by Dalal Boland
For nearly 4 years now, I have been teaching English to native Arabic speakers in a Kuwait college. From covering different content to teaching grammar and vocab, I knew that my job title of “assistant teacher” was only temporary. I always recognized my studies at Florida State University to be the first chapter of pursuing an even higher education: my doctoral degree. The educational facility that I work in allows their employees to apply for a scholarship grant after 2 years of being a teacher. In the spring of 2017, I was eligible to apply. I was fortunate enough to be one of the candidates to obtain a Ph.D. scholarship. Earning that scholarship was only the beginning of all the hard work that I had to do. I had to look for accredited universities in the USA and apply to them. Before that, however, I had to have an idea of what my future dissertation was going to be about (which at that time, I had none!). What follows is how I decided to return to Florida for my PhD.
Where to Begin?
The Kuwait Cultural Office of the Kuwait Embassy is an institution located in Washington, D.C. It has the purpose of promoting higher education plans for future Kuwait students who have the intention of attending school in the USA. In other words, if anyone intends to go to an American university, he/she needs to check whether their school meets the regulations offered by the cultural office.
My first step was to access that website in order to look for accredited universities that offer the program that I wanted to apply to. The Kuwait Cultural Office’s information can be accessed through www.kuwaitculture.com. After doing my research, I managed to come up with a list. There were 16 universities that offered my program and complied with the regulations. After writing down that list, I then had to apply. I decided to read some research in order to determine the focus of my future dissertation. After applying to the 16 universities, all in different states, I was finally accepted into several.
Final Decision to Return to Florida for my PhD
I decided to choose the University of South Florida, Tampa, majoring in curriculum and instruction (English Education). I chose USF due to its remarkable print in the field of education. Also, I liked it because Tampa is located in the heart of Florida! When the immigration documents were issued, it was then time to have my F-1 visa issued.
If I were to talk about how I feel about my acceptance to USF and having to move back to the States, I would have to say that I feel a bit overwhelmed! I am so excited to take on this next chapter of my life. It’s my big return to Florida for my PhD. It will be the second chapter of the “million miles dream” that I talked about in my very first post. Despite the anxious feelings, I am ready for my adventure in Tampa to begin! School doesn’t start until August 20th. I am scheduled to arrive in the US on August 3rd. This means I should have plenty of time to prepare. I can’t wait for that day to come!