Introducing the New Odyssey Scholars Cohort

New York, January 31, 2024 — As part of its longstanding commitment to supporting refugee and displaced students in higher education, IIE welcomed its third and largest cohort of Odyssey Scholars for the 2023-24 academic year.  

Only 7% of refugees have access to higher education, according to the United Nations United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. As part of its 105-year-legacy of advancing access to education, IIE created the Odyssey Scholarship in 2021, to make higher education a reality for the many qualified displaced and refugee students seeking such an opportunity; it covers tuition, housing, and living expenses for refugee and displaced students pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees.  

The Scholarship was awarded to 40 students in the fall, including 25 women and 15 men from 11 countries. Of this cohort’s 40 students, one-third of awardees are studying at the master’s level and two-thirds at the undergraduate level. This cohort brings the number of awardees of the Odyssey Scholarship to more than 80 scholars studying in 15 countries.

Meet some of our scholars below: 

  • Malaver Cantón Santiago Leonardo of Venezuela is studying in Mexico.
  • Obeyd Aden of Somalia is studying in Kenya.
  • Felista Keni Lottimbo of Sudan is studying in Kenya.
  • JolJol Yahya of Sudan is studying in Kenya.
  • Aisha Al Youssouf of Syria is studying in Lebanon.
  • Hazar Sanyour of Syria is studying in Lebanon.
  • Abakar Aroun Adjide of Central African Republic (CAR) is studying in Chad.
  • Aicha Abdouraman Sadou of CAR is studying in Chad.
  • Abderaman Ibrahim Sadam of Sudan is studying in Chad.
  • Sharifa Nabizada of Afghanistan is studying in Bangladesh.
  • Hamasa Safari of Afghanistan is studying in Bangladesh.
  • Sat Htoon Lynn of Myanmar is studying in Thailand.
  • Myat Noe Eain of Myanmar is studying in Thailand.
  • Buangoen Khimrarin of Myanmar is studying in Thailand.
Scholars from left-to-right, in two rows

In support of the UNHCR Global Refugee Forum in December, IIE pledged to award 120 new IIE Odyssey scholarships over the next four years. Through its global network of offices, IIE works with a dedicated group of refugee-serving partners to reach and support refugee and displaced students, using a nomination and selection process. Hear from the new cohort  here.

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