Omani student dreams for a brighter future

Fatma Al-Sharji
Age: 22
HOME: MUSCAT, OMAN
MAJOR: CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
HOBBIES: READING, WATCHING TELEVISION
FAVORITE SAYING: “YOU ARE IN THE WEST AND I AM IN THE EAST. I AM AT THE NORTH POLE AND YOU ARE AT THE SOUTH POLE.”

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Her dream from middle school was to study abroad. It didn’t matter if it was in Europe, the United States or South America.

Fatma Al-Sharji was given a scholarship to study abroad by her country’s government in 2012. She arrived at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln later that year.

“It wasn’t easy at first. There were a lot of English courses I had to take to get into the program here,” she said.

International students are required to pass an entrance exam. Al-Sharji didn’t pass the exam at first so she decided to take an intense session of English classes. She didn’t take the exam a second time but was admitted because of the different English classes she took.

She became of full time student at UNL in the spring of 2013.

Her first few years on campus were difficult she said. Her drive to complete her degree only grew after the first two years because of her family’s support back home.

“My dad told me, focus on your dreams and don’t let the distractions get in your way,” Al-Sharji said.

Focus on her dreams is exactly what she has done. Al-Sharji hopes to graduate in May of 2018 despite the challenges of English as a second language and being away form home for three years.

“I regret (studying abroad) sometimes but my family keeps me honed in,” Al- Sharji said. “My parents have a vision, the same vision as me. To succeed.”

Going into her final year of school, Al-Sharji said that she is excited to go back home and get into the workforce.

“I want to work with water, not oil. It can be difficult for women to spend days in the desert working outside,” Al-Sharji said. “You move around every few weeks for oil. I want to stay in the same place, maybe in the city.”

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