Kabeer Majeed is a SOAS Sanctuary student from Afghanistan. Here, he discusses how studying on the ELAS programme kickstarted his interest in the Social Sciences and career ambitions in international diplomacy.

I applied for a place on the MA International Studies and Diplomacy program at SOAS starting in September 2017. I studied on the English Language and Academic Studies Programme (ELAS) because this is designed for those who need to improve their academic skills, such as English language skills, research methods, critical thinking, reading and analysis.

After being referred to the ELAS programme, I thought it might be unnecessary to study for an extra year. Despite this, I started and finished the full three terms on ELAS and since then I have further developed my interest in the Social Sciences and improved my self-confidence, as I learned academic essay writing as well as how to deliver an effective presentation. I studied the full three terms on the Social Science module, which took me on a journey through International Political Economy, International Relations and finally Development Studies.

In spite of the instability and reduced accessibility to education and training in my home country Afghanistan, I found an opportunity at SOAS to achieve my future plan, which is to qualify for a better political and diplomatic position at a local or multinational institution.

I had always dreamed of studying in dynamic academic circumstances. After completing my postgraduate taught programme, I would like to do a research PhD course at SOAS and as a long term goal, I would like to use regional and international expertise in government, international civil service, a policy think tank, or risk analysis organizations either in Afghanistan or here in the UK.

Studying at SOAS has absolutely been the best decision I have made.

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