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International student stories

International Student Stories

International Student Stories seeks to recognize the day-to-day challenges that international students face, while highlighting the resilience that international students display in overcoming them.


Fatma Alkhamees

When COVID-19 shook the world and forced borders to close, Fatma, an international student, had to stay in the US, over 15 hours away from her parents and support system. Listen to her story to hear how she was able to find a support system at the UW and get through unprecedented times.


Bryce Wagner

Bryce’s identity is hard to define. As a Swiss-American who grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, Bryce faced many challenges in understanding his own identity as he moved to study at UW. Listen to this episode to learn how Bryce has come to accept his identity as a global citizen.


Naisha Sachdev

As an international student, Naisha has faced the challenges of culture shock, finding a community, and adapting to a new environment. But things got significantly harder for her during the COVID-19 pandemic, where time differences in instruction left her feeling tired, isolated, and frustrated. Learn how Naisha overcame these struggles by joining new clubs and representing her country through dance.


Vikram Guhan

Vikram was born in America, but grew up in India. He grew up speaking Hindi, watching Bollywood movies, and listening to Indian songs. So when he moved to the US to attend the UW, he asked himself “Am I Indian or American?”. Hear how Vikram made friends and learned more about the world, ultimately leading him to embrace both of his identities while broadening his worldview in the process.


Luiz Fernando Saade

“I don’t want to go back to Seattle. Should I just stay in Rio?”. When Luiz was a freshman, he faced challenges finding a community and support system at the UW. But those days are now long gone. Learn how Luiz stepped out of his comfort zone, eventually making Seattle his home through his long-time participation in Unite UW, a cultural exchange program on campus.


Pum Lamsam and Aries Wanbunyen

For our Valentine’s Day episode, learn how Pum and Aries, both students from Thailand, were able to bond over their shared inability to find a dorm to stay in. After getting to know each other, both decided to join the Thai Student Association, where they expanded their social circles, explored their interests, and ultimately found love with one another.


Tiffany Tian

Tiffany is an international student from Beijing, China. When she moved to the US in high school, she was one of the only international students at her school and lacked any representation from her home country. Listen to this episode to learn how Tiffany represented herself by getting connected with different clubs and activities, now leading as the Vice President of the International Student Mentorship Program and WEGET magazine.


Maha AlHomoud

Maha AlHomoud is an international student from Saudi Arabia and an undergraduate student in Political Economy at the UW. A cancer survivor and leader in the international student community, Maha spends her time advocating for international student inclusion and representation through her involvement in ASUW, where she hopes to establish the first ASUW International Student Office of Advocacy and Engagement.