Our News

26 May 2017

From Syria to CAVC - Cardiff and Vale College helps May follow her dream of becoming an architect

After escaping war torn Syria, English UK Wales scholarship student May Altkhatib is now aiming to continue her studies and become an architect in the UK.

May’s husband came to Wales as an asylum seeker before May and their children followed. Following dialogue with the Refugee Council and an interview, May has been awarded the English UK Wales group scholarship to study on CAVC’s full-time IELTS programme.

IELTS – or the International English Language Test System is the international standardised English language proficiency test for non-native speakers.

“I come from Syria, from Homs, and because of what was happening there I could not complete my studies,” May said. “I couldn’t send my children to school because of the troubles – and that was very important for me, their education.”

May spent two months in the Lebanon before her husband was able to arrange a family reunion visa. “It was safer than Syria,” May explained.

May has been accepted to study Architecture at Cardiff University. “I had two offers with two conditions – A Level Maths and IELTS,” May said. “I studied Maths for a month and got 65% then I approached the Refugee Council about English and now I am at College here.” 

English UK Wales Treasurer and CAVC Head of English for International Students Jim Shields said: “We are delighted to support May with her IELTS studies at CAVC with this award - and are thrilled that she is making such good progress.”

“I find the College wonderful – it’s fantastic,” May added. “It’s like I have come back to life and it has kept me busy from the first day, I am doing something all the day rather than sitting there thinking about the bad past. It is really helping me improve my English – it is getting much better now.”