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International Student Spotlight

Meet Yasmine Elhousni !         


Yasmine Elhousni, who is named for the flower jasmine, is from Casablanca, Morocco. Located in the central-western part of Morocco and bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Casablanca is the economic capital and the most populated city of Morocco. During the winter months, Yasmine and her friends enjoy going to the Morocco Mall (one of the largest in Africa), eating at McDonalds (or somewhere they can get greasy food), and going to the movies. The summer months mean hanging out at the beautiful, private beaches.

 Yasmine is close to her family. Her father, Mohamed, was born in a rural city and has always been passionate about cars. Though he studied ship engineering in Russia, he decided to start his own company that sells car parts. He is still their CEO today. Yasmine’s mother, Jamila, is a stay-at-home mother. She is passionate about literature and studied economics in English at college, so she and Yasmine’s father are a great team. They are childhood sweethearts! Yasmine’s older sister, Imane, is a language pathologist specializing in children, and she really loves her job. Yasmine jokes that Imane is jealous of Yasmine’s name.

Yasmine attends Al Akhayawn University, where she majors in human resource development and minors in strategic communication. Al Akhayawn follows the American university system and models its processes, which has made it easier for Yasmine to adjust to life at ETSU. Yasmine is involved in the Drama Club, and she performed in The Play that Goes Wrong. She was also the general secretary of Amnesty International. In addition, Yasmine sang alto for the choir. She enjoys singing, playing the guitar, hiking, and swimming. Yasmine’s roommate and best friend is the president of Model UN, so she convinced Yasmine to join and participate in competitions in London and Menton, France. Finally, Yasmine describes herself as clumsy. She has dropped and broken her phone so often that she has no idea how many she has gone through in the past years.

Yasmine decided to study abroad because she wanted the chance to experience a new culture, discover new things, and grow as a person. At first, the biggest adjustment was knowing that she is on her own for once. Also, she is usually more introverted and does not take the initiative to approach people, but she’s had to do that more often here. Despite the adjustment period, Yasmine has enjoyed her time at ETSU. She has more freedom, and she has learned and experienced so much. Even the little differences are interesting, like trying a brand new Coke flavor. Though it sounds cliché, she truly does make a new discovery everyday. She is grateful for IBB, which connected Yasmine to her closest friends here. “I feel protected in a way,” she states. “I always have someone to help and support me here.”

Before coming to the US, Yasmine did not set specific goals. She merely wanted to do well in school, enjoy her time here, and go with the flow. She feels like she has fulfilled those goals. She has definitely left her comfort zone and did things she never would have before, including booking a hotel in Charleston the night before the trip!

Yasmine’s future goal is simply to do something that makes her happy. “The journey to find your passion is what life is about,” she says. She also sees life as a large machine, with even our smallest actions having a ripple effect on others. Even one little thing to encourage or help someone can impact their life. As long as she follows this philosophy, she will discover her goals along the way.

We are happy to have you with us, Yasmine!


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