UK welcomes Omani students

By Kayla Pickrell

UK is one of the first schools in the nation to welcome Omani students to campus this semester.

Fifty students from Oman began their education at UK during the last couple weeks. Most arrived on Oct. 23.

“It is hard to leave your country,” Hussein Al Lawati, a freshman mechanical engineering major, said. “But everyone here is wonderful and loves to help you.”

While students are adjusting at UK, so are 450 other Omani students in different states.

“There are many of us who know English very well, but there are others that are not as fluent,” Ghaith Al-Nahwi, a freshman mechanical engineering major, said. “That is why we do ESL (English as a Second Language) classes for a year.”

The ESL class is for international students in their first year in the U.S. to learn English fluently.

After that first year, international students are eligible to start their major. They must make a “B” in the class or receive a 527 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language to start their major, Hilal Al- Barwani, a freshman chemical engineering major, said.

Majors accepted include mechanical, petroleum, and chemical engineering.

Omani students have many adjustments to make regarding classes. In Oman, students have to wear full dress and they have no option of leaving class early, Al Lawati said.

“The teachers are so nice here,” Al Lawati said.

Another adjustment is the weather. In Oman, the weather is sunny and usually in the 120 degree range.

“I have to wear so many layers to go to class,” Ahmed Al-Zadjali, a freshman petroleum engineering major, said. “I’m just not used to the weather being so cold.”

Even though the weather is not exactly up to par, Omani students are enjoying the university. “It is beautiful here,” Al Lawati said. “We love UK.”