Primitive is 25 years old and has clear ideas about her future. She also has the energy and determination to carry on her projects and build a solid professional background. Her parents fled Rwanda during the civil war; she was born in Congo but raised in Cameroon. She arrived at the Université Jean Monnet in Saint Etienne (France) though the UNIV’R university corridors programme – University for Refugees, a broad network piloted by UNHCR which, through Forum Réfugiés, is part of the COMET project and which aims to enable refugees residing in their first country of asylum to study for a Master’s degree in higher education establishments in France.

After studying finance in Cameroon, Primitive is now attending a Master’s degree programme in Finance, Consulting and Financial Engineering at the Université de Saint Etienne. She found out about the existence of the university corridors thanks to a group of refugees in Cameroon and decided to seize this opportunity. She wants to maximise her professional chances and obtain an internationally renowned diploma. Her goal is clear: she wants to become a financial engineer.

After arriving in France, she had to face many differences between two university systems: the French one, which is almost completely digitised, while in Cameroon the courses use dictation and hand written notes. It took patience and hard work to become familiar with this new way of studying. However, she was pleasantly surprised by the availability of the teachers, and the commitment and patience they used to support her to overcome her initial difficulties. Their priority was to make her comfortable in asking questions and they helped her build good foundations for her studies.

For future editions of the university corridors, Primitive recommends providing financial and organisational resources to allow beneficiaries to better face travel and network difficulties for the selection phase. She also talks about some bureaucratic and organisational delays – better avoided – that resulted in students arriving on the first day of the school year, without giving them time to acclimatise to their new daily life. Some difficulties were also faced when the beneficiaries arrived at the airport without having practical information and support to reach the university.

As for Primitive’s ambitions and goals, her career path is very clear: first, she is going to finish her studies, then she would like to do a doctorate. Eventually, she would like to try to work for an NGO, in order to build skills and become a finance engineer at the World Bank. Her aspiration is supported by her strong work ethic, determination and trust in the future. We are very happy to follow her brilliant steps.