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Winter 2007

Language lessons

When Saad Alshahrani came to graduate school at Washington State University, he didn’t speak a bit of English.

Addled by the long flights from Saudi Arabia, he tried to walk out of the airport in Seattle. He didn’t understand that his new home was still 300 miles to the east. The airport officials put him on a small plane to Pullman, which left him in a near-empty airport just after midnight.

“Imagine that,” he says. “I didn’t know anybody. No taxi, and no hotel.”

Fortunately, Devon Anderson, who works for the WSU Foundation, saw Alshahrani get off the plane. She understood that he was a … » More …