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Portrait of medical student Anxhela Dautaj with certificate and bouquet of flowers in hand at the presentation of the scholarship (Photo: Laura Thümler / City of Magdeburg)
27.11.2023 from 
Study + Teaching
When dreams come true

From merit-based awards to need-based support, there are various types of scholarships available to support education. The aim is to make education accessible to everyone and give students the opportunity to develop their full potential, regardless of financial barriers. The Otto von Guericke Scholarship, which has been awarded jointly by the city and the University of Magdeburg since 2003, is aimed specifically at foreign students who perform well academically and are involved in voluntary work. This year, 24-year-old medical student Anxhela Dautaj has been awarded the scholarship. She recently began her practical year at Magdeburg University Hospital and also works as an international tutor for first-year students.

For Anxhela, who originally comes from Albania, the choice of degree course was clear from the outset. "Studying medicine has always been a dream of mine. I've always been fascinated by learning how the body works. As I enjoy working with people and am an extrovert, the decision to study medicine was the best choice I've made so far," she says. She also already has a preference as to which specialty she might go into after her undergraduate studies: "I would like to go into gynaecology and obstetrics." She is fascinated by looking after women at different stages of their lives and helping them with their health issues. "I also appreciate the versatility of this specialist field, which includes obstetrics as well as the diagnosis and treatment of gynecological diseases. I also find the interpersonal aspects of gynecology particularly fulfilling, as it often requires a close and supportive patient-doctor relationship," adds the medical student.

Gruppenfoto von Oberbürgermeisterin der Stadt Magdeburg Simone Borris, Medizinstudentin Anxhela Dautaj und Prorektorin für Studium und Lehre Susanne Schmidt bei der Stipendienvergabe (c) Laura Thümler_Stadt MagdeburgSimone Borris, Mayor of the City of Magdeburg, medical student Anxhela Dautaj and Prof. Susanne Schmidt, Vice-Rector for Studies and Teaching at the University of Magdeburg at the scholarship award ceremony (Photo: Laura Thümler / City of Magdeburg)

When she found out that she had been nominated for the Otto von Guericke Scholarship, she felt one thing above all: gratitude. "The scholarship is a tremendous recognition of my efforts and commitment. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and will use it with great dedication and commitment to pursue my academic goals," she says. The medical student is now being supported for one year with a total of 6,000 euros from the Otto von Guericke Scholarship. The scholarship encourages her to push ahead with both her personal and professional development. This also includes devoting herself to her doctoral thesis and conducting research.

Voluntary commitment

However, Anxhela's commitment goes far beyond her studies. Since 2020, the medical student has been involved with SiSa, Sprachmittlung Sachsen-Anhalt. She works there as a language mediator: "This experience not only gives me the opportunity to use my language skills, but also to help other people and mediate in intercultural situations," she says.

She has also recently become active with "Medinetz". "People with limited access to medical care receive support there," she explains. They receive individual support from 1-2 students. "Treatment appointments and translations are organized, we also accompany the patients to appointments and the organization takes over the coordination of bureaucratic tasks," says the student.

Volunteer work is particularly important to her because "as a future doctor, I have a strong desire to help and support people. This volunteering experience allows me to actively make a positive impact on the lives of others even before I graduate."

And what does the future hold for the scholarship holder?

"I would like to successfully complete my studies next year and defend my doctoral thesis." In addition, Anxhela Dautaj hopes to stay healthy and enjoy many wonderful moments with her family.

Author: Catherine Birke