Iris Dyrmishi ('19): The AADF Scholarship Made it Possible for Me to Study at AUBG

For Iris Dyrmishi, a second-year student from the Albanian town of Corovode, studying at AUBG is a dream come true. “I’ve always had this big dream of studying abroad and, of course, American education is the best in the world,” she said.

Although hesitant about going too far away from home, Dyrmishi initially considered applying to a school in the U.S. However, her family found it hard to finance her education there.

As luck would have it, Dyrmishi found out about AUBG when an admissions counselor visited her school. “The first thing I noticed was the campus. It looks so beautiful,” she recounted.

After that, Dyrmishi learned about the liberal arts system and was impressed by its benefits. “And then I saw the list of majors, and everything that I was interested in was there.”

Among the key factors for choosing AUBG were the additional financing opportunities. “I knew there were good scholarships offered,” Dyrmishi said and added, “AUBG was the best option for me; so I decided to put my effort into it.”

And her efforts paid off. Dyrmishi received a scholarship from the Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF), which facilitated her AUBG dream. “The scholarship definitely made it possible for me to come here. It covers most of my expenses,” Dyrmishi explained, adding that her parents contributed financially only at the beginning of her studies. Now she covers the rest of her expenses by participating in work-and-travel programs and working part-time at an American restaurant in Bulgaria.

“I have gained this kind of independence from my family, but also I feel better for myself, because I’m getting a good education and, in the meantime, I am making my parents proud by covering [my expenses] myself. It just makes me feel very good,” Dyrmishi explained.

Now in her second year at AUBG, the Albanian student could not be more satisfied by her educational choice. She plans to double-major in computer science and information systems, while also working on a minor in Spanish. “I am getting the best education when it comes to computer science and information systems. And I also know that in future I will have a broad – let’s say – path ahead of me for working or maybe specializing – doing a master’s or a PhD.”

Academic success is not the only benefit Dyrmishi has received at AUBG. “I found here amazing friends, who are going to stay with me for life,” she stated. The Albanian also noted how lucky she was to be able to come to Bulgaria. After the initial adjustment period has passed, she said, “Now I’m falling in love with the country.”

Dyrmishi’s advice for applicants aspiring to get a scholarship? “Study hard and be part of as many activities as you can.”

The student also has a message for AADF. The people whose education you provide for will be grateful for life, she said. Dyrmishi also stressed the fact that AADF scholarship recipients are and will be of great help for Albania and the Albanian community in general because, “no matter where we end up living, we will always be Albanians.”

Story by Despina Koleva-Hristova

Photo by Sofia Volkhonskaya

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