Author Archives: Olivia Hovenden

Abdifatah Ibrahim

I was born in Somalia during the Civil War in 1994. My parents sacrificed everything they had to give me and my siblings a better future. We registered for the UN refugee office in Syria and after a while we were accepted as refugees. We migrated to Australia in mid-2006. I was 12 years old.

I started high school with only one year of primary education. I was excited because I really wanted to go to university after high school, but I was afraid about not fitting in with students who were fluent in English. I was always scared to speak up because I was never comfortable about my accent.

In 2013, I got accepted into La Trobe to study accounting – I was the only person in my household to finish school and go to university. During my studies, I volunteered at a many different organisations.

I am currently studying abroad in America at the State University of New York. Working outside the classroom helped me gain more self-confidence, autonomy, and appreciation for others’ differences and similarities. By living and studying in a foreign country, I have learned a lot about myself as a person.

I am excited to come back to La Trobe and finish my bachelor’s degree. After I complete my undergraduate degree, I’m planning on doing the MBA program.