#StudyAbroadBecause I Learned To Strive

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Shevan Abdulla is from Kirkuk, Iraq. He has been in the U.S. for almost a year now. He studies Political Science, and has just graduated from University of Pittsburgh in April. He plans to go back to Iraq in August. 

Shevan Abdulla: #StudyAbroadBecause I Learned To Strive


What motivated your decision to come to the U.S.?

My Dad just moved to the United States and my sibling joined him as a family after he described to us the differences between the US and Iraq. I am still considered as an exchange student. 


What has your experience been like so far?

I had an exceptional experience. I studied Political Science and Engineering. I have made a lot of friends, especially international students as well as domestic students who are interested in exploring foreign culture. I graduated from University of Pittsburgh and found a job in the U.S.


What do you like most about studying in the U.S.?

The best thing about studying in the US is the liberty that the students enjoy in the American College, which leaves them to formulate their own personality and opinion, rather than been forced to follow a specific set of ideas or roles.


What are some challenges you have faced while studying here? 

Studying in the U.S can be really expensive for international students, especially students coming from developing countries. One of the main challenges that I faced was the financial burden; I had to work as a student to be able to support my family and make sure they were not under too much pressure to support my studying in the U.S.


What skills have you developed so far from your experience? 

I learned how to be independent and be responsible for my own decisions; I also learned to how to strive to become a successful person; I learned to be a hard worker and be serious at my job. I think those characteristics will get me to the place I want and help me to achieve the goals that I set for myself.


Do you feel changed thus far from your time abroad?

I feel changed because I learned the real meaning of mutual understanding and toleration in the U.S. Many people in the United States come from different backgrounds, such as different ethnicity and religion, yet live in peace and harmony because of the system that protects their rights. Seeing the harmony and the striving for equal justice helped me to break free from the fears of expressing myself and feel more secure about my ideas and opinions. At the same time, I learned to respect other peoples opinions and never judge them by what they say.

How has international education impacted or influenced your cultural identity? 

Beyond what I answered in the previous question, I think studying here in the U.S has helped me to strengthen my racial identity as a Kurdish coming from Iraq. I feel the need to express my opinion about the Middle East, and I feel confident to talk about my country. 


Why do you think international education is important? 

I get to learn so much about myself and get to know people that are from all walks of life. 


#StudyAbroadBecause I Learned To Strive




Lin Yuhan is the culture and politics editor for Wandering Educators


Photo courtesy and copyright Shevan Abdulla