Abdalla Najjar Makes the Most of the U.S. Semester
Despite surprises, differences, and challenges, the U.S. semester surely provides a valuable experience for students who take advantage of the opportunity. From opening doors wide to discovering new cultures and gaining a global perspective, to fostering personal developments bringing out the students’ independent nature, a semester in the U.S. is indeed a one-of-its-kind experience in students’ life. LAU-MEPI TL student Abdalla Najjar from Libya joined Kent State University (KSU) in fall 2021 and was keen to embark on this international adventure with a determination to grasp as many new learnings as possible from this experience that he describes as pivotal. While the semester entails a maximum academic load on international students, Najjar was in good academic standing that allowed him to participate in a variety of co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Najjar joined the KSU speech and debate club where he partook in two online, regional tournaments that were hosted in Indiana and Texas. During the tournaments, he was asked to debate and speak of different issues that are of great concern to today’s world, such as hacktivism, universal basic income, and the spread of disinformation to mention just a few. Although he did not win first place, he placed 7th in the finals list in one of the tournaments thanks to his great debate delivery, proper body language, and appealing mannerisms… Additionally, Najjar is planning to partake in a regional conference in Michigan as part of the KSU model North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) club. alongside his teammates, he would be debating with a variety of students from different universities on some of the most pressing issues that are facing NATO today. But that is not all, as Najjar made sure to “save room for dessert” through participating in a variety of entertaining activities: He joined the Irish dance club and participated in the homecoming parade in downtown Kent, where he and the club members danced in front of the locals and university students; Najjar also joined the gun club with an attempt to explore one aspect of American culture. He managed to partake in a shooting range activity and a paintball event. Najjar believes that spending a semester in the U.S. is a unique opportunity and knows that there are great opportunities over there that allow students to flourish on different aspects and levels. Najjar shows gratitude and appreciation to MEPI that offered him the best educational learning opportunities.