Alumni Spotlight: Jordan

Lina AlSarayreh attending an exchange alumni event at the U.S Embassy in Amman, Jordan

Hello! My name is Lina AlSarayreh, from Amman, Jordan. I am an alum of the Global UGRAD 2022/2023 Exchange Program and attended Portland State University (PSU) during the fall 2022 semester.

Having to return home after such an enriching exchange program experience and readjust to my old routine was quite difficult at first. I was still overwhelmed by all the feelings I had after saying goodbye to all of my friends and a long flight. However, I was filled with joy and excitement as I successfully finished the program, learned invaluable information that broadened my aspirations, and engaged in many unique opportunities.  

Lina AlSarayreh volunteering at a local elementary school in Portland, Oregon

Slowly, those feelings of unsureness faded away as I stayed in touch with most of my friends in the United States and my other international friends, who left to their home countries, through social media. I even got to see some of my PSU friends and my former roommate graduate through the online broadcast of the commencement ceremony. It was beautiful! I felt so excited to go back to my home campus at the University of Jordan and tell all of my friends about my Global UGRAD experience. I even talked to my professors about the courses I took and the numerous museums I visited. At my university, I became a volunteer at the “American Corner,” where I lead conversation sessions to students and share advice to TOEFL test takers. At the corner, there are lot of useful resources and brochures that contain information about several scholarships that are offered by the U.S. Government. In the near future, I would like to give a small lecture talking about the Global UGRAD Program once applications open later this year. My goal for the upcoming semester is to mimic some of the social events I participated in at PSU and try to recreate them at my home university.

Lina AlSarayreh celebrating Thanksgiving in the United States

Finally, the highlight of my summer was officially becoming an exchange alum and being invited to an alumni networking event held by the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan. At this event, I met a Global UGRAD alum who participated in the program 10 years ago! I loved learning about the different programs alumni participated in and listening to their wonderful stories. Of course, I talked about my incredible experience in Portland, Oregon, as well as my trip to Washington, D.C. with all of my UGRAD friends for the Global UGRAD End of Program Workshop.