Sulaiman Wihba and Elias Badin were both given scholarships by Brighton College after they were spotted two years ago after making the “torturous” two-month journey from their war-torn country.
Mr Wihba, 19, from Hove, East Sussex, said he was driven by his desire to become a doctor to achieve four A* grades in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry earning him a place at Queen Mary University of London.
He said: “It's all about payback, being a doctor, helping people, it's really interesting, I like problem solving, providing the best care. My mum will be so happy.”
He added: “My 15-year-old self wouldn't imagine myself here, it's overwhelming. I have been in the UK for two years now, I didn't find it hard to integrate within the new society. I feel really accepted.”
Mr Wihba said that he hoped one day to return to Syria but added: “The situation there is really impossible to cope with, if things get better I would love to go back but I can't see things getting better in the short term.”
Mr Badin, who achieved A* in maths and As in further maths, physics and chemistry, said: “I am very content with my results even though I expected them to be higher, now I am awaiting confirmation of my place to study medicine at Queen Mary University which is my dream.”
Mr Wihba reached the UK after travelling through Europe and stowing away in a refrigerated van packed with boxes of frozen chips while Mr Badin travelled to Greece on a small boat with 40 refugees packed on board.
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