"I'm from Somalia and my religion is Muslim. Before I came here, I thought about how people would respond. I found St. Ambrose to be Catholic, but also respectful of other religions and other cultures. A value I have learned from St. Ambrose is 'just be you.'"
An SAU education is rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, which is why our campus brings together students of all faiths and cultures. Our growing number of international students say they learn from their American-born classmates. Likewise, our domestic students gain a more global outlook as they learn from Ambrosians like Aweys.
Hometown: Mogadishu, Somalia
Born in the midst of civil strife, Aweys was sent to India when he was 13 to continue his education in safety. After completing high school, he set his sights on becoming a doctor. He chose St. Ambrose for his undergraduate degree because we offer a liberal arts foundation. Here, Aweys will ground his education far beyond medical science.
"Being in a smaller setting is something I prefer," Aweys says, "and at a small college you get more of the professor's focus. Here, you spend time with your professors." Through the one-on-one conversations that our 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio allow, Aweys quickly identified his academic strengths and weaknesses. Communication skills are an important trait in a future physician, "So I decided to make communications my minor. I love it. I have challenged myself to succeed," he says.
How are you involved at SAU, and how has that changed you?
"Being an international student at St. Ambrose is amazing. We have an international club that organizes events to share our many cultures. If a student from Sweden wants to have a Swedish Day, we help organize it and we learn in the process. We do as much as we can to bring people together," he says. "I will always carry the pride of being an international student at St. Ambrose and the values and the beliefs I have gained. SAU gives me the opportunity to be independent but has also taught me to rely on people who are willing to help."
Why Choose the Biology Program?
Like many Ambrosians, Aweys plans to build on his undergraduate education and pursue a medical career. Many of our graduates have gone on to attend prestigious medical schools, and Aweys understand why. "Step-by-step, I am gaining a foundation in biology and chemistry that will help me succeed on my MCATs and prepare me for medical school. At SAU, I have explored different subjects and become a more well-rounded student. Had I gone straight to medical school, which is how it is done in India, I would have missed out on that experience."