I am Sara Azzuni, and my keyboard scrolls from right to left. This is because I used to write in Arabic, which starts from the right of the page! This is not the only noticeable thing.Attending Goshen College wasn’t easy for me; I have worked very hard to be here. But here I am! I thought that once I reached this place, life would be a bed of roses for me, but unfortunately it wasn’t. I have started facing the struggles. Once they put me down, and now I put them down instead.
My poor English language proficiency made me sick in my first days in GC. I still can’t communicate well with others, because I can’t always catch all the words in a conversation. Now imagine adding this to studying biology and chemistry in a language other than your mother tongue! Don’t try this. Believe me, it’s horrible. I used to translate all the lectures or pages of the book to get the point of the lessons.
Sometimes I forget to switch languages! Once, I was talking with my brother in Arabic and one of my friends entered the room and started to talk with me. I told my brother to wait in English, and I answered the girl in Arabic! And my friend was like, “what?” It was funny. We laughed about this a lot. I have to switch my mind before talking with others.
The other thing which shocked me after a while is that the big differences between my culture and the culture here. It is embarrassing when a guy raises his hand for a handshake. Then I need to apologize as nicely as possible and explain to him that I can’t be in physical contact with males because of my religious tradition. So I can’t shake hands back.
FOOD! The most important thing in life, as all of you know. The good thing is that people in the Rott know that I can’t eat pork, so they just tell me whenever there is pork in the menu. And I really like the food here.
To be honest, most of the people at GC understand the differences in my religion, culture and language. My Goshen College family has accepted as I am and they are cheering me on! Many friends and fellow international students helped me a lot. People are friendly, lovely and easy to talk with.
Thank you for listening to me, accepting me and helping me. I love you, Goshen College.