Nourhan from this year's EducationUSA Academy shares her favorite moments from the program and her journey from Egypt to the U.S.
NAME: Nourhan Khalil
HOMETOWN: Cairo, Egypt
PROGRAM: EducationUSA Academy
CENTER: Hi, Nourhan! How did you first hear about EducationUSA Academy at Temple?
NOURHAN: A U.S. ambassador visited my secondary school, Al Farouk Language School, asked our headmistress to recommend students who might be a good fit for the EducationUSA Academy program. My headmistress came to me and a few other girls and asked if we’d be interested. I was interested in art, so they recommended that I go to Temple University at the Tyler school.
CENTER: You were part of the new art track at Tyler this year. What have you learned so far?
NOURHAN: At my school, I didn’t get to attend many art courses. At Tyler, I got to know more about the basics of art - from ratios to picturing art in its correct dimensions. We got to work with charcoal and ink, which was the first time I got to work with these materials. I loved these styles, even though the first time I used them, I dropped ink on myself!
The artist at work.
CENTER: What languages do you speak?
NOURHAN: My mother language is Arabic, and I speak English and French.
CENTER: What’s your main goal when you enter university?
NOURHAN: In addition to art, I also love engineering, so I want to be an interior designer. It’s a combination of engineering, art and design.
CENTER: What was your first impression of the U.S.?
NOURHAN: Since this is the first time that I’ve left Egypt, alone, I felt worried at first. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get along with other students. But after spending a day here, I found that they were so welcoming. That’s what I love, especially.
CENTER: What is the best thing you’ve seen or done since you’ve been here?
NOURHAN: The best museum I visited was the Museum of Art in Philadelphia. We spent two hours there and it was great. I enjoyed Ocean City, too. Walking with the chaperones and interacting with many other native speakers from different backgrounds was really great.
Nourhan (right) and her EdUSA buddy, Nutsa (left), soak up the boardwalk experience with some ice cream.
CENTER: If I had 24 hours in Egypt, what would you tell me to do?
NOURHAN: I would love to welcome you to Egypt! There is so much to see. You can go on a cruise on the Nile River and see all the ancient pharaohs' monuments, plus the pyramids and Alexandria.
CENTER: What is your favorite food from Egypt?
NOURHAN: Koushari. It’s like macaroni and lentils and you add tomato sauce and fried onions on top. It sounds like an awkward mix, but you just have to try it!
Sometimes the most unexpected ingredients make the most delicious meals!
CENTER: Do you like any American food?
NOURHAN: I love Mexican food, tacos, pizza, noodles... I also like the hamburgers. You can get a lot of different tastes here. I’ve been eating since I came here!
CENTER: What has the experience been like sharing a dorm with students from around the world?
NOURHAN: I learned a lot. Like, in Paraguay, they speak two different languages: Spanish and Guarani. I loved the culture share where we got to share food from different countries, especially the roll cake with guava jam from Brazil.
CENTER: What would you tell other students coming to the U.S.?
NOURHAN: The people here are so welcoming and understanding. They respect that you are different and face many difficulties - you are in a new place and they accept that. Also, I would tell them that colleges here have unique teaching methods and the teachers are so patient. They try to help as much as they can. My drawing teacher, Mr. Dave was so patient with everyone and never gets bored of helping!
We're missing our EdUSA Academy students already! We can't wait to watch what's in store for them next.