Building bridges to the Middle East

Last year, I did my practicum at PSU’s Middle East Student Advisor’s Office of International Affairs. Initially, I had no idea where and what I was going to do for my practicum. I had been looking around for weeks, but it never occurred to me that I could do my practicum on campus until I crossed paths with a friend who suggested that I check out the Middle East Student Advisor’s office!
The office is located on the ground floor of East Hall, on the corner of Broadway and Hall Street. Among other things, this student center provides one-on-one advising to hundreds of Middle Eastern students every week, organizes bilingual orientations for incoming students, plans cultural events, helps students with documentation and translation, and most importantly, although not spacious itself, provides the needed space for many Middle Eastern students to feel at home. The work that is done in the office is hardly noticed, mainly because the PSU community is not familiar with this center. And this is why, you should check them out!

My appreciation for the office is that, while promoting diversity, it fosters education, integration and open dialogue with local and international students at PSU about Middle Eastern culture by building bridges of understanding and mutual respect. As I have experienced during my time there, the office does more than it can handle, and I sincerely hope that very soon the office will expand and also receive the support it needs from the PSU community, considering how much PSU itself benefits from having this office and hundreds of Middle Eastern students of all backgrounds on campus.