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I have had many interesting experiences throughout my academic career though when I reflect on my past one seems to stand out the most After completing high school in my home country Saudi Arabia I received a full scholarship to New Zealand to study English for three months This experience stands out the most to me because of the surprises I had encountered when seeing how the academic and cultural aspects of such a westernized country seemed to be more middle eastern then my ownIn Saudi Arabia teachers always wanted to make our journey for learning as easy as possible In controversy to what many people may think the teachers in our schools aimed to make our classes as easy as possible so it would be easy for all students to understand and learn without difficulty We would always have access to their office whenever they were available sometimes even while they would be teaching another class After graduating high school with excellent grades I traveled to New Zealand with my father who was in the midst of pursuing his doctoral studies There I found myself unprepared for the tough university level of education that was soon to come On top of that the academic environment in New Zealand was not what I had expected Instead of being very laid-back it was much more serious and competitive I was lucky to have met some Middle Eastern students that were top students in the university however they would spend the majority of their time studying or alone in the library Even during special holidays like Eid the students would study late and only after their work was completed they would go home to celebrate with family The professors were very strict and uncooperative with their students leaving a lack of communication between one another Before actually entering the university in New Zealand I
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