The student featured today is Zakia Chouikh. She is not only an international student, but an exchange student as well who is also studying at an American university back home. “I’m from Morocco. I was born there and raised there and I am attending an American university in Morocco it is called Al-Akhayam University and it’s the only American university in Morocco,” she says. “So I came here as an exchange student because my university is offering an exchange program or study abroad experience for students so I have applied and now I am attending Johnson C. Smith University. It is in Charlotte North Carolina.”
Economics and Accounting was Zakia's interest even while she was in high school. Now that she is in college, she is continuing her interest in that field of study. “I’m actually majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.
The twenty-one year old says she is learning a lot in her Finance course, but also just from interacting with the professors. “Well, the classes are very interesting especially the Finance classes. I think that the professors are very knowledgeable and I really like their methods of teaching and I think I learn a lot of things from my classes especially Finance and Management and even the presentation projects that we did it was really very interesting,” she says. “I learned a lot.”
Zakia says food is pretty much the same here as it is in Morocco, however what’s different is.....”What I noticed is people here are very independent which is not the case in Morocco where the people are very connected to each other and there is no differences concerning the food,” she says.
“It is quite the same thing.
Concerning the lifestyle, I think the lifestyle here is more hectic and I also noticed that people here are very stressed which is not the case in Morocco.”
Another surprise for Zakia was realizing that she is the only international student attending J. C. Smith University even if it is for only a semester. “I was surprised when I first came here because I was expecting to meet a lot of international students which is the case at my home university because we have a lot of international students there each semester,” she says.
“I was like upset really because I was the only international student, but I got use to that and now it is okay,” she says. “I made a lot of friends.”
Zakia is attending an American university back home in Morocco and doing so is something her family is supportive. “I would say that it is my father’s choice because this university has a very good reputation in Morocco and the university also has very good programs concerning Business. They have really, really good teachers. So my father was excited that I could go there.”
However, her parents are pleased with her studying in the United States too. “I feel that my parents from the beginning they were motivating me and encouraging me to apply for the program to come here and experience life and something new and to get experience abroad.”
Zakia is now in her junior year. She will graduate next spring at the American university in Morocco and then “ I am actually planning to go to the graduate school for my master’s degree. I am thinking about studying Marketing. Actually I would like to do it here in the United States.