American National University

Couple from Saudi Arabia Chooses to Study at ANU

Rehab Gharawi and Mohammad Alemari are a married couple from Geddh, Saudi Arabia who decided to come to American National University to improve their English skills. After completing the ESL program at the Roanoke Valley Campus, they both plan to continue their education in graduate programs in the U. S.

Before coming to ANU, Mohammad was a supervisor for a company in Saudi Arabia. He has a bachelor’s degree in human resources, and plans to earn a master’s degree in the same field. 

Rehab plans to take GRE preparatory classes, and then continue her studies to earn a graduate degree in genetics/cell development.  Her reason for entering this field is very personal as her brother is living with third degree burns on his foot, and she wants to be able to discover something to help improve his condition.

In the ESL program at ANU, Mohammad likes that the classes are very “active” and how the instructors help the students with their grammar and listening skills.  Rehab appreciates that the classes are kept small so that she receives individual attention. “You can learn a lot that way,” she explained. 

“All of the students, staff, and [instructors] are like a wonderful family.”

Mohammad and Rehab, who plan to return to Saudia Arabia after completing their education in the U.S., are encouraging their friends back home to come to ANU to study. “I’m lucky to be studying here and to live in Roanoke,” Mohammad stated. “Roanoke is very safe with friendly people,” added Rehab.

Rehab has enjoyed learning more about the culture and history of the area during the cultural immersion trips that are included in the ESL program.  The best trips that she has taken so far have been to the Safari Park in Natural Bridge, VA; Dollywood Amusement Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; and the Shrine Circus at the Berglund Center (formerly the Roanoke Civic Center). 

The couple also speaks fondly of their instructors at ANU who have gone out of their way to support them—even helping them with certain necessities while they’re living in their home away from home, such as getting a washer and dryer. This will prove to be even more helpful soon, as they couple is expecting their first child in June. “All of the students, staff, and [instructors] are like a wonderful family,” Mohammad said.

Photo-Rehab Gharawi and Mohammad Alemari are a married couple from Saudi Arabia who are studying ESL at the Roanoke Valley Campus


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