Class of 2014
Nutrition and Wellness Major and
Business Administration Minor
Aseel Saied, an international student from Ramallah, Palestine, loves her country and wants to give back by helping other students come to the United States to study.
"Growing up in Palestine was not easy," she said. "For the past six years, it has been getting a lot better. People are realizing that we need to stop fighting and start living. My dad always told me, ‘the fighting will not stop until we realize that we love our kids more than we hate each other.’"
Aseel began her cultural adventure by coming to the U.S. as an exchange student during her junior year in high school. Building a special relationship with her host family in San Antonio, she visits them during college breaks. "It’s great to embrace somebody from a different country," she said. "They treat me like I am their daughter."
Aseel’s journey to Bridgewater began via the Hope Fund, a Palestinian scholarship program set up by the late physics professor Fahim Qubain. Applying to the Hope Fund, an organization that places students in colleges in the U.S., Aseel was selected by BC. "I like to believe that Bridgewater picked me," said Aseel. "I am glad I am here."
Her favorite aspect of study in the U.S. has been the approach to learning, which she has found to be particularly true at BC. She appreciates that it goes beyond memorizing textbook concepts to include applying concepts into real life.
"It is difficult being apart from family," said Aseel, "but you get used to it." Her parents, a newspaper journalist and elementary school teacher, are very supportive in making sure she receives the best education possible. "My family is backing me 100 percent," Aseel said. "We know I am here to get a better education, so they support that very much."
Thanks to modern technology, Aseel Skypes her mom almost every day. "You need that connection with the language and the events back home," she said. "I am so involved in everything here I kind of forget sometimes. It is good to connect with somebody back home."
A nutrition and wellness major, Aseel plans to continue her education and become a registered dietitian. In the future, she would like to open a health and exercise business in her home country with her sister, who plans on majoring in physical education.
Aseel enjoys sharing her culture with other students. At Bridgewater, she helps teach an Arabic class and participated in a convocation on the conflict between Palestine and Israel. In addition, she actively participates in the International Club and the Multicultural Leadership Program and works at the Center for Cultural Engagement.