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  • Emily Mcintosh

Nour Althauwaini: "Be comfortable in your own skin. Being different is a blessing. Cherish it."


Nour Althauwaini

  • Senior, Petroleum Engineering

  • Missouri University of Science & Technology

  • From — Kuwait City, Kuwait

Interesting things about Nour —

  • Nour “just wants to be successful”

  • Loves to solve problems and so wanted to go into engineering

  • Wanted to get into medicine initiallyStarted her bachelor’s in Architectural Engineering

  • Did not like Architectural Engineering

  • Feels there are too many preconceived notions about the field of Architectural Engineering

  • Moved to Petroleum Engineering, which she loves!






What did you not like with Architectural Engineering?

  • I did not like the math side of it

  • There were not a lot of International Students

  • I did not see myself doing this as a career in my lifeThe field of petroleum engineering is dominated by men and I wanted to make a difference



What gave you the idea to come to the US?

  • My grandfather has a Master’s and PhD from the US

  • I grew up hearing his stories about his hard work and how he built his way up

  • He went to the US without knowing english and still became successful

  • That inspired me to come to the US and my grandfather is my role model


How did you perception change about the US once you came to the US?

  • I started by getting into an English Program at UCLA

  • I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this but my brother was absolutely sure that he wanted to study in the US

  • So, I just followed my brother because he was so persistence

  • I wasn’t sure if everyone here would accept me or not

  • But I want to say that “don’t overthink it”….. “untie yourself”

  • There are a lot of people who would like you and if there are people who don’t understand then there are others who will like you

  • Don’t be reserved. Go out, talk to others. Be comfortable within your own skin

  • Make the most of the opportunity of coming this far, go meet as many different people as you can

  • Personally, the first year was very hard for me because all I would do is go to school and come back home because no one looked like me

  • But with International Students Club (ISC), I was able to open up to other students because we had one thing in common, we were all foreigners

  • You should come and explore others who don’t look or talk like you. And tell them about your own country.

  • Being different is a blessing, you should cherish it



Once you had decided to come to the US, what was the process like?

  • I could have either taken IELTS or join an English Program

  • I decided to go into the English Program and test the waters

  • I stayed at UCLA for the English program for a quarter

  • I applied to multiple schools and then came to the first school that I got accepted into

  • I was very excited to hear that it snows in Rolla



Do you think having a good fit with a university is more important than just the rank of the university?

  • When you go to a small university you’d be able to find a lot more opportunities

  • I started a club for Kuwaiti students, and I don’t think I could have done this at a bigger campus

  • I was a factor in creating this club and I am proud of what I could achieve

  • If I had gone to a bigger campus, I think I would not have been able to get these opportunities.



What recommendations would you have for aspiring students?

  • Do your research

  • It can be overwhelming but it’s very important

  • Don’t just read about the school, read about the city as well

  • Reach out and ask students who are already in the school

  • Know the numbers and know if it safe or not, know about the rent, facilities etc.

  • The best way to get the information about the school is to have a list of the most basic questions. It’s very important to know about the things that you might just assume wrongly.



Looking back, what is the one thing that you’d change?

  • I would take more time in the English language center

  • So, don’t rush. Take your time

  • I would also read about other schools and not just jump at the first opportunity



Where are you heading after graduation?

  • I’d be done by Fall, 2020

  • I want to go back to Kuwait and apply for a job

  • Petroleum Engineering jobs are very competitive and so I want to focus on my grades and get a good job back home



Have more questions for Nour. She'd love to answer those for you. Please post them in the comment section below👇.