I was 14 years old when I came to Northern Ireland and I remember it was in December, so it was really cold. When we got out of the plane I was thinking to myself ‘This is going to be like a new life’, so it was a bit scary!

It was difficult coming to a country where the people spoke a different language and there were different cultures and traditions. But it was exciting as well, starting a whole new life.

What I like most about living in Northern Ireland is that the people are really nice, they are always welcoming. I love nature too, and Northern Ireland has so much green everywhere.

Even though my English was okay when I first arrived in Northern Ireland, I still had difficulty communicating with others. I didn't want to get misunderstood by others because they have different traditions and cultures.

I’m a student now and am preparing for my A-Level exams in chemistry, biology and maths. Chemistry is my favourite subject, so I hope to have a career as a pharmacist or a chemist, something like that.

People often ask me, do you want to go back to your country? I'd say yes and no at the same time, because I love where I was born, I'm really proud of being Syrian. But at the same time, it's not safe to go back there.

I just want to work hard here, achieve my dreams and give back to the community what I've been given.

Find out about Extern's NI Refugee Resettlement Service