Student Spotlight: August 21, Week 1
Najat is an international student from Oman in the higher education master’s program at Kent State, where she also completed her undergrad. After graduating high school, Najat had the opportunity to study in America and jumped at the opportunity. She had heard that Kent State was a safe university and very welcoming to international students and is still very glad she decided to study here.
Najat interned this summer with the Office of Global Education in Partnership and International relations. She explains the bulk of her work has been projects. One of her tasks this summer included making calendars with holidays from all over the world.
Her favorite part about Kent State is its inclusivity. She explains that here, people want to get to know you. “In the higher education major, everyone is friends and helps each other out,” she says.
Najat has been studying in America for 7 years and explains that she has learned a lot since then. She believes some of the most important things she has learned is how to be independent, manage money, and time management. She says, “[studying abroad] is a great experience and helps you learn these lessons. I’ve been teaching my siblings back home the things I’ve learned while here.”
One of the most challenging things she found at first was putting herself out there. At first, Najat explains she did not branch out to meet new people. “It took me awhile to understand that you can find friends from any country, you just have to put yourself out there,” she says “some of my closest friends are from Saudi Arabia and America.”
She has noticed that some of the biggest differences are the smaller things like holidays. She explains that back home in Oman there are only a few holidays, but in America there are many. Another big difference is religion. Najat says, “in Oman, most people are Muslim. During Ramadan, everyone is fasting and all restaurants are closed. Here, there is a mix of religions; everyone is different.”
During her time in America, Najat had the opportunity to study in India for 8 days. “Each day we went to a different city.” She says, “it was so different and cool. I wish I could have spent more time there.”
Najat is finishing her Masters in May 2020 and returning to Oman after. She hopes to find a job in the higher education field back home.
When given the opportunity to study abroad Najat says “do it, if you don’t you might miss something you didn’t know you would’ve missed.”