A Welcoming Home Away From Home
Sadiah Alayafi is a student in the master's of science in finance.
At the end of 2014, I started a new chapter in my life. Making a hard decision to live in a new country, culture, lifestyle and system was not easy at all. First of all, most of the Saudi students in the U.S. and I are thankful for having the scholarship to study abroad, learning in a new educational system in a different culture and improving our skills. The challenges that we face by living in the U.S. help develop our knowledge, not only about U.S. education but also about communication and interaction with the culture and the social life here.
I do not want to do a comparison between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia; each country has its own unique lifestyle. Living in the U.S. has made me an independent person, being independent means being in charge of my own life and making my own decisions and choices and that is the key to be more confident about myself. On the other hand, asking for help from the school or from American friends, is also an easy thing. Most students are thinking it is difficult to ask someone for help, but that is not true. If we do not ask for help, we will never get it.
As a Muslim community, we always want to practice our religion along with being active in the American society. There are some students who think if they practice their religion, they will not be a good fit in the U.S. community and that is absolutely not true. The best thing about living here is the cultural diversity. I have had an amazing opportunity learning different cultures and meeting students from all over the world as well as teaching and getting them to know about my religion and country at the same time. There may be this idea about not being a good fit is true in other countries but not in the U.S., where everyone comes from a different background and culture and they all become one community.