Hello, my name is Rukaia. I am a Marine biology undergraduate at Tohoku University. I am originally from a city called Homs in West Syria (pronounced “hu-m-s” like the food). When I was six, she moved to Northeast Saudi and attended an international school there. When I was seventeen, I moved to Sendai, Japan to pursue my university education.
I am good at making connections and looking at data holistically. I was never a natural performer but I worked hard to get where I am, and I thrive at amending my weak points.
I did not know any English when I transferred to an international school, so I turned to the collection of oxford classics that my parents kept to study English, and practiced English and French learning CDs with my siblings on the weekends.
I made up for the math lessons I missed (for a year I skipped a year in elementary) by training on the Abacus till I became the best in my class. I taught myself the subjects not offered at school - history, philosophy, foreign literature, art- with second-hand books, taking online courses, and watching university lectures.
When I turned seventeen, I moved to Sendai, Japan to pursue my university education. I hubristically assumed the transition from Saudi to Japan would be as easy as moving from Syria to Saudi. But back in Saudi, I only had to learn the shallow top of the cultural iceberg, and in Japan, I have to learn the top and the bottom of the cultural iceberg. So I took multiple multicultural lectures offered by the university and read Japanese folklore to understand my new environment. I am still adapting but I feel like a completely different person now.
Due to my upbringing, I naturally became interested in business skills and cultural skills, so I tried to find resources to learn. In my third year, I heard about UIF so I registered for it to train in business and innovation and to integrate social and innovative practices into my life and research.
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