Why do you think it’s important to study abroad?
If someone has the opportunity to study abroad, they should do it. It forces you to step out of your comfort zone and into another culture. The time I’ve spent talking with friends I’ve made over here—about religion, politics and personal relations—has opened my mind to a whole new way of looking at the world. Studying abroad makes you move away from what is familiar to you and pushes you to see the world differently.
How did you decide to study abroad?
The Middle East is so misunderstood in the West, especially in the US. I knew that all the negative stuff I heard about the people and culture out here couldn't be true, but I had to come here to see it with my own eyes. I remember when I told my mother that I was going to the UAE for school this year, she flipped: “You’re going where?!” She wasn’t happy about it. I hate that this part of the world has such a negative perception attached to it, where I’m from. I just want to try and change that, if only a little.