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Student Profile: Hussein Janbaih ’08

Other students always ask pre-med major Hussein Janbaih how he ended up in Holland, Mich. Michigan may seem like an unlikely destination for a citizen of Brazil to choose for his education, but Hussein attended an American school at home and had always considered attending college in the United States. He selected Hope because of the personal interaction he experienced during his college search. “People at Hope were really fast with their email responses, they sent me letters, and gave me a lot of confidence in my decision,” he says.

Hussein is extremely involved in the activities provided by the office of international education. He participates in “Images: A Reflection of Cultures,” a cultural event that celebrates the countries of each international student at Hope through dance and drama. He is also a part of the international food fair and a program for new students from all over the world to come together to acclimate themselves to Hope the weekend before new student orientation begins.

When he is not in classes or contributing to his various groups and projects, Hussein is with his younger sister, who moved to Michigan in 2006 to finish high school in the United States, following her older brother’s footsteps in anticipation of attending Hope College. The two live near campus, where Hussein is able to help his sister with homework, make sure she’s doing well in school, and hang out with friends. “It’s different, because I’m essentially parenting my sister now, but I like having her here—I like having family here now. It’s working really well,” he says.

Hussein didn’t entirely know what to expect when he came to Hope, but based on his earlier interaction with the school, says, “One of the correct impressions I had when I came here was that everyone is so hospitable and the students are very close and polite. Everyone was really warm, really nice.” He’s found enormous respect and acceptance from Hope students and faculty, for both his culture and himself. His friends have been very helpful to him during his time at Hope, and so have his professors. “I really like the close relationship between students and professors here at Hope. They really care about students when you are struggling,” he says.

As a pre-medical student, Hussein someday wants to travel the world, providing health care as a community service to countries in Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe. “A medical diploma from the United States is really well recognized,” he says, “and Hope provides me with the education I will need to get that diploma.”

This profile was written by Megan E. Dougherty, a 2007 Hope College graduate from Normal, Ill., for the 2007-08 Hope College Catalog.

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