My name is Saif Khan and I’m a 22 year old International Student from London, United Kingdom and I chose the College of Charleston for my year abroad placement from August, 2017 – May, 2018. Being born and raised in the centre of a major city presented me with different opportunities that I encountered during my time in Charleston. The great weather, southern hospitality, and the community spirit of the students here were things that I wasn’t used to back at home. Studying at the College of Charleston has changed my life in so many different ways.
People often ask me if I’ve enjoyed my time in Charleston; the only reply that reflects how much I enjoyed it is to say that I would recommend it to anybody and everybody. Regardless of your background and what you are and aren’t used to. The Business School in particular is fantastic with a wide variety of courses alongside opportunities to connect with businesses and individuals outside of the classroom. From Marketing, to International Business to Entrepreneurship, there’s something for anybody that is willing to look. The teaching here focuses on actually learning the content as opposed to just passing exams and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. I have acquired valuable skills that are transferable to multiple academic courses. With the support of my professors, peers, and advisors I really feel set up for success when I do leave the College of Charleston.
Saif’s Advice to Future International Students:
– Get involved with the Cougar Ambassador programme! The uncertainty of moving to a new country, city, and culture is daunting no matter who you are. I had a million questions about Charleston and thankfully I had the pleasure of becoming paired with Alex Guerrero who was a Cougar Ambassador student volunteer. He helped me with any queries I had about the College of Charleston and life here in general. The programme was essential to me as it helped me budget, plan, and set expectations for life here. The CA programme was so important for me and above all of the help, I became friends with Alex, an incredibly selfless and inspirational person.
– Engage with the International Club! It’s important to remember that other International Students will be joining you, and especially in your first few days you’ll all have similar errands to run. The Center for International Education (CIE) is brilliant in helping you through this and you’ll soon find yourself to be friends with other International Students too. Beyond that, I have been fortunate enough to be able to go on trips organised by the CIE and the International Club Officers. The officers are incredible people and CofC students like you and I who plan get togethers and activities such as Skiing and Paddleboarding. The magnificent hard work they put in is for the benefit of all of us and you really feel a part of the community and create memories that you’ll never forget.
– Patience is a virtue. Like moving to any new place, your first few days may slightly overwhelm you but that’s all a part of the experience. It’s only a few days of uncertainty but Charleston will capture you and you’ll never look back. The food, the climate, the sights and the things to do are endless.
-Enjoy every second of it. You’ll be looking back one day and wondering where all of the time has gone. There’s something for everybody and I have yet to meet one person who hasn’t had the time of their lives.
– I’m already jealous of the time you’ll have here. I wish I could do it all over again. Good Luck and Go Cougs!
– Saif Khan, Business Information Technology exchange student from the University of Hertfordshire, UK