Sinayat Mehzabeen had the golden opportunity to attend Oxford University for her master’s in pharmacology, matriculating at the historic Sheldonian Theatre in October 2017. “Oxford has been adventure and an experience of a lifetime at a time for me. It was no less than a dream come true, learning from some of the finest teachers and sharing classrooms with the brightest minds,” she says. She is now a PhD student at the University of Cambridge.
While crossing a number of colleges on her way to the department, she cherished the natural beauty and dazzling architecture of the city. “I would often stop for a moment just to appreciate the aesthetic beauty of the colleges, looking at the buildings that are the birthplace of numerous scientists, poets, philosophers and world leaders,” she adds.
She also attended many hall dinners at numerous colleges. At Oxford University, she came across some of the most prolific speakers in the Oxford Union, the debating society of the university. “Through the events of the ‘Oxford University Bangladesh Society’ we also highlighted the rich history and culture of Bangladesh to the outside world”, she adds. “I feel that my year at Oxford has given me confidence and encouraged me to dream big.”
Tasnia Nuran, who holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Dhaka, is currently completing her M Phil at Oxford University. For her, the biggest source of encouragement to pursue her dreams is her father.
This is her first time living abroad on her own. “There is a tug-of-war between the exhilaration of learning new things and a constant yearning for your loved ones,” says Tasnia, who feels fortunate enough to have met outstanding teachers and friends at the university. At Oxford, students are associated with different colleges attached to their residential halls, something she finds similar to the University of Dhaka. Her college, Green Templeton, is a home away from home for her. She spends most of her time at the college library. “To be honest though, I was never an avid reader. However, the libraries and museums at Oxford are hard to resist,” she smiles.
She feels that she gets a regular dose of inspiration being surrounded by so many bright and intelligent people. “Occasionally, I get to be humbled in the presence of notable figures such as world leaders, Nobel laureates, extraordinary sportspersons and stars who define pop culture and entertainment at the Oxford Union,” she adds.