The Warner School boasts a healthy diverse student population with 25% of its 650 students coming from outside of the U.S.
Today, I’m posting an interview with Noha Mahmoud, one of Warner’s international students.
Hi, I am Noha Mahmoud, a teaching assistant at Alexandria Medical School in Egypt and I am here at Warner school to study for my master degree in Health profession education. Back home, my school is ranked within the ten best medical schools in the Middle East. I studied medicine for seven years, however, after finishing my undergrad study, I chose to become an educator rather than a clinician, so I chose the specialty of health profession education. Now, I work as a teaching assistant in medical education department which is responsible for designing and evaluating the educational systems for medical schools and other health related professions. One of the requirements for my job is to have master’s degree and since health profession education is a new specialty in Egypt, I had to search for the degree outside my country and this is why I applied to Warner school.
How I chose Warner school…
First, I looked through FAIMER (Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research), a web site which enlisted all the master degrees in health professions around world and since I had scholarship from USAID, I had to choose a master program that fits the scholarship criteria which are: full- time degree and face-to-face program in the US. A friend’s recommendation also played a part in my decision in choosing Warner school; my friend told me that it is very good program from the academic perspective and Warner school also provides support for international students.
How is the Warner education experience different or similar to what you are used to?
I think studying at Warner is completely different experience for me. Back home we did not have such a student centered experience. Here, most of the courses depend on what you think and feel and the teaching pedagogy depends on the reflection and critical thinking rather than memorization of factual knowledge like the way we teach in my country. Here, most of the classes provide safe environment for all students (domestic and international) to express their opinion without fear of being judged or criticized and that we mostly lack in my country. The group work is also an integral part in the pedagogy in Warner school and I believe this good thing to learn how to work with different people and to learn to listen and accept their opinions. I know students that are used to learning in teacher centered systems like me can find it hard at the beginning to reflect and tell what do you really think however, with practice you can be good at reflection and participating in class discussion.
What I hope to get from my time here to Warner…
On the personal level, I hope my experience here will help me to change into better person, I hope that I will become more open to the different cultures, to express myself in a better way,to become less shy. I hope to learn how I can work with people from different backgrounds and different personalities.
On the academic level, I hope that being here would help me to be open to new ways of teaching and I hope that my experience here will help me to develop more skills about teaching and designing educational programs. I hope that I can develop more my skills in reflection and critical skills. Finally, I hope that at the end of my study in here, I can be a competent educator to make change in my institution back home.
What suggestions do you have for other international students that are coming to Warner?
My suggestion is that they should not be closed-minded and instead be open to different cultures and they should make friend with domestic and other international students. Having friends in here is very helpful on the academic and social bases. Secondly, If they do not have a background in academic writing, they should use the writing support system or have a “writing buddy,” a domestic or international students to help them with writing and organizing ideas. I would also say they should not be stressed about their academic performance because a lot of instructors and professors are really accepting and appreciating the fact that international students have some linguistic and cultural barriers and they will help you pass through a lot of difficulties. Finally, you will enjoy your study here in Warner.
The last thing that I want to add is that Warner school provides good support to international students and this could be seen in providing housing for graduate students which is very important especially to international students. It also accepts all the different religions and cultures without discrimination and I believe this could help international students to be less stressed up to know they will study in such safe and welcoming environment.