Fulbright scholar comes from Iraq to study at Marywood

Dr. Amir Alakaam takes care of a small patient. Dr. Alakaam, a current nutrition major, is changing his field of expertise by studying at Marywood. Photo courtesy of Dr. Amir Alaakam.

Alison Trautmann

Dr. Amir Alakaam, a doctor from Iraq, gained a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Mary­wood. He is studying to gain his masters in Nutrition and Dietet­ics because he wants to change his specialty. Alakaam wanted to study in America because Ameri­can universities have the most up­dated information.

One and a half years after he began the rigorous application process to become a Fulbright Scholar, Alakaam was assigned to Marywood University. “The first thing I saw on the Marywood website was that it was not in the middle of a city, which I liked” said Alakaam “it was much less intimidating than being in the middle of a city.”

Alakaam will be here for two years. He arrived at Marywood on September 1 and said that everyone here was very helpful. Even though he was apprehensive when he arrived, after the first day it was not hard anymore. David Crisci and Nancy Maloney in the International Office helped make him feel comfortable in coming here and helped with housing and living in the dorms. The many international students in the states and at Marywood helped him with his studies, housing, cultural life, everything. The hardest part about the process was acquiring a Visa. It took two months for Al­akaam to get his Visa to study in the United States.

Alakaam says that he feels at home here. He said that the beautiful campus at Marywood is good for studying because it is not too busy. He has many American and International friends here at Marywood. “It is not just an academic degree added to my CV, it is the beginning of making me a citizen of the world” said Al­akaam.

Students and faculty who are interested in learning more about the Fulbright Program should attend the Fulbright Information Day on Monday, March 28, 2011. The event will tentatively begin at 3 p.m. and include a panel discussion and lectures from recent Fulbright scholars.

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