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Michael Ascharsobi smiling at the camera. He is wearing a blue polo shirt

Michael Ascharsobi is a recipient of the UTS Diversity Access Scholarship.

I had to leave Iran when I was sixteen years old. I was part of a small religion in Iran. When they found out who I was and what was my religion, my parents were like, "You have no idea. It's going to be, either you're going to convert, or you're going to die." 

I actually didn't know where we were heading. After about seven days at sea we were arrested by Australian customs. 

When we were released after two and a half years, on my first week, I went to Centrelink. They said, "You can't go to university because you need to pay all the fees up front," which is impossible for a refugee coming to a new country. 

The scholarship pretty much took care of all the fees of studying at university. I was pretty much told, "You just turn up. You don't have to worry about anything."

The difference that the degree has made to my life... It's gone from not being able to get a job to having five offers from five big companies in the world. At the moment, I'm a technical program manager at Google.

The scholarship pretty much changed my life entirely. I don't know what I would have done if that didn't happen. 

Help us provide 40 additional UTS Diversity Access Scholarships for students like Michael. UTS is proud of the alumni like you who are helping our future students succeed. 

A life transformed

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