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This content is taken from the Cambridge Assessment English's online course, Aim Higher: Access to Higher Education for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Hello, I am Ahmad. I am from Aleppo, Syria. And today, I’m studying at the University of London doing my Master’s in Violence, Conflict, and Development.

Skip to 0 minutes and 18 seconds Hello, I am Rassina. I am from Syria. I am studying now GCSE English. And I want to be in the Future Economics University of Liverpool.

Skip to 0 minutes and 34 seconds Hello, I am Zakariya Absi. I’ll be one of the course mentors. I’m from Syria. I came here in 2008 to do a Master’s in English Language Teaching. And then, I progressed to a PhD in English language teaching as well. And at the moment, I’m a lecturer in EAP and Academic Studies Skills at University of Essex. I hope you’ll enjoy the course.

Skip to 1 minute and 6 seconds My name is Ella Ininahazwe. I’m a Burundian lady and I’m at present a refugee in Rwanda. And I’m studying at Capital Programme, which is in relationship with Sylvan, New Hampshire. And I’m about completing my B.A. in health care management, which will help me to earn an American degree after my studies.

Introduction to other learners

In this course we’ll be hearing from lots of different people who have already achieved their university goals and you will also get advice and guidance from the course mentors. The course mentors are:

Dr Zakariya Absi

Dr. Zakariya Absi is an Academic Skills tutor at the University of Essex. He has taught different proficiency levels of English and lectured on English Language Teaching and Academic Skills courses for the past 6 years, in addition to managing and coordinating a number of pre-sessional courses at the University of Essex. He holds an MA and a PhD in English Language Teaching.

Dr Cora Lindsay

Dr Cora Lindsay is a lecturer at the School of Education at the University of Nottingham. She teaches academic literacies to the international student body at the university on both the pre-sessional and in-sessional programmes and is also currently running an English language programme for the refugee community in Nottingham. Before she joined the University of Nottingham, she worked first for the British Council, where she taught English language, literature and cultural studies in Italy, Yugoslavia, Slovakia and Hungary, and then for the Centre for Language and Communication at the Open University. Her academic background is in applied linguistics and English literature.

Donya Estafanos

Donya is currently an Assessment Support Manager at Cambridge Assessment English. Prior to this, she spent 9 years working as a teacher, academic manager and examiner in the UK, Spain and Malaysia. While in Malaysia, Donya also spent some time teaching a group of refugees and supporting their transition of starting school in a new country.

Mel Mewa

Evelina Galaczi

Evelina is Head of Research Strategy at Cambridge English. Her academic background is in Applied Linguistics, and she received her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Columbia University, USA. She has worked in English language education for over 25 years as a teacher, teacher trainer, programme administrator, researcher and assessment specialist. In one of her jobs prior to joining Cambridge English, Evelina worked for several years with immigrants in New York City, teaching them English. Evelina is an immigrant herself – her life path has taken her from her native Bulgaria, to the United States, and to the United Kingdom.

Nick Osborne

Nick holds a BA in History and a MA in Politics from the University of Liverpool, and has passed the TEFL International TESOL qualification. Before joining Cambridge English he had experience of teaching English as a foreign language in Spain and the UK, and public relations/communications support for an agency specialising in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Nick currently works as Regulation Manager at Cambridge English, managing interactions with the regulator Ofqual and other immigration and accreditation authorities.

Lisa Macwan

Lisa is an Assessment Manager at Cambridge English. She works on producing a range of English language exams for different learners around the world. Before this, she worked as an English teacher across Asia and Europe for over 10 years. She has a BA in English Language and Literature and an MA in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching.

Helen Soares

Over the last 8 years I have helped 1000+ international students make their university applications to UK universities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The application journey can be challenging, but is an exciting and transformative experience with great rewards at the end. As well as helping applicants choose universities and write personal statements, I have over 10 years English teaching experience, and I have recently joined the Assessment team at Cambridge English.

Maija Kozlova

Maja works in the production of Cambridge Assessment English exams, and has previously taught English for Academic Purposes to international students all over the world.

Andy Cherrington

Andy’s been involved in teaching and assessing English language proficiency since 2007. He’s currently working on a MSC in Digital Education, and producing assessments for Cambridge Assessment English.

Marian Dawson

Marian is an Assessment Group Manager at Cambridge English where she has worked for over 8 years on a variety of Cambridge Assessment English exams, systems and processes. Before joining Cambridge Assessment English Marian taught English as a foreign language for over 15 years mostly in Spain, and then in the UK (in a Further Education college), where she taught a mixture of students including those who were newly-arrived in the UK. She specialised in teaching Citizenship, literacy and numeracy as well as English for those seeking to enter Higher Education. She holds an MA in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language.

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This video is from the free online course:

Aim Higher: Access to Higher Education for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Cambridge Assessment English