What is your favorite part of being a university student in the United States?
Having more control over your classes and degree plan.
Has your life at university in the United States been similar to what you imagined it would be like? How is it different? Has anything really surprised you?
There are a lot of social activities, including clubs, organizations, sport events, etc. Previously, as all classes were taught remotely, I felt less engaged into the university life. Fortunately, starting from this semester almost all classes are being taught in class that makes the academic experience more interesting and productive.
The atmosphere on campus is very friendly. Professors are always trying to help their students to succeed.
What type of extracurricular activities are you involved in?
I am an active member of two computer science clubs, a member of Phi Theta Honor society, as well as a member of a chess club.
How is the food?
To be honest, I prefer more Arabic or Turkic cuisine rather that American due to the fact that American cuisine don’t actually have the “national dish.”
What is the atmosphere on campus like? What has been your experience making new friends?
The atmosphere on campus is very friendly. Professors are always trying to help their students to succeed. Also, as I mentioned before, there are a lot of social events on campus which you can attend, so it’s not that hard to make friends from different countries.
How do you communicate with family and friends back home?
Mostly by WhatsApp and video calls.
One of the tools that helped me to write an essay is Grammarly.com that checks for grammar, word choices, punctuation etc.
What was the most challenging part of the application process?
The only challenging part was writing an essay which is very important when you are applying to the top universities and trying to get a scholarship. Also, it was very time consuming to write a well-descriptive, motivational essay. Other steps are basically straight forward. One of the tools that helped me to write an essay is Grammarly.com that checks for grammar, word choices, punctuation etc.
How did you choose which universities to apply to?
About my transfer process from the [community] college, it was easy to decide. I decided to transfer within the same state where my [community] college was because all the classes I took previously would transfer to the [four-year undergraduate] university. I [applied and] got accepted into all four [undergraduate] universities, but Texas Tech was the only one that gave me a scholarship, so the decision was obvious.
What advice do you have for students from your country who are considering applying to universities in the US?
Living and studying in the United States gave me a lot of lifelong experiences that shapes me as a person who I want to be in the future. I have learned to be more responsible for the decisions I make in life. Also, [it] teaches you how to become more independent since you start to analyze your personal financial expenses, such as rent, utilities and bills, groceries, and a lot more.
I wish I knew how the American educational system is built because in my first semester at college I failed three classes out of four. [I had] to retake them in the next semesters which of course made me to spend more time and money. Don’t repeat my mistake. [R]esearch about the educational system in the United States overall and about universities/ colleges [where] you are planning to apply. Also, it is better to have a good TOEFL and SAT scores since it can help you to skip ESOL courses (English courses that international students take prior to academic classes) and have better chances to receive a scholarship.