International Educator - May/June 2016 - 63

Farah Hallaba, from Egypt, is a sophomore
at the University of Maryland.

dents for the U.S. college experience. Advisers
meet weekly with small cohorts of students.
Sarah Alfaiz, a College Club alumna, came to
Boston University from Saudi Arabia with the
self-confidence to found Arabs for Altruism,
a volunteer organization dedicated to helping
poor people in the Boston area.

COURTESY OF FARAH HALLABA

The Importance of
Working With Families
Bauer believes contact with families is crucial.
"If you have a travel budget, visit these countries to meet with the parents. Have dinner
with the prospective applicant." Skype is an
alternative, with current students who speak
Arabic serving as translators, if needed.
"Families will ask, 'Is it safe for my daughter to go to the United States?'" Bauer says
this is the chance for U.S. advisers to educate
families about campus police, key cards, and
other security measures. Advisers should also
be prepared to answer family questions about
housing and the availability of halal (permitted) food. In Saudi Arabia, notes Alkhabbaz
"we are not used to roommates we don't know.
Roommates in Saudi Arabia come from the
same town and perhaps know my sister. We
don't move in with a stranger." At Kent State
University, Benhaida makes sure families and

students are aware that there are dormitories
just for women as well as all-women floors in
coed dorms. If students are required to live
on campus but appropriate housing is not
available, "we'll work with housing services to
modify the rules," says Benhaida.

Specific Accommodations for
Women From the Middle East
In some ways, making such accommodations is not much different than
accommodations made for students with
other special circumstances like wheelchairs,
service animals, or severe allergies, suggests
Vanessa Christman, assistant dean for access and community development at Bryn
Mawr College. Bryn Mawr has only 1,300
students but 25 percent are international,
including a small number from the Middle
East. "We require students to be on a meal
plan, but during (the Muslim holy month
of ) Ramadan, our dining services provide
opportunities for students to eat before and
after the fast each day," explains Christman.
The college also has halal and kosher kitchens, overseen by students, as well as a prayer
room in the student life building. Recently,
Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore
Colleges sponsored a diversity conversa-

tion focused on Islamophobia and "how we
are wrestling with perceptions and proclamations...and supporting each other in the
face of them." The website 20000dialogues.
org offers resources and films to facilitate
dialogues about Muslims and Islam.
Syrian Tesbih Habbal accompanied her
husband to his medical residency in Huntington, West Virginia, and became the only
international student at the local community
college. "The school wasn't prepared for me
and I wasn't prepared for them. No one was
rude but they weren't really friendly either,"
she recalls. "They had never seen a girl with
an accent and a head scarf." Determined not
to fail, she earned her degree and became a
peer coach helping other students.
Now Habbal is enrolled at Southern
Illinois University, a campus with 14,000 students, including 135 from Middle Eastern
countries, 59 of whom are women. The school
has a very active Muslim Student Association
and a vibrant Arabic Club, both instrumental in welcoming new students and educating
the broader community. Habbal and Khawla
Bendjemil revitalized the Arabic club, organizing small events to introduce U.S.
students to Middle Eastern culture, including a biweekly Arabic conversation hour. A
Muslim Awareness Day was held shortly after
the Paris attacks in November 2015, with an
"Ask a Muslim" table and a "hijab challenge,"
making scarves available so women could
experience fashioning and wearing the head
scarf. "We got our message across; students
want to learn more and we need to provide
that opportunity," said Habbal. Reaching out
helps students fit in, enabling women to take
an active role in their own acculturation in
the United States. "It helps germinate seeds
of friendship and engagement across cultures
and religions," adds Lobna Ismail.
Saudi Arabia itself sponsors 330 Saudi
student clubs at U.S. universities, both to
help new Saudi students transition to the
United States and also to serve the local
community. Faisal Alshammeri in the Cultural Mission of the Royal Embassy of Saudi
Arabia says the average club holds 35 to 40
events a year, including celebrations for Saudi
national and religious days but also visits to
local senior citizen centers or soup kitchens.
M AY + J U N E .16 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

63  



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2016

Toward a Better World
Tech Abroad
The University of Virginia Seeks to Emulate Its Founder
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
International Enrollment
View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2016 - BB1
International Educator - May/June 2016 - BB2
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Frontlines
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2016 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Global Spotlight
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Toward a Better World
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Tech Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2016 - The University of Virginia Seeks to Emulate Its Founder
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 54
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 60
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2016 - International Enrollment
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 70
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2016 - View From Out Here
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 74
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2016 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2016 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2016 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708gfclone
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_2070910_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304_fr
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20151112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20121112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20111112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110102
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com