Friday, May 23, 2014

One Day in the Life of an International Student

By Mahmood Alhosni

I start my day in a shared off-campus house in the Township of Teaneck, New Jersey. The weather can get tricky and pretty cold for a guy like me, who came all the way from Oman. I chose to live off-campus, mainly because it’s cheaper and it seemed more suitable. Also, I do not need to get a car to drive to school since it is about a 10-minute walk, which I figured would be good physical exercise whenever I go out. 

So my typical day starts with a walk to school. I personally prefer to go in the morning, though most of my classes are in the afternoon. Along the way, I tend to snap a few shots of flowers blooming in the spring, snow falling in the winter, or the usual rain that visits us very very often! I love photography and very often take short errands in the area just to take photos with my camera and when I get little more time I go to New York City for a shootout.

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A view of the Hackensack River that splits the FDU Metro campus into 2 parts. Teaneck, 2013

My very first destination is usually the library, my favorite place. I can sit comfortably there at the first floor where I usually meet my friends or classmates for a chat or an assignment. I also tend to go to the library because of all the books that it has. I often feel that the books are shouting out at me to read them! Other than that, I usually have my computer with me and browse the internet and so on.

Later on, I usually go have lunch at the school cafeteria. There I meet the chef, who is an Egyptian, and we always have little chats in Arabic since it’s a common language between us. I then have lunch. Food to me does not always need to be food from my country, so I do not seek traditional food most of the time. I am content with food I find good enough to eat, which are a variety of pizzas, soups, sandwiches. 

After lunch, the library usually has some interesting activities during the afternoon. These activities range from book reviews, language corners, and book launches. I attend these whenever I feel interested. North Jersey, more or less, has some good public transportation buses, so, they are reliable most of the time. I am able to go to malls, cinemas, restaurants, and even to New York City through those buses. I usually go the city on weekends so that I can spend a good amount of time with my friends.

At the Chinese New Year Festival Parade 2014, NYC

By the end of day, after I have attended my classes and walk back home for the evening, I often find some time to go to the school gym. Most of the time I try to find all kinds of excuses not to go, so it’s a continuous battle of decision making at that point! Later in the night I chat with my close friends or call my family as it would be early morning there. That’s pretty much an outline of what goes on a typical day of my stay in the U.S.

So, I say, for future international students: an exciting adventure is awaiting you, it will only help you develop a broader understanding of the world around you, become a better person, and prepare you for an even brighter future!


Mahmood is an English-language professor in a private college in Muscat, Oman. He became a Fulbright scholar in 2012 and did his Master’s in Multi-lingual Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. He is very much interested in how people use language to communicate, and in how technology can be used to foster independent language learning. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, photography and visual arts, and learning Chinese!

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJuly 02, 2015

    Such a nice description.....this helped me as I am planning to study abroad, from SA :)


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