AUW Class of 2018 Graduate Anna from Kerala
Anna | Asian Studies
Kerala, India | Class of 2018
Majoring in Asian Studies, Anna has had the chance to live and work in a community in Cochin, Kerala for an ethnographic research project. Focusing on “Identity Politics and the Maintenance of Jewish Cultural Heritage,” she learned a great deal about government policy, community discrimination, and the power and scope of Anthropology to help people in India.
Anna doesn’t want to miss out on anything in her final semester, so she’s staying focused on her academic work while also keeping herself busy with running, cheerleading, spoken word, and an upcoming performance of The Vagina Monologues. Having also won a recent AUW dance competition, Anna represented the university in a cultural competition with other universities across Bangladesh and came in second.
Anna looks forward to focusing on her dreams and vision after graduation, but will miss the cultural diversity at AUW. Before she goes on to graduate school, Anna will spend a year working in her village as Assistant Village Coordinator to support children and elderly people in the community with social projects focusing on education and food provision. She wants to create a book about her village to share the stories that have been passed between generations, and to use her skills in the humanities to preserve her own rich culture and heritage.
Aurona | Politics, Philosophy & Economics
Bangladesh | Class of 2020
Aurona is currently on an exchange semester at the University of Trento, Italy. Although she has limited knowledge of Italy’s language and customs, she is taking intensive Italian language courses and exercising her non-verbal communication skills in body language and facial expressions. Aurona has found herself becoming increasingly flexible and adaptable to situations outside of her comfort zone.
Her time in Italy has also given Aurona new insight into her own culture. She thinks that a lot of Bangladeshis view Europe as a kind of utopia - but she is gaining a more nuanced perspective of Italian culture and history. During the social process of cooking with her Italian flatmates, Aurona has created memories with her new friends and developed an understanding of Italian cultural practices, education systems, family values, beliefs, and gender roles.
The new society she finds herself a part of in Europe has made Aurona even more committed to addressing educational inequity in Bangladesh. During her Internship with the Partnership, Development and Communications team of Teach for Bangladesh, Aurona saw government primary schools and their dramatic lack of resources for the first time.
Aurona wants to go on to a Masters course in Educational Development to improve systems in Bangladesh and empower youth-led movements and young entrepreneurs around the country in order to stop the dramatic flight of young Bangladeshis in search of work abroad.
Afghanistan | Class of 2020
Alongside developing her skills in writing and mathematics, Humaira has spent the semester gaining theoretical knowledge for her Politics, Philosophy, and Economics major. She has also had the chance to pursue an interest in Pantomime, where she learned about body analysis, use of the face and body, and story development.
Since Humaira has not been given the financial support to pursue her internship in Afghanistan, she has planned a summer research project in Nepal. Humaira and her classmates have been fundraising by selling food in the university, and will hopefully travel to Nepal in the summer to conduct research on marital rape.
Humaira has been involved in the AUW International Model United Nations, where she was given a Verbal Mention award, and helped to organize the 6th Annual AUW Photo Carnival. This year, Humaira has been part of the team responsible for bringing the first celebration of Nawroz (the first day of Persian spring) to AUW. The celebrations were Humaira’s chance to display the culture and traditions of North and Southwest Asian countries to her classmates, especially Afghanistan.
Humaira is excited to act as a role model for women in Afghanistan. Since women in many provinces are not allowed to work outside of the home, she wants to set up a business that will support and recruit women. Humaira is drawn to NGOs working to support women’s entrepreneurship in Afghanistan, and she wants to be able to work with them to help women and promote the economic growth of the country overall.
Tshering | Public Health
Thimphu, Bhutan | Class of 2019
Although Tshering had always had an interest in studying medicine, she eventually realised that she could make a much more valuable contribution through Public Health, working on prevention instead of cure.
As well as a summer research project on the socio-cultural impacts of tourism on the people living around the Angkor Wat area in Cambodia, Tshering is working on her senior thesis. She plans to look into the quality of education provided to primary school students in Bhutan and hopefully implement her findings for positive change in her community.
Tshering has a deep commitment to social work, and has been working on various social outreach projects alongside her studies. Most recently, Tshering has been collecting clothing and utensils from AUW students and distributing them among people who have been the victims of fires.
This semester, Tshering has had a few moments of self-doubt, when she has questioned her readiness to graduate next year. However, she is committed to her goal of working in her community in Bhutan, in NGOs to improve education and empower women. Tshering is currently looking into potential projects to help widowed and divorced women in Bhutan, by teaching them entrepreneurial skills and making resources available.
AUW Student Humaira from Afghanistan
AUW Student Aurona Studying in Italy
AUW Student Tshering with the Bhutan Flag