Not the Saudi Arabia You Hear About

More than 100,000 young Saudis are currently studying in the United States, and this population is seen by many as a positive force that will inevitably catalyze change in conservative Saudi society. 

Stefanie Hausheer, Assistant Director for Programs at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, notes the immense impact of cultural exchange on Saudi students in her article titled, “Not the Saudi Arabia You Hear About: The Students Abroad Factor.” But conversations with students, administrators, and teachers reveal that these youth face a number of challenges that hinder their engagement in cultural and knowledge exchange programs. The US and Saudi governments, ESL centers, and universities need to do a better job strategically marshaling resources and developing targeted programs to ensure that Saudis have the best experience possible during their study abroad. In this way, Saudi students can leave with a first-rate education, a deeper understanding of US culture and values, and lifelong friendships. Read more of her article here.

Image: Saudi exchange students. (Photo: SUSRIS)