My 2020 Good News: Became First Girl in the Family to Study Abroad

Rihana Nasla from Qatar, Doha, shares what made her year worthwhile.

Good News
2 min read

(2020 has been tough on us all. Through2020 Good News’, we wish to focus on events or moments that have offered a glimmer of hope in these unusual times. Rihana Nasla from Qatar, Doha, shares what made her year worthwhile.)

My name is Rihana Nasla. My family lives in Doha, but I am a native of Kerala. In September 2019, I moved to Leeds, my favourite city in the United Kingdom, to pursue Masters in Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations. This was a dream come true for me. Moreover, this made me the first girl in my family to go abroad and pursue higher education.

In March 2020, as my second semester was halfway, coronavirus cases started exploding in the UK. My university had completely shut down all its on-campus activities and moved to online teaching.


With much of the academic year left to be completed, there was a bunch of assignments, deadlines, exams and my dissertation.

I did not want to leave my studies incomplete; so I decided to stay back in Leeds and not travel back home, unlike many of my friends and classmates, and I spent the entire lockdown in the country. Eventually, I completed both my semesters and after submitting my final dissertation, I travelled back home to Qatar in mid-September.

My results were declared on 19 November. I was extremely content with my results. I scored better than I had expected and even secured a distinction for my dissertation thesis.

Our entire batch celebrated an online graduation celebration on 19 December. It was a dream come true for me, and I have my family, friends and most importantly, my professors to thank. I feel so happy that even now, everything seems unbelievable.

I am keen on taking my studies further by pursing a PhD or an MPhil. This year taught me so much. I learned how to cook, do household chores, travel alone, even move to a new apartment in a different city all by myself. For me, 2020 was a year filled with plenty of challenges, adventure, long-lasting memories and life lessons.

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