There is always light at the end of the tunnel
Two researchers who came to Aalto University with the help of scholars at risk activities agreed to talk anonymously about their experiences.
‘Due to the unrest and war in my home country, I reached out for possible relocation to a safe place to continue my research,’ says the first researcher. ‘I advise any scholar at risk to reach out for help. SAR and other similar organisations represent a great help for international scholars at risk. Any scholar at risk can reach out and apply for the program.’
They continue, ‘International organisations and their partner universities and individuals are doing a great job for scholars at risk. They are not only saving scholars’ lives but are also providing a safe place for them to continue their academic work, as well as for their kids to continue school. Importantly, they also save expertise and help scholars improve their skills. This will allow the scholars to make meaningful contributions in their country, if and when the country recovers and return is possible.’
The second researcher advises that ‘if you get stuck in a threatened country, and you feel that you will lose what you have learned during your long academic journey or maybe face a direct security threat – never give up, do whatever you can to secure your future.’
They suggest applying for jobs elsewhere ‘even with low income, as long as they are within your academic track’ and also offer a reminder that ‘some people in the world are working hard not only to protect threatened scholars, but also to promote academic freedom.’
The researcher concludes with the thought that ‘the world is still beautiful, so please don’t be depressed -- there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Explain your problem explicitly, try to find a way to save the knowledge you have earned, and always be positive while you create your future.’