TAGS: awesomeBay AreacultureEnglishESLfoodIICIntercultural Institute of Californiainternational studentsinterviewislamreligionSan Franciscosaudi arabiastudents
Arwa, winner of the Photo Essay Contest, is the first student to be featured on our Student Spotlight post! We’ll be publishing interviews with your fellow IIC students as a means of getting to know one another and other cultures. 
Name & Place of Origin
Arwa Alanazi, Saudi Arabia
Why do you want to learn English?
Knowing English increases my chances of getting a good job and it is the language of the media industry and the internet. Also, I want to be a scientist so to excel in science I have to know English.
Tell us a bit about your home country and the culture there.
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has Islamic heritage. It is the homeland of Islam which is the world’s second [largest] religion. Prophet Mohammed founded Islam there. Also, it is the location of the two holy cities: Mecca and Medina. Saudi Arabia contains the world’s largest desert called Rub Al-khali. We have a rich culture. Saudis take their responsibilities to their family quite seriously. If you are invited to a Saudi’s home it is nice to bring something as a thank you. You should not open the gift when you receive. The guest must accept the offer of Arabian coffee and dates even if you do not normally drink coffee. If you are invited for a meal, the meal is usually on the floor and people sit around it. There is often more food than you can eat. It is part of Saudi’s generosity. There is a little conversation during the meal.
What do you think of life here in San Francisco?
San Francisco has beautiful nature and weather. Also, it is top of the healthiest and happiest places in US. It is the city of art and love. Most people enjoy spending their vacation here. People here are active and friendly.
What do you like to do for fun in the Bay Area?
I like to hike in parks.
What is your favorite English word/ phrase you’ve learned thus far?
My favorite word is AWESOME. I like the sound and also I feel awesome when I hear it.
IIC STUDENTS: Would you like to be interviewed for this blog? If so, contact Sera at the Post Building!