Atiqa Mohsin thought she had missed her window of opportunity to study abroad at Rochester Institute of Technology’s campus in the United States. Mohsin, a fifth-year electrical engineering student from Pakistan who studies at RIT Dubai, applied to come to the U.S. in the fall of 2020 through RIT’s Global Scholars Program, but the program was cancelled last year due to global travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mohsin’s faculty at RIT Dubai urged her to apply again this year, but she tried not to get her hopes up. She knew that a sudden outbreak or change of policy could throw a wrench into her plans, so she kept her plans quiet until she set foot on American soil.
“Many of my friends didn’t know I was in the U.S. until I took a picture of the tiger statue and sent it to them,” said Mohsin. “Until I was standing at JFK Airport, I was so sure that something was going to happen and they would send me back home.”
Mohsin is one of dozens of RIT students once again crisscrossing the globe this year for in-person international education experiences. Thirteen students from RIT’s campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai, and Kosovo and 11 students from RIT’s international exchange partners came to study at RIT’s campus in Rochester this fall through the Global Scholars Program. Meanwhile, 16 students from RIT’s Rochester campus have headed off for study abroad experiences across the world.
Mohsin said that spending the year at the U.S. campus will allow her to explore a wider range of elective classes and extracurricular activities. She said she is excited to take specialized courses in psychology and communication that are not available at the Dubai campus and that she is interested in exploring clubs and activities varying from the archery club to Reporter Magazine.
Above all else, she said she is looking forward to learning about a different culture.
“One of the things I would really like to do is understand the culture and people here,” said Mohsin. “It’s so different from my country. The expressions are so different and vibrant. When I talk to people, I can feel their personalities through their words and what they wear.”
“I want to try to learn the skill of communicating effectively in a way that makes the other person happy. The way people I’ve met on campus so far talk back and forth is so nice to hear. It’s something I admire.”
And when asked if she had any reservations about enduring the harsh Rochester winter weather, she did not flinch.
“I’m so excited for it,” said Mohsin. “I come from a desert; I have known nothing but the sun. I want to know a different season. I want to see snow and rain. I know I’ll hate it, I know I’ll probably get sick, but I don’t care. I want to see and experience it.”
To learn more about RIT’s international education opportunities, go to the RIT Global website.