Maha Al-Awahdi is a long way from home. Going to college was definitely her next step in life; it was just a matter of deciding where in the United States she would go. “I’m from Kuwait and I always believed that attending college in the United States is an option worth pursuing. So after I had finished high school I wanted to make the most of my college life and I had a list of seven other universities to choose from and I was looking for a new experience and when I saw that the University of the Pacific is in California I said there is no better place than California,” she says. “Even the program offered for Engineering was strong enough for me to work on.”
University of The Pacific located in Stockton, California offers a variety of activities both on and of campus; however, Maha being in her freshman year isn't yet involved in any activities. She is however, very much interested in learning all she can about her major.
I’m majoring in Computer Engineering and I am willing to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering,” she says. [and] I am on a scholarship program and I am obsessed with Computers and I just wanted to dedicate my life for understanding how these machines work.”
Maha says the faulty as well as the administration is always willing to help and there are several other Kuwaiti students attending the university, but she is the only Kuwaiti female. “Well, the faculty and staff here at University of the Pacific (UoP) are so friendly. Whenever I needed help there was always someone there to help me and their environment here at Pacific is amazing,” she says.
“You will always find a smile on everyone’s face, but being the only Kuwaiti female here at Pacific was hard, but it was a good experience for me. I think that I have adjusted very well here. I have become more independent and confident and how people accepted the fact that I am from Kuwait and I come from a different cultural background and how they accepted that was really helpful for me to cope and adapt here.”
Going to college and receiving an education is the first priority for Maha. She also says she thinks about continuing her education once she is finished at University of The Pacific. "It is really important. Education is my first goal here. I am working as hard as I can to succeed in getting my bachelors degree here at Pacific then I am willing to obtain a masters degree after I finish with my undergraduate program,” she says. “Currently, a masters degree here at Pacific is not available. But hopefully after four years and when I am done it will be offered. If that is not possible, I would like to look for another university here in the United States.”
Maha has several more years before she completes her undergraduate degree. Once she does, she says going back home is definitely an option if she doesn't further her education here in the United States. No matter what, she says she believes she will fulfill her dreams. “Well, when I finish my gain my college degree I am thinking of going back home and practice my profession as a Computer Engineer and I would like to work in the private sector and have my own company. I am really willing to fulfill this dream.”