Our international students bravely step into a new environment when coming to Concordia.
International student feature: Ibrahim Ashour
Concordia’s international students courageously step into a new country to pursue their personal and academic goals. This international student feature shares one student’s experience as an international student here at Concordia University Wisconsin & Ann Arbor. Keep reading to learn more about recent graduate Ibrahim Ashour.
Tell us about yourself.
I like playing soccer, horseback riding, road-trips, camping, and hiking. I’m foodie, so I like eating in general. But, If I had to choose, I would go with BBQ, a good portion of steak, or a variety of seafood.
Where are you from?
I’m from Saudi Arabia, which is located on the Arabian Peninsula. This region is home to Mecca, which is the holy city that Muslims from all around the world come to visit at least once in their life as pilgrims. Nowadays, Saudi Arabia is so much different and more open and welcoming to other cultures. For the first time in a while, Saudi Arabia is now issuing tourist visas for foreigners to come and explore Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabians typically speak Arabic as a mother language and English as the second language. Therefore, foreigners usually won’t have problems with communicating if they ever come to KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.)
What did you study at Concordia University?
I did my undergraduate and graduate in science rehabilitation science major. I had the opportunity to celebrate my undergrad in 2019 which was phenomenal. However, there was no ceremony for my graduate degree due to the pandemic which was in 2020. Anyhow, CUW managed to make a virtual ceremony for all of us and invited all of the students to celebrate their graduation in 2021, which was so kind of them.
How have you been able to apply what you’ve learned at Concordia to life in the real world?
I’ve learned to spread love, help those in need, and give whenever I can. I truly try to live uncommonly. All of this is in addition to applying what I have learned academically to my clinical practices.
What are some of your long-term goals?
First of all, I’ll never stop learning, so I’m aiming to earn a PhD. Secondly, I want to learn a new hobby and improve my hand skills. Finally, like I mentioned before, I want to live my life in an uncommon way.
What places do you want to visit/experience while you’re in the US? Why?
I used to live in San Diego, so I had the chance to take a road trip from San Diego up to Seattle. I had seen so many things along my journey. While traveling, I had stopped in most of the hotspots whether cities or national parks such as Yosemite National Park and San Francisco. Anyway, I still want to explore and visit more places. I love camping, and I enjoy nature. One day, I would love to make another road trip and visit more national parks and major cities such as New York City and Yellowstone National Park.
What advice would you give to students who want to study in a different country?
Don’t be afraid to study in a different country. However, spend some time and research about the country you’re planning to visit. Ask questions to some people who have visited your planning destination. Try to learn about their traditions and cultures to have an idea. Last, be friendly, flexible, and willing to learn something new. As you learn from them, they learn from you.
How can American students make their international classmates feel welcomed?
They can always say hi, smile, and offer their help. American students can introduce them to their culture and tradition, whether at the school or home. It could be a full experience of a Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, and Easter. Foreigners tend to be shy, so it’s okay to make the first move.
What has life been like living and studying in the US?
It was the best choice I have ever made. I gained a lot of experience and made a lot of friends and fell in love with everything: the school, people, nature, and food. I’m so glad that I had the chance to study in a wonderful country such as the United States and a school such as Concordia University Wisconsin. A huge part of me will always be there.
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