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English Programs for Internationals


Student Profile

Meet Mohammed Albasri

Mohammed was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His family moved to Al Jubail soon after he was born. Mohammed was almost 18 when he arrived in Columbia. His father encouraged him to come to the United States to get an education. Mohammed came to the University of South Carolina because a friend of a relative lived in Columbia and the friend recommended EPI.

When Mohammed arrived, he had no knowledge of English. He relied on his Saudi friends to translate everything to him. After six months of living in a world of translation, Mohammed’s friend announced that he was not going to translate anything anymore. At first Mohammed was upset, but in retrospect, it was the best thing that ever happened to him. Mohammed had to survive on his own. He had to start living in English.

Mohammed decided to start making friends with students in EPI who did not speak Arabic. Slowly his communication skills got better. He used to think of himself as a shy person, but soon he found that he could be more talkative. He did his best to communicate in English. He made friends quickly and now he thinks of everyone at EPI as part of his extended family.

“EPI is like a home without doors. My mind was covered. A lid was taken off. EPI has opened my idea of the word.”

In the future Mohammed hopes to study at the University of South Carolina. He wants to study Mechanical Engineering.

He thinks Columbia is a great place to live.  

“There is plenty to do here. You just have to take advantage of all the opportunities available to you, even if you are only here for one term.
There is so much here, you’ll never find this anywhere else.”


Author: Bronia Holmes