The Washburn Review

International students at Washburn share summer plans

Sabrina Rana

July 3, 2017

While some international students return home for summer break, others explore more of the United States and a few take courses.Ashmita Mehra, freshman computer science major from India, plans to "work and chill" for the summ...

International students reflect on time at Washburn

April 28, 2017

Any given semester, Washburn hosts approximately 300 international students.Of these 300, 36 international students have completed their first semester at Washburn and living in the United States. Washburn has a wide array of opportunities, accommodations and degree-seeking programs for their international students, making up an inclusive and unique experience on campus. No matter their major, students also have the choice to study at Washburn from anywhere from one semester to as many years as it takes to gain one’s degree.One of the most flexible amenities for international students is the living arrangements. Some students decide to live on campus among other international students in the International House or mixing in with local students in the Living Learning Center, Lincoln Hall, West Hall or the Washburn Village. Depending on whether or not students will remain for more than a year, the student could also live off campus using the Topeka Friendship Network. This organization allows international students to live off campus in less expensive apartments in the neighborhoods close to campus. Pre-arrival, TFN also coordinates with Washburn in acquiring living basics for each student such as linens and mattresses. The TFN is also responsible for assigning host families to international students. This means that each group of international students, usually four students at the most, has an American family that invites them over throughout their stay for family dinners, go to concerts or shows, and to mentor the students as they adjust to life and culture in America.This exchange of culture and experiences, however, is not limited to international students and their host families. The International House also organizes various cultural festivals throughout the year in which all students and faculty can indulge in showcases of multicultural cuisine and entertainment. The grandest one in scale among these festivals is the yearly Celebration of Cultures.The International House, or the I-House as many international students like to call it, also organizes events like the Capital Tour, ICT Event, ICT Tulip Fest, End-of-semester BBA, Start-of-Semester BBQ and the KC Trip to name a few.The university makes all these efforts –living arrangements, community engagement and cultural experiences– to make the students' transition from their home country to the United States smooth, exciting and unique.

Saudi student enjoys technological opportunities

Andrew Shermoen

April 17, 2017

For Meaad Aldarbi, a student pursuing her masters in educational technology, time in America has been all about new experiences. The Saudi Arabian student has had a huge amount of support from friends and faculty members who have helped her get the most from her time in America.Aldarbi is from Jazan, Saudi Arabia and attended and received her bachelor’s degree in history and civilization while attending Jazan University. After traveling to America she went to school at Kansas University but transferred to Washburn in 2014. When she first arrived Aldarbi had the usual struggles of a new person visiting America. “I spoke very little English,” Aldarbi said. “Thankfully the community I came into was very helpful and I joined a group that helped me improve my English.”School and life in Jazan was very different compared to America. Technology isn’t as widespread, the schools are separated according to gender, and alcohol consumption is incredibly taboo. Aldarbi came to America for school because she knew it had the education she was looking for. “There is very little education in Saudi Arabia that is based on teaching people how to use technology,” Aldarbi said. “It is slowly being integrated into the classroom though, and I want to learn how to better use technology and how to teach people it should be used.”Aldarbi has said the greatest thing Washburn has provided her is the multitude of experiences she’s had. In 2015 she and a few other Saudi Arabian women participated in a culture group. She also learned archery, took Zumba classes, and learned how to drive. Many of these experiences are something not easily available for her before Washburn and she is thankful for the opportunity to participate in them at Washburn.Aldarbi has many people to thank for her Washburn experience. Her advisor David Pownell is a faculty member Aldarbi has credited as having a huge impact on her educational experience. “He really pushed me to keep working hard,” Aldarbi said. “When I had a question, instead of just telling me he would often encourage me to use the resources around me to search for the answers.” Through Pownell’s encouragement Aldarbi developed the phrase “Google it” as her new mantra in life for whenever she is looking for answers.Aldarbi has also cited her friend Andrea Velez as someone who has encouraged her and helped her feel welcome at Washburn. “She was swimming teacher and she taught me so much,” Aldarbi said. “She was a great friend and helped increase my understanding of different cultures.”Aldarbi also spent her years at Washburn making new friends, attending weddings, and visiting a favorite ranch destination over three times. Aldarbi graduates in May and is very thankful for her time at Washburn and all that it has taught her.

WU welcomes new international students

Anna Ciummo

January 15, 2016

Washburn, a long-time advocate for the education of international students, has recently welcomed about 40 new students from around the world to campus.The students arrived last week and they come from about 10 different coun...