I’m Laila and I’m from Cairo, Egypt—the mother of the world! I had spent my entire life there before coming to Spain, so it’s where all my family and friends are. It’s a great country with a rich history—the pyramids, of course—and it’s where my heart truly belongs. I’m proud to be Egyptian and I’ll always call it home. I now live in Madrid but lived in Segovia for the past two years. Both cities have become my home away from home. I visit Segovia on the weekends to clear my mind and I feed on Madrid’s energy as a city that never sleeps.
Connecting with an international community
As part of the first cohort to study the Bachelor in Economics at IE University, Laila feels grateful to have contributed to the development of the degree and offer up her ideas to improve the program for future students. Having just finished her third year of her Bachelor in Economics, she says it’s been a rollercoaster of an experience.
Since her first year, Laila has been involved in the Mentorship Society, rising through the ranks as mentee, mentor and coordinator. She has first-hand experience of the range of resources available at IE University and she enjoys the entrepreneurial atmosphere that constantly motivates students to pursue their dreams. She also enjoys the small class structure; enabling students to get to know each other and their professors on a personal level and create life-long friendships and connections.
Laila chose to come to IE University for an international experience and its international reputation. In fact, one of her passions is meeting people from around the world and learning about their cultures. Although she previously felt like she didn’t know what her passion was—especially because all her friends had sports or other hobbies—she now realizes how much joy she gets from meeting new people. She describes herself as approachable and easy to talk to, and it makes her very happy when others are comfortable around her.
IE University gives Laila the opportunity to continue to meet people from around the world and truly discover their cultures. Since being here she has formed friendships that she says she wouldn’t have been able to make elsewhere. She also appreciates being able to have open discussions with people on controversial topics, where even if they disagree, they can be respectful of each other’s opinions. And on a more personal note, Laila is glad she chose to experience the famous Mediterranean culture in the heart of Madrid because, coming from Cairo, the sun plays an important role in her mental health.
Laila is a firm believer in that if things are meant to be, they’ll be smooth-sailing, and the application process proved to be exactly that. The admissions team was extremely welcoming; putting her in contact with Egyptian alumni to talk about her experience and answering all of her questions. Overall she has found the IE University community to be incredibly welcoming and friendly, and she describes her experience as life-changing.