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Tunisian student enjoys UW-Richland experience
4-28 Nouha Laoyene 2
Nouha Laoyene of Tunisia

Name:  Nouha LaoyeneAge: 20 years

Hometown: Tunisia

Current Program/Major: Business Management and Marketing

Outside of being a college student, what takes up your free time?
I have had the chance to visit several states besides Wisconsin and see how people are different even in the same country. While being in Richland Center, basketball practice was a great way to relieve stress and take up my free time. Being a UW-Richland Roadrunner for a while was an amazing experience that I had never thought I would have. Additionally, I enjoy going out with friends and attending campus activities. 

Who is your favorite professor or staff member?
All professors and staff members are very nice. However, I’m fortunate to have International Student Affairs Coordinator Aaron Mayo as my advisor.  Whenever I have a problem, I find him for help. 

What is your favorite class?
My favorite class is accounting. It’s challenging and fun to learn.

What do you plan to do after UW-Richland?
I will get my business certificate from UW-Richland this year, my license in marketing and earn my master’s degree in marketing and distribution in two years.  Within five years, I will become a marketing executive.

What is one piece of advice you have for incoming international students to UW-Richland?
If you want to have a great experience, you should make friends and talk with everyone. Having friends and a host family has made my experience much better. Especially being in a small town like Richland Center, your experience will depend on your attitude.

What do you want Americans to know about your home country?
What people don’t know about Tunisia is that is one of the best places in the world to live in. Not only because of its ideal location or its Mediterranean weather but also because of the people. Tunisians are very unique and wherever you go you will never find someone like them. For Tunisians, family is the most significant unit of life and plays an important role in all social relations. I feel blessed to have such a caring and loving family. Tunisians are very friendly and welcoming people. Their houses are always open for guests, and if you get inside, you have to eat a lot! You will find a big table full of all kinds of food waiting for you. Also, Tunisians have a great sense of humor. Moreover, no matter how bad the situation is, Tunisians will always say “Lebes, Cava, Hamdullah” which means “we’re okay, we’re fine, thank god.” I love my country and I’m so proud of its transformation.

What is your biggest surprise about living/working/studying in the U.S.? 
When I first came here, whenever I say I’m from Tunisia, people asked, “Indonesia?”  I remember that one girl asked, “Is that in China?” Also, when I was traveling, I met some people in New York and when I said I’m studying in Wisconsin, I was surprised that they had never heard about it and one of them thought it’s a country in South America! Part of my mission here is to teach Americans about Tunisian culture and traditions.  This is a chance to build bridges between our two different worlds.