International Student Najla Alkhaldi

Majors: Pre-business and international studies
Minor: Communication studies
Home country: Saudi Arabia

Why the UO? What attracted me to the UO was the beautiful campus, good sports, and that it had one of the best business programs in the country. The people are so friendly here, and, for me, being so new to the country, I felt like Eugene was home.

Getting Ready: It’s amazing: I want to do everything, but I don’t have the time. On top of my two majors and minor, I’ve been studying French and working toward an international business communication certificate. I want to do as much as possible to build the best foundation for my future.

Hurdles: The language was the biggest challenge for me to overcome. In Arabic, I can read 50 pages in an hour; in English, I can only finish 15. But the professors have been so supportive and accommodating, helping by rescheduling tests and explaining the material.

Proud Accomplishments: I founded the Women’s Affairs Club under the Saudi Student Association. When I came here, I noticed that there weren’t any programs for Saudi women. I felt we needed a club that helps new Saudi female students build a community and get to know the area. After a year, I was so excited to receive an appreciation certificate from the UO.

The UO Community: My friends who have moved away from Eugene have said that they really miss it and the UO, and they come to visit on their vacations. The International Student Orientation program has also been amazing! I joined last year and met at least 60 people from other countries. It allowed me to reach out to incoming students and help them get acquainted with the area and the campus.

What’s Next? I plan to pursue a graduate degree and eventually work as a professor at a university. I also hope to work abroad.