November Alumni Profile: Amin Khan

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Muhammad Amin Khan began his Master of Peace and Conflict Studies in 2016. He is interested in cross-culture understanding, the advocacy of democratic values, conflict analysis, and conflict resolution. Amin has previously completed a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Politics from International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan.  

When Amin Khan came to Canada, he was given only $3000 from his father for the entirety of his degreethis money had to cover his food and accommodations, on top of tuition. He experienced a stressful and tumultuous first couple months of the term, trying desperately to find a job to make some extra money. Eventually, he learned about the Rotary Peace Scholarship, a fund in which five Kitchener-Waterloo Rotary clubs have contributed close to $155,000 since 2013. Within a week of applying, he received his first portion of funding.  

Amin Khan smiling at the camera. He is wearing a white dress shirt with a blue vest.“I am grateful that the scholarship continued for the rest of my degree. I am highly obliged and appreciative of Conrad Grebel for supporting me in my efforts,” he says. Since the initial payment, Amin has had several opportunities to speak at Rotary Clubs in the K-W area, at which he was able to personally thank his donors for the money they provided. Without the stress and pressure of financial struggles, he was able to focus on his studies and spend valuable time working towards his goals. For the remainder of his degree, Amin completed his work without the weight of a financial burden on his shoulders, even completing an internship with World Vision Canada at their Ottawa office.  

His gratitude did not cease there, however.  

Amin was able to create meaningful connections with the people from these clubs. “When I spoke at these Rotary Clubs,” he says, “I made some good connections with incredible people that I am still in contact with today. I remember they always used to pray for me for citizenship and things like that, and I'm lucky enough that because of those same Rotary members I was able to stay and work in Canada.” Amin is now a permanent resident of Canada. He cites the scholarship and the support it gave him both financially and sociallyas the reason he was able to achieve everything he has accomplished so far.

After graduation, Amin used his leftover money to get a work permit and a place to live. As an international student, this was an important step to getting settled here in Canada. He considers applying for the Rotary scholarship the perfect thing for an international student to do, given their already difficult experience of adjusting to a new place and the limited opportunities available to them. He is very grateful and happy that there are so many generous people who want to help students succeed in their studies and work toward their long-term goals.

Amin currently works at Teleperformance Canada in Toronto as Supervisor/Manager of Operations. He took this job to get a year’s experience working in Canada in order to get his permanent citizenship. His current goal is to find a job that is more relevant to peace and conflict studies; in the future, Amin aspires to work at a United Nations Organization. 

The nature of these scholarships has inspired Amin to help others. He is currently hosting Rizwan, another international student in the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies program. He paid for Rizwan’s residence here, and when he arrived in Canada, welcomed him on behalf of the PACS department. Amin is thankful that he can provide this support for someone else, as he has experienced the struggle of living without it and knows the difficulty of financial burden.  

I personally appreciate what we are doing here in terms of scholarships because a lot of people- especially international students- find that coming into the country itself is a big challenge. Being able to support them in that situation is very important.

Amin khan

It is beyond the scholarship itself that Amin is grateful for, though. He especially appreciates that the Rotary scholarships share important values and principles both with the receiving students and the community beyond them. He feels he has grown as a person because of the experiences he has had here. Amin concludes his thoughts with: “I will have the same spirit forever because I was lucky enough to receive money to support my studies. It has also given me the opportunity to meet a lot of people, so it helped me to establish a learned social circle. With this scholarship, you get involved in society and with people who are successful in their career who can help you get your own job one day, or at least guide you. It’s amazing.”

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