Statue of Liberty

Its been almost 3 month since I moved from Saudi Arabia to Boston to prepare for my grad school studies. And in any social event I attend I am asked by people about what is I do. Saying “grad student” immediately elicits the “what school?” question. Usually, it isn’t enough for me to say that I am preparing for grad school.

To people here, potential grad students have jobs while preparing their college applications and study for whatever standardized test required for acceptance. Nobody simply “prepares for grad school” and does nothing else.

So let me explain. I am here on a governmental scholarship program sponsored by the Ministry of Higher Education. The Ministry is sponsoring thousands of Saudi students each year most of which aren’t really fluent in English. So, the Ministry requires all students to take a year of English courses (since they don’t want to listen to each individual case.) In this year, students are expected to:

  • Learn English
  • Get a good score in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Get a good score in GMAT,GRE…etc
  • Get an acceptance in a good school

Luckily for me, my English is good, and I got docked 8 points out of 120 in the TOEFL (Harvard requires a 110 score.) So I’m left with the GRE exam and ultimately an acceptance at a good school.

Currently I am going to an English school in the morning to fulfill my I-20 Visa requirements, and going to start a GRE course at Kaplan in July.

Needless to say, this leaves me with a lot of free time on my hand. So what do I do during this free time? Well that requires a blogpost on its own!