Hoora Dabbaghian came to Germany in 2018 to study. In her home country, she had already completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree as a translator for the language combination Persian (her mother tongue) to English – with outstanding grades. In addition, she learned Arabic at school. But Dabbaghian wanted to learn even more languages and started taking German lessons in order to be able to study in a Master’s program in Germany. “I am very interested in the topics of communication and culture, migration and integration. This is why the Master’s program offered at the KU in Eichstätt appealed to me so much”, says Dabbaghian. “Mastering foreign languages helps you to develop a better understanding of different cultures and their people.” She went on to say that mutual understanding and communication with each other was the key to international and intercultural understanding and peace. “I also love traveling and I am very interested in literature – here, good language skills come in handy as well.” So, Dabbaghian took further language courses during her studies in Eichstätt and learned Spanish, French and Russian. For a semester abroad at Malmö University, she also added Swedish to the list. “Learning the first two or three foreign languages is hard, but it gets easier with every language you add”, says Dabbaghian laughing. The next language she wants to learn is Japanese.
Prof. Dr. Richard Nate, Chairholder of English Literary Studies and Head of the Master’s degree program in European Studies, was impressed by the Iranian student from the very beginning because she devoted herself to her studies with “a great deal of diligence and commitment”. She took a particular interest in intercultural perspectives and issues – “a field, for which she also profitably uses her knowledge on the history and culture of her country of origin.” For her Master’s thesis, she decided to approach the question of how the expectations and perspectives of the European Union have changed in the last two decades.
Despite the particular challenges connected to studying in a foreign country far away from home and having to finance the studies by taking on side jobs, Hoora Dabbaghian, soon after she began studying in Eichstätt, started providing advice to other Iranian students and engaged in voluntary work for helping refugees. “This is exemplary of how committed she is to put what she has learned in her studies into practice”, says Nate. Amongst others, Dabbaghian is the administrator of a social media channel that has more than 30,000 young Iranian followers. On this platform, she provides information on study opportunities and the life in Germany. She also works in the integration service of the Malteser Hilfsdienst in Eichstätt on a voluntary basis to help refugees from Afghanistan. “I have experienced myself what it is like to have to find one’s way around a foreign country and a new culture – this helps me to better understand the situation of the refugees.” For example, she accompanies refugees to the doctor’s or to administrative appointments and helps them in translating and understanding official letters and forms.
After completing her studies at the KU, Hoora Dabbaghian will move to Stuttgart in the near future to start a position at the Caritas integration service at the end of this year. She particularly wants to help refugees from Ukraine. “I want to use the skills I acquired in my studies to fight for a better world and for peace also later in my life”, says Hoora Dabbaghian.