Congratulations Basel Al Mahozi from Saudi Arabia studying at Virgina Commonwealth University! You are the winner of microscholarship #5. Read Basel’s winning essay discussing if international students should be required to live on campus.
Like many international students, I came to the United States hoping I would meet a lot of people fast and live a wonderful life on campus. First thing I noticed ever since I came here is that things are expensive and not that worthy of quality. I saw the freshmen dorm and was horrified by the price and how the place looked?! Who wants to live in a place like this and pay that much, to me it was a deal breaker. I come from Saudi Arabia, that being said I didn’t live the luxurious life everyone assumes when they hear I’m from Saudi Arabia. My family is poor and divorced, so I lived in much worse places than the freshman dorm for VCU, but it was cheap and this should be understood to everybody. Also from a cultural point, we are not used to sharing the bathroom or the showering room. So it was a big “No” to my standards at that time.
So I decided to live off-campus with my friends for a shared bedroom and it was very cheap to pay. A year passed and I didn’t have any American friends or international ones either. It was hard to find people in off-campus living. The lease ended and I decided to move somewhere else, off camps too but getting an apartment with roommates instead. I now live in a considerably expensive apartment, but really worth it. Two roommates which I’m really great friends with but it’s their last year in VCU and they are about to leave soon.
So it really depends on what your priorities when you first come. Do you need to practice English? Get roommates. Are you low on funds? Live somewhere else and suffer the hard life that is far away from campus. In the end, yes I’d say live in in dorm style when you first come to the United States so it can help you meet people and practice English, but don’t you ever pay for something you don’t think it’s worth it.
Basel will receive $100 for his winning essay. This microscholarship was sponsored by Dr. David Taylor, Associate Director of the Department of Residence Services at Kent State University (photograph courtesy, the Department of Residence Services, Kent State University).