Fulbright scholar and teacher
Meet Rawia Kharruba. Kharruba, 23, is a Fulbright participant from Tripoli, Libya, who attends classes at The University and holds the position of this year’s teacher’s assistant for Arabic Language classes.
Kharruba received her bachelor’s degree in translation with a minor in English from The University of Tripoli. She also worked as a translator with the United Nations embassy in Libya.
As soon as Kharruba arrived in Scranton in September, she registered for The University’s class “Women and Social Change,” as she dedicates her spare time to researching feminism in Libya, the United States and on a global spectrum.
Kharruba plans to work toward her MBA and she hopes to return to The University for her post-bachelor’s studies.
She took a few business classes this semester at The University to prepare for her future studies.
So far, Kharruba has visited Washington D.C., New York, Maine, Boston, Florida and Ohio.
Kharruba said that in the beginning of her Fulbright year she had a difficult time transitioning into her life in the United States and found herself feeling homesick. However, once she settled into her classes, she began to feel more at home. She became more sociable with students and faculty and she adapted to life on and off of The University campus.
“In adjusting to (American culture) it was most interesting to realize how friendly American citizens really are,” Kharruba said.
Kharruba said that one of her challenges was being friendly with her students while still keeping a professional distance.
During her time in the United States, Kharruba said that she learned a great deal about American culture during Thanksgiving and Easter when families welcomed her into their homes to celebrate with them.
“I felt so welcomed by everyone,” Kharruba said. “I saw so many similarities between Islam and Christianity in how they celebrate holidays.”
In terms of negative aspects of American culture, Kharruba said that she wishes Americans knew more about the Arab world.
Kharruba extended some advice to future Fulbright participants.
“Check the weather before applying to a school,” she said, “Don’t think too much about home, enjoy life while here, and get a social life instead of spending too much time working.”