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Egzon Bytyqi

Egzon Bytyqi Egzon Bytyqi uit Kosovo ontving een alumnibeurs van de Law School. Met deze beurs kon hij vanaf augustus 2015 de master Victimology and Criminal Justice volgen. Hij deelde met ons zijn ervaringen.

This scholarship changed my life

Het einde van 2016 nadert en dat betekent dat ook het buitenland avontuur van Egzon bijna is voltooid. Hoe kijkt hij terug op Tilburg University nu hij bijna is afgestudeerd aan de master Victimology & Criminal Justice? Wat hebben de Alumni Scholarship en Tilburg University mogelijk gemaakt voor deze positieve jonge man uit Kosovo? En wat zijn zijn ambities? Law & Technology student Jens Thomaes interviewde Egzon in opdracht van het Development & Alumni Relations Office.

Coming from Kosovo and being used to education in Tetovo (in Macedonia – supported by Max van der Stoel association) this new adventure imposed significant adaptive skills on Egzon to merge into the Dutch system. The change to the Dutch education system was not easy, he explains. "Writing papers was a tough exercise in the start, but a valuable lesson. Critical analysis is another precious skill I gained here. Also, examinations are different and harder, since we mainly had oral exams in Macedonia. Generally, Tilburg University thought me how to put theory into practice, but the beginning of this degree was not easy."

"My year abroad has been a very formative period, since it allowed me to dive into my fascination of victimology, conflicts and criminal justice. Already in high school I read many books about conflicts, wars, politics and the consequences for countries and its people. During my study at Tilburg University, I received wonderful opportunities in the Netherlands and also Belgium. I met amazing, friendly, helpful people and made many new Dutch and international friends. The victimology degree allowed me to focus on my strongest personal interests: post-conflict studies, victimology and law. This specialized and interdisciplinary study does not exist back home. Progression is difficult, since our political realities prevent developments in my country. It causes tens of thousands young people trying to move out of Kosovo. Even (student) jobs like working as a waiter or in a grocery store are barely available. Economic obstacles and lack of future perspective are a major problem. This scholarship provided me with new opportunities and knowledge that I could only obtain here at Tilburg University. The scholarship also gave me chances to get practical experience in multiple projects and NGO’s."

"In Kosovo I did internships at the ministry of economy and trade, but these didn’t meet my interests whatsoever. Here in the Netherlands I was able to get involved in the European Forum of Restorative Justice in Belgium, Leuven. Besides that I participated at Victim Support Europe in several workshops. These opportunities would not exist back home for me, but this is what I really wanted to study and such experiences are crucial. What I will bring back home are developed skills and knowledge regarding post-conflict studies, victims and possible solutions. Still a lot of work has to be done in Kosovo (after the war, red.). People search for reparation, like compensations for damages and search for justice. I will contribute positively to these issues, thanks to this degree. Many thanks to Tilburg University and the alumni who supported me!"

At the end of our interview, Egzon wants to express one more time his gratitude for the opportunity he received and especially for the extension of the Scholarship provided bij the Law School. He doesn’t know all the people who made this possible for him, but emphasizes that he is incredibly grateful to every single person who supported him financially, but also during the study itself. "This literally changed my life", he finally concludes.

De ervaringen van Egzon in het eerste semester

"Coming to Tilburg has been a whole new experience for me. Everything is different for me, even the study system is totally different from the one I have been using until now and I have done my best to adjust to it. I have had difficulties at first but I have overcome them with the ongoing support of my professors. Tilburg University has offered me a real learning environment and has helped me develop a basis for a better future. I feel more alive and engaged than I have ever been before. Time is going really fast but I have gained lots in many aspects. I realize that living abroad enables you to develop new relationships and to learn about the real culture of a country. I expected people to be friendly but after I came here it exceeded my expectations.  All the people I have met have offered me a warm welcome which made me feel like home.

What has amazed me during these months is the culture. Being a fan of rock music I got the opportunity to see some of my favorite bands. Even though February was a busy month for me since I started working on my thesis, I also had time to enjoy different events. I attended carnival for two days and it was awesome. Its colorfulness brought life to the city and I really enjoyed it. Having beers and meeting new people was a really good experience during those days. I can proudly say that I am honored and happy that I got the chance to come to Netherlands."

Ergzon stelt zich voor

“As every other newly graduated student I had made a plan of what I wanted to do with my life and career. I wanted to get a job and continue to the master program. The graduation day made me feel proud of myself and I felt like I had accomplished a big mission in my life. Since I had studied abroad, I came back to my town expecting that as soon as possible I would find a job and start building what I had been dreaming of. First days and weeks went by quickly and every day I was applying for a job position but I never got a reply. Day by day I started losing hope, I felt needles and devastated. Six months had passed after I had graduated and I was still unemployed and had no chance of continuing with my studied because of the economic issues. That way I decided to search for a scholarship but I did not expect much and when I found Tilburg University it was beyond my expectations. After I applied I had a good feeling. I had found the program I loved and something deep inside of me told me that I will be a part of this university. I woke up everyday with a hope that I will be given and answer from the university. And there it was, the best and most emotional moment of my life, I received the e-mail telling me that I had been awarded the Alumni Scholarship. For a moment I lost my mind, I could not believe what my eyes saw and I thought that even if it was a dream I did not want to wake up, I just wanted to live in that moment. Right in the darkest period in my life this university brought back to me the hope and inspiration I had lost a long time ago. Coming to Tilburg University changed my whole life. I know that studying here will give me knowledge and self-confidence to play an important role in helping the society. Now I know and I feel that I have my future in my hands. I cannot express in words how grateful I am to the people who gave me this chance. Nobody would believe me that every day I open my eyes I still cannot believe that I have achieved this. This university is the place where the leaders are born and it is a miracle I had the fate of being a part of it. Once more thank you for brightening my path to the future."