful to have been admitted, I can not quite explain what I am feeling. This is a dream since childhood, to be able to help people and save patient's lives.
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