“It was an overwhelming time at SOAS, but in a very positive way.”

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September 21st, 2018 was the day that one of my dreams became a reality. I received a call that I was accepted into SOAS University of London. This meant that I had to pack my bags as soon as possible because I started three days later on the MA International Studies and Diplomacy course at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD).

Arriving at SOAS, I was a bit overwhelmed by a new environment, new people and a new way of doing things. As the week passed by we had to choose our modules and I had no idea what to pick. However, I thought that it would be a wise idea to pass by Dr. Dan Plesch’s office (Director of SOAS’s CISD) and have a conversation with him. By speaking about my previous experiences and undergraduate program, I could make my choices much more easily.

Days, weeks and months passed by as if they were hours. However, as one of the CISD students, I was looking forward to our study trip to Geneva. Being a member of SCRAP gave me the opportunity to orient myself in nuclear non-proliferation and as we were organizing a conference at the UN I found myself in a field of diplomatic communication.

Our conference was phenomenal: so many diplomats and other UN staff were present and we developed a great network of diplomats and country ambassadors.

This Geneva trip offered students the opportunity to build their own network and to get familiar with UN organizations and work. It was a shame that the time went by so quickly, but I can say proudly that this has been one of my highlights in this program. 

Studying at CISD
“The Geneva trip gave me the opportunity to build my network of diplomats.”

We were already passing February and only two months left before exams were waiting for us. Since we had essays to write and assignments to finish, our CISD study room was the place where I got inspired by fellow students by talking to them about our topics and general politics. In order to make this experience full of memories and end on a high, our diplomatic practice end “game” was an experience that is unforgettable. This game provided me the opportunity to work closely with people in an area which was not always easy but brought us together.

As I am writing this, exams are finished and we are starting to write our dissertations.  My dissertation will be about nuclear weapons.

In June, I was sitting in a dissertation meeting and I had a moment of Wow! – I am at the end of an amazing programme and because time is so precious and I have learned so much in a short time I never had a moment to reflect. But after assignments and exams are finished I had the opportunity to think over all my experiences. 

It was an overwhelming time at SOAS but in a very positive way, I am very happy and proud I have followed this program, I have met amazing people both in the academic and professional field. This program has given me the platform to work as a professional.

My aim is to work in human rights in combination with the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. My previous experiences and being part of CISD and SCRAP has led me on a journey that I want to make my life path.

Studying at CISD.
“My Masters with CISD has given me the platform to work as a professional.”

Call me an idealist, but it is my passion to be a diplomat in human rights and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Thank you SOAS, CISD, Dr. Dan Plesch, all professors and tutors, SCRAP, the UN and my fellow students for this amazing experience. I will always look back on the time I have spent here and the knowledge I have obtained, and it was both a dream and a real journey. Becoming a diplomat with this journey is not a dream anymore but a fact!

This blog was contributed by Samia Omar.

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