There are over 1 million international students in the U.S at any one time. We often hear about their struggles to adapt and learn a new society. Unfortunately, we rarely get to hear the highlights—success stories that really show the value of international study.
So, with that in mind, here are three awesome international student success stories to warm your day:
Studies at Boston University | From Jiangsu, China
Sumei was born in Jiangsu, China. After graduating from high school she attended University in Shanghai. She eventually received her degree in Computer Science and began working for Citibank as a tech support specialist in China.
After a while, Sumei found the work to be unfulfilling, so she decided to become an au pair and move to the U.S.
Sumei was surprised by the cultural differences and language issues she had when she arrived, but she eventually fell in love with the States and decided to stay to get her Master’s in Computer Science at Boston University.
Unfortunately, au pair salaries are notoriously low so Sumei needed financial help. After her first year at school, she decided to secure a loan from MPOWER Financing in order to complete her degree.
Recently, Sumei landed an internship with a software engineering company and is excited about all that she has learned and life has to offer in the U.S.
“One of the goals I set for myself when I first arrived was to gain self-confidence and I definitely have. Now I’m comfortable speaking in English with a wide variety of people. I’m so grateful for all of the new experiences I’ve had, and I’ve learned so much about myself and about the world.”
Faisal Saud Alyousif
Studies at Susquehanna University | From The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Faisal Alyousif has a unique tale of hardship and determination. Alyousif is from Saudi Arabia originally. He grew up loving American culture. The TV, movies, plays, books, he had—and still has—a passion for it all.
Sadly, Alyousif’s father passed away when he was young, so he had to work to care for his siblings. Eventually, Alyousif earned enough money to get his family in a stable situation and decided it was time to pursue his passions in the U.S.
He was able to secure enough student loans after some research and is now pursuing his degree in Theatre Production and Design at Susquehanna University.
These days Alyousif is happily studying in the U.S and even started writing his own play called ‘Ducks in a Train.” Alyousif really found a sense of community in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, and perhaps even more importantly he found a place to pursue his passions.
Studied at Boston University | From Cape Town, South Africa
Kayleigh R. was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She never thought of herself as the STEM type, but after taking a course in Computer Science at the University of Cape Town she was hooked. Eventually, she graduated with an honors degree in Bioinformatics from the University of Cape Town.
Then Kayleigh accepted a job in clinical research but quickly realized there was no future there. Especially in Cape Town. Unfortunately, as Kayleigh says when she began to look at Master’s programs in the U.S she was shocked:
“One year of tuition in a U.S. Master’s program was more than four times the cost of my entire undergraduate education in South Africa!”
Needless to say, affording her Master’s program was a challenge. Thankfully, she was able to secure a loan and begin her studies after finding international student loans.
It wasn’t long after that when she landed a coveted four-month internship at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and was given the task of analyzing the results of genomic research on ALS and other diseases.
Then, in May 2017 Kayleigh earned her Master of Science in Bioinformatics from Boston University, graduating summa cum laude and quickly landed her dream job in New York City. She currently works as a computational biologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
It’s easy to forget how many success stories there are in the sea of negativity that gets posted online. Don’t forget to pursue your passions, no matter where they take you.