International student from Pakistan reflects on her semester at SSU

Staff report

PORTSMOUTH — Alishba Abbasi, an international student from Pakistan, studied abroad at Shawnee State University throughout the Autumn 2021 semester. Overcoming many obstacles to attend a university in America, she is thankful for the opportunities she was able to gain studying at SSU.

“It was a long road to get here, but the journey was worth it,” said Abbasi. “I applied in 2019 to study abroad in America, but it was only a small pool of applicants selected and I wasn’t chosen. I applied again and got a spot in 2020, but COVID-19 hit. Thankfully, they offered me a spot this year, and I was able to make it. It was a crazy journey, but it has been the most amazing time of my life.”

Abbasi is majoring in International Relations in her home country, but decided to study Political Science at SSU. Despite only being on campus for one semester, she decided to dedicate herself to maintaining a high GPA while also getting involved on campus.

“Aside from academics, I am very involved on campus,” she said. “I am a Student Government Association Senator, a member of the Circle K Club and Rotaract Club, and I am on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Whenever there is a chance to do community service, I take it.”

Proud of her culture, Abbasi decided to present during the Multicultural Festival on campus to share the traditions of her home country with other SSU students and staff members.

“I was proud to teach people about my culture and my life,” she said. “I wore my cultural dress, which is called ‘shalwar kameez’. Diversity is so important, along with representation. Shawnee offers such a welcoming environment no matter who you are, and I felt at home here.”

Truly enjoying her time studying abroad, Abbasi knows she made connections and memories at SSU that will she never forget.

“I was welcomed by every person I met at Shawnee,” she said, acknowledging the connections she made with her faculty members and classmates. “I am proud of who I am.”

To learn more about international student programs and opportunities at Shawnee State University, visit

Staff report