The 21-year-old Mariam Khaled Mohamed Hafez Ayad (pictured center) was selected for the Spring 2023 USAID-funded Center of Excellence for Energy exchange program to study energy and renewable energy at Arizona State University. Mariam was enthusiastic about the chance to acquire new skills and get insight into various cultures. “I’m very excited about the whole experience of the exchange program,” Mariam said.

Making renewable energy more significant and increasing its use in Egypt is Mariam’s long-term objective. She plans to do this by taking part in numerous projects, learning new information, and attempting to apply that knowledge in Egypt. Of the exchange program, she said

“I’m planning to gain the most knowledge I can to be able to help the university and the country once finished.”

Mariam arrived at Arizona State University in January, 2023 and was impressed by the orientations offered by the Center of Excellence for Energy and the university to help her adjust. She said they helped her learn about balancing school and home life and the multitude of responsibilities a university student has there.

She says she benefitted from the excellent professors and assignments saying “the professors here are very friendly and helpful. Your effort is really appreciated.” Her favorite class was power electronics, but she also enjoyed the entrepreneurship course saying it helped her a lot as she owns her own business in Egypt and it helped her to think about growing that business in different ways.

“I think now I have more vision to see the world from another perspective,” she says adding that it will help her reach her goal to increase awareness of and participation in sustainability efforts in Egypt.