“I believe that IE University has a powerful network that will provide me with access to opportunities.”
Yousif Alsaffar, Iraq
- Program studied
From an early age, Yousif has exceeded expectations in everything he’s put his mind to. When he was nine years old, his natural work ethic became evident as he spent most of his time in his family’s business, learning how to become a goldsmith. These skills served him well as, by age 12, he was staying after school to work in the design department—and gaining real insights into how a business operates. This mixture of unique skills and hard work paid off, as he was accepted into one of the best schools in Iraq, where he consistently performed well and learned a lot about time management. His success there is what led to Yousif joining United World College Maastricht in the Netherlands, and later IE University.
He describes the city he grew up in, Al-Khadhimiya, as traditional and religious and credits it with instilling in him a sense of social harmony and caring about others. Yousif takes the best of these close-knit community ideals to a global level, seeking to welcome all the different cultures and beliefs he has come into contact with. In fact, IE University’s diverse environment was what first attracted Yousif to study at the institution, with an exceptional 75% of the students coming from international backgrounds. He sees his time studying as a comprehensive learning opportunity, both with regard to his degree and in learning about life in general.
The other aspect he particularly enjoys about IE University is the focus on innovation. Eager to be part of the transformation for a better future, Yousif is working hard to put his passion for computer science and mathematics to use in this sphere. He credits the staff with being well positioned to teach them topics that really matter—specifically having a strong business focus—while also gaining access to incredible professional tools. In general, he is impressed with the educational approach that IE University takes with everything from class discussions to group projects to liquid learning. Due to the pandemic, Yousif is currently based in Istanbul, but is still content with his academic experience, even managing to build friendships through the course projects.
Yousir says he’s very grateful to have the opportunity to study at IE University. His excellent academic record and passion for his subject led to him being awarded the UWC Scholarship by IE Foundation. Since visiting Segovia in 2019, he knew he wanted to be a part of this institution and hopes to be able to return to the city.
As for the future, Alsaffar has many potential paths in mind. Directly after finishing his undergraduate degree, he would like to complete a master’s in a related subject, before getting involved in some kind of innovative startup. Aside from his entrepreneurial ambitions, Alsaffar would also like to get involved in Iraqi politics in the future, believing that he has a duty to give back to the country he grew up in. An attitude perfectly summed up in one of his favorite quotes: “I am who I am because of who we all are.”