A Pathway to Aviation – Interview with Haya Alhamdan, IFY Student
January 15th, 2024 english
Let’s meet Haya Alhamdan, a student from Kuwait with big dreams of diving into the world of Aviation. At the age of 17, she decided to pursue her dream by studying Aviation Management in Ireland. To better prepare for her undergraduate programme, she decided to enrol in the International Foundation Year (IFY) programme at DCU International Academy.
International Foundation Programme – Business Stream
In 2022, Haya delved into the IFY programme studying our Business Stream for two semesters, setting the stage for her academic journey. This preparatory programme is designed for international students like Haya who aim to bridge the gap between their high school qualifications and the entry requirements of undergraduate programmes. It focuses on preparing students, enhancing their English language skills, and elevating their academic proficiency before embarking on studies at DCU.
The IFY programme has served as a crucial foundation for Haya’s pursuit of Aviation Management at Dublin City University (DCU). Haya commends the personalised and individualised support received from tutors, particularly in mathematics and business studies, where the transition from her Arabic mother tongue to the English curriculum initially posed challenges,
“ My tutor – helped me a lot and she encouraged us a lot. She gave us materials and case studies to help us for the exams. Case studies focus on something not just focused on the material, but in general so it has opened my eyes to something new.“
Aviation Management at DCU
The aviation industry has a long history of being predominantly male-oriented. A recent study on gender diversity in Irish Aviation led by Dr. Marina Efthymiou at Dublin City University highlighted the impact of mentorship and role transitions for female career advancement. 20.7% of females found the most impact in terms of advancing on in their career was from an inspiring or helpful mentor. While, lack of a sponsor is reported as a barrier to career for 60% of females compared to 46% of male respondents. Haya’s own experience echoes this sentiment, emphasising the crucial encouragement received from her tutors. Haya is grateful to have the opportunity to progress in her ‘dream’ of studying Aviation at DCU.
“ I am not seeing many women in the aviation sector so I am encouraged by my family to do what I want to do, DCU has given me the possibility for that.”
Beyond academic adaptation, the IFY programme provided a nurturing environment that facilitated cultural integration and encouraged embracing new experiences. This inclusive atmosphere played an important role in her decision to continue her educational journey at DCU, pursuing Aviation Management.
“This transitioning chapter has helped me a lot. Now, I am familiar with DCU and I know what building serves what —- being in DCU as a transitioning phase, in IFY, there are societies I can be in, there are new clubs I can be in and new experiences I can be in. “
Haya’s experience draws the line on the invaluable role the International Foundation Year programme played in shaping her path towards pursuing her studies in Aviation.
Thank you to Haya for sharing her experience with us, we wish her the best in her future endeavours.
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