Hofstra University on Long Island, New York gave Suliman Alghnam as well as other international students a wonderful welcome to the United States and the university when he arrived a year ago. “One of the best days for me when I came to the United States was the first week when the international student office took us into the city to watch a musical called ‘Hairspray’ which was really beautiful and after that we went back and played some soccer on campus, “he says.” “It was actually one of the best nights I’ve ever had here at Hofstra because one you come to a new place and you feel so welcome, you stop to forget that you are away from home and you feel that you are among friends and family,” he says.
“Another experience was experiencing Thanksgiving dinner at the Vice president of the university when she invited us over for Thanksgiving which was really a beautiful experience for me.”
Coming to the United States to pursue a master's degree has been a life long dream for Suliman. “I’m from Saudi Arabia I am from the capital I grew up in Riyadh and I decided to come to the United States because I was given a scholarship by the Saudi government to do my graduate degree in the United States and its been a dreamed that I would come and do my education here and it worked out well and as soon as I got my undergrad I got the scholarship and then I came.”
Suliman says his major will afford him many opportunities to be employed either here in the U.S. as well as back home. “I’m doing my masters in healthcare administration. I have a background in physical therapy and when I choose that major I wasn’t one-hundred percent sure what I was going to do, but once I started experiencing the major and learning much about it I just feel in love with it, “ he says.
“I think it is one of the best majors out. I will have a variety of options in the future to do things like hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceuticals; insurance companies there are a lot of opportunities for me to seize and my background was working in hospitals so I think it is something that I really want to pursue and continue working either here in the United States or when I go back home.”
One thing Suliman says he realizes is being an international student has given him a way to network with other students and also be an ambassador for his country to share his culture and life. “The first and the most important advice is always get involved. I mean get involved with people in your class. Get involved with activities on campus. Get involved with any associations related into your major. If you are a Business major then join a Business association or fraternity. I mean anywhere in the world if you don’t get involved that takes place in that place you will never be able to make friends, you would never be able to network in case you wanted a job, “he says.
“So, it is important to get involved, don’t be shy, share your experiences a lot of people misconception about the place you came from. You are here as a messenger to teach people exacting working both ways. You came here to learn and let others learn from you and your culture.”
Suliman isn't too sure what he will do once he completes his studies, however he does want to work some here in the United States before going back home. “I haven’t thought about it yet, but probably I would look for a job and take advantage of the opportunity that international students have after they finish school in the United States every student get a chance to work in the United States for a year doing what is called an open year training so I might take advantage of that and then go back home and start applying what I have learned here in the United States.”