By Hunter Boschert
This week the International Student Spotlight is following Rashed Mohammed, a junior respiratory therapy major, who is over 7,100 miles away from his home in Saudi Arabia. Rashed was born in the state of AlQassim, about two hours from where his parents and three siblings live now. Currently, the Mohammed family resides in the capital city of Riyadh, the largest city in Saudi Arabia with a population of more than 6,500,000 that is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula.
Q: What are you involved in on Bellarmine’s campus?
A: Respiratory Therapy Club, Multicultural Association of Pre-Health Students and the International Club
Q: What has been your favorite Bellarmine-hosted event?
A: Homecoming was my favorite event because it allowed me to travel off campus to explore Louisville, and because it was a formal event that required a formal dress code.
Q: What do you miss most about being home?
A: I mostly miss my his family and friends, but some days I really miss the cuisine of my home country.
Q: What is your favorite U.S. city?
A: New York City is my favorite U.S. city. I have friends there and I visit them every Christmas to spends time with them during the holidays. I has been to New York three times and look forward to my next trip there in December when I will also get to travel to Washington D.C.
Q: What is your favorite hide-away in Louisville?
A: I frequent the Starbucks location at the Baxter-Bardstown Triangle. You can find me there studying, hanging out with friends, and enjoying my favorite drink a White Chocolate Mocha.
Q: Why did you choose to come to America and more specifically Bellarmine?
A: I thought that America would be a great option since it is a “melting pot of cultures,” therefore I thought it would be easy for me to fit in. I chose Bellarmine because of the adept Respiratory Therapy program. Since it is important to make sure the city you are moving to has all the amenities you need as an international student. I thought Louisville would be a good choice due to the international airport, making travel a smoother process.
Q: Is America what you expected it to be like?
A: Louisville is a “great representation” of what I thought America would be like because it reminds me of what “you see in the movies.” Louisville is a fairly large city, but if you travel just a short distance you can be in the country and “experience a whole new culture.“
Q: What social custom do you find the strangest?
A: It took me a long time to learn that Americans expect you to open gifts and presents in front of them as soon as they are presented. In my home country of Saudi Arabia, if someone gives you a present or gift you wait and open it after that person leaves.
Q: What is your favorite American food?
A: I love cheeseburgers with everything on them!
Q: Do you plan on staying in Louisville after graduation?
A: If I enjoy my clinical rotation, then I would like to stay working here in Louisville for about a year before heading back to Saudi Arabia to be reunited with my family.