American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) Alumna, Sweeta Muhammad Ishoq, returned to campus this week to share her experience as the first ever Schwarzman scholar from Afghanistan. Sweeta described her recently-concluded year in Beijing as a Schwarzman scholar as a life-changing experience and encouraged other AUAF students to apply for this prestigious program.
The Schwarzman Scholarship is a highly competitive program designed to promote understanding of China’s global outlook through a year-long program at China’s premier university, Tsinghua University, that leads to a Master of Science degree in Global Affairs. The program is limited to 140 students from across the globe selected from the more than 3,000 students who apply each year.
Sweeta believes that AUAF prepared her well for this incredible platform. The dedicated faculty helped to improve her critical analysis, leadership, and English language skills, which are core criteria for the Schwarzman Scholarship. A Business Administration major at AUAF, Sweeta founded the University Success Club and was an active participant and leader in AUAF activities. Sweeta compares AUAF’s mission with Schwarzman College’s mission — to educate future global leaders. While in Tsinghua, she served as an “Ambassador for Afghanistan,” explaining to her global classmates that “Afghanistan is so much more then what is shown on social media platforms and television.”
Recently, Sweeta returned to Kabul intent to be a contributor to Afghanistan’s future. She is a women’s rights activist, particularly through her work with the Anna May Project and the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. She also founded a social enterprise to develop a clothing brand.
Now, she serves as Schwarzman Scholar Ambassador to promote awareness of the program and encourage other Afghan students to apply. Sweeta believes that Afghans must stay positive, regardless of their political situation, to provide motivation to keep working toward a better future for Afghanistan.
Friends of the American University of Afghanistan, a U.S. registered 501 (c)(3) located in Washington, DC, provides financial support and increases awareness and understanding of academic institutions, such as AUAF, to enable scholarships for students like Sweeta to attend university. FAUAF congratulates Sweeta as Afghanistan’s first Schwarzman Scholar. She is another example of the power of education, if given an opportunity.