Communication Sample Essay on Persuasive Presentation about Saudi Students in US

Persuasive Presentation about Saudi Students in US

            I would like to address the plight experienced by foreign students, especially those who come from the Arabic countries, when they enroll to study in America through the international students’ initiatives. America is one of the best countries that offer quality education in the world based on the skills and real time education[1]. In light of this, Saudi Arabia created a scholarship titled Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) that enables scholars to school in the United States to better their living standards[2]. To quench our thirst for education, we decided to capitalize on this opportunity to get a chance to better our lives by studying in America. However, things differ from our expectations upon arrival on the American soil. In connection to this, I am going to highlight the various challenges students from Saudi Arabia endure, and the probable solutions that can regulate this behavior.

            According to Aruajo, an international students’ initiative was spurred in America in the 1950s, when there was an influx of students travelling to seek education[3]. Therefore, the exodus of people from the Middle East to North America started quite early; hence, it is not a new idea. However, immediately we step our foot in America, problems and difficulties start to crop up. For example, culture conflict is a major challenge that I personally experienced when I joined the institution for higher learning. It is quite obvious that most of the students from Saudi Arabia are Muslim and practice Islamic culture. On the contrary, Americans and most of the inhabitants are Christians; hence, we differ in our beliefs. This is notable especially on our national holidays such as Eid El-Fitr, where nobody seems to be interested unlike Christian holidays where there is a lot of hullabaloo and excitement. Secondly, most of the western world, people have a negative perception about people who come from Islam community.  Since most of the terrorist attacks perpetrators are associated with Islam, we experience isolation from our peers due to this assumption. There is a queer assumption that since you are a Muslim from Saudi Arabia there is a chance you own a weapon. Thirdly, we do not have official representation in the American society or the institutions to be more specific, other than our students’ associations at the universities. This is a big blow to the Arabic students since we cannot air out our grievances due to lack of representation. In connection to this, our visas are restricted hence most of our times and activities are limited to the institutions.

            Stereotype is another major challenge that is endured by Saudi Arabian students in the US[4]. Both students and administrators find themselves segregated us in one way or another and sometimes without their consent. For example, if an international student is willing to change a course from engineering to communication studies, he or she receives unfavorable reception. The administrators will advise a student to stick to the initial course, because one is not familiar with the English language. The main question is whether English is the only language that can be employed in communication skills. Still on the language issue, students also face a challenge due to language barrier. They experience difficulties when conversing with other students. This forces Arabic students to assimilate the American culture or else they face seclusion. Although there is no discrimination by the Americans, some seclusion acts lowers our self esteem and confidence. This results to homesickness and feelings of alienation among the Arabic students. Finally, Al-Jasir asserts that Saudi Arabian students in the United States have difficulties in adjusting in academic related factors[5]. The education system back at home differs from the education system in America posing a challenge to us.

            However, these challenges can be handled by developing effective strategies to tackle them. To start with, the United States government can organize with the higher learning institutions to appoint official presenters of the Saudi Arabia students[6]. Secondly, language barrier can be dealt with by introducing preliminary language courses to the Arabic students to ease their conversation with other students. Similarly, the institution can introduce a course related to culture conflict that will create awareness of the rest of the institution on the importance of appreciating each other’s culture. The media can also give a hand in handling this issue by preaching positivity towards one another in a move to end negative perception and assumptions. The SACM initiative has a role to play in ensuring that its beneficiaries do not experience difficulties in their respective institutions. SACM can introduce a conference to students who wish to join universities in America after the intake[7]. This conference can be used as a platform for orientation about the education system, culture and language. In addition, they can offer motivational talks to encourage students to avoid the problem of culture shock and experiencing homesickness. In conclusion, I would like to appreciate SACM and the United States government for giving us this opportunity and despite the few challenges I highlighted, we are still motivated to study.

Bibliography

Al-Jasir, A. Social, cultural, and academic factors associated with adjustment of Saudi students in the United States (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, (1993). IL.

 Araujo, A. de. Adjustment issues of international students enrolled in American colleges and universities: A review of the literature. Higher Education Studies, (2011) 1(1).

Grant, Marcia A. “Challenges of Introducing Liberal Arts Education for Women in the Middle East.” The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs 37.2 (2013): 15-24. ProQuest. Web. 25 Mar. 2014

Katz, Eve. “International Students in U.S. Boarding Schools.” International Educator 17.5 (2008): 46-9. ProQuest. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

Lin, Shu-Yuan, EdD., and Susan Day Scherz EdD. “Challenges Facing Asian International Graduate Students in the US: Pedagogical Considerations in Higher Education.” Journal of International Students 4.1 (2014): 16-33. ProQuest. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.


[1] Grant, Marcia A. “Challenges of Introducing Liberal Arts Education for Women in the Middle East.” The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs 37.2 (2013): 15-24. ProQuest. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

[2] Ibid

[3] Araujo, A. de. Adjustment issues of international students enrolled in American

colleges and universities: A review of the literature. Higher Education Studies, (2011) 1(1).

[4] ibid

[5] Al-Jasir, A. Social, cultural, and academic factors associated with adjustment

of Saudi students in the United States (Unpublished doctoral dissertation).

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, . (1993). IL.

[6] Lin, Shu-Yuan, EdD., and Susan Day Scherz EdD. “Challenges Facing Asian International Graduate Students in the US: Pedagogical Considerations in Higher Education.” Journal of International Students 4.1 (2014): 16-33. ProQuest. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

[7] Katz, Eve. “International Students in U.S. Boarding Schools.” International Educator 17.5 (2008): 46-9. ProQuest. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.