International Student Profiles

2015 - 2016 SOLES International Students


2012 - 2013 SOLES International Students

Rubina Feroze Bhatti

Rubina Feroze Bhatti is from Pakistan, the daughter of village school teachers. Rubina received her Master’s degree in chemistry from BZU Multan and another Master’s degree in Development Studies in Ireland. Rubina came to the University of San Diego in 2009 when she was selected as a Woman PeaceMaker at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. It was during this time that she learned about the Ph.D program in Nonprofit/Philanthropic Leadership and Management through the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES). This doctorate program matched her work and ultimate career goal of establishing a NGO leadership institute in Pakistan to provide programs and services to help people make a contribution by building a world where human rights, peace and living without fear becomes a tangible reality. A hallmark in Rubina’s life was her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 as part of the 1,000 Women for Peace Project. In 2010 she was the recipient of the World Vision Peacemaking Award. She also won the 2011 Woman of Courage Award, along with former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, from the National Women's Political Caucus, an award given to women from diverse backgrounds who exemplify women's leadership and demonstrate courage by taking a stand to further civil rights and equality. She has found time to reflect on her life’s work since moving to San Diego, which has allowed her to gain new perspectives that she will take back to Pakistan once she has earned her Ph.D.

Yican (Cora) Liang

Yican (Cora) Liang is from Guangzhou, China and attended the Beijing Institute of Technology in the city of Zhuhai, earning her undergraduate degree in English. She came to the University of San Diego to earn her Master’s degree in the TESOL program (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Yican speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Once she completes her studies, her goal is to a qualified English teacher, making education her lifetime career. She chose USD because of its ranking as one of the top 100 universities in the nation and for the overall beauty of the campus and life in San Diego. Yican hopes to travel extensively while here in the United States and her pastimes include cooking and photography.


Nour Almutawa is from Alasuma, Kuwait. She joined the University of San Diego in the fall of 2012 to study Curriculum and Instruction through the Department of Learning and Teaching. Once she earns her Master’s degree, she plans to remain in the United States to continue her education and earn a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. This extensive applied knowledge will allow Nour to return to Kuwait University to become a professor in the field of education. Nour is part of a national emphasis to develop Kuwaiti scholars and she has come to appreciate how the American educational system goes beyond theories to apply knowledge through action research and hands-on learning.

Aini Fang

Aini Fang was born in Shanghai and attended the Shanghai International Studies University, earning an undergraduate degree in International Business and Trade. Aini speaks Mandarin, English and Japanese. She entered USD’s TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program in the fall of ’12 and after receiving her graduate degree, Aini hopes to remain in the United States for a few years to gain teaching experience before heading home to Shanghai to find a teaching job. She is enjoying gaining the systematic knowledge of education in her studies at USD. She loves the emersion this experience moving to San Diego has brought her, learning how to navigate the world on her own, solving problems as they come up and gaining personal insights along the way. Her pastimes include watching movies, swimming and reading detective novels.

Ebrahim Nasher

Ebrahim Nasher, Ibb for short, is a Fulbright Scholar from Yemen. He completed his undergraduate education at the American University in Cairo and studied Anthropology. He chose The University of San Diego for its emphasis on the holistic development of its graduate students, focusing on both the internal and external aspects of education, developing both intellectually and emotionally. He is earning a Master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership and plans to pursue a Ph.D or Ed.D in the field of education with an emphasis on transformative learning. Through his global engagement Ehrahim offers a multi-cultural competence with all frames of diversity, which is grounded in a few core values that constitute the heart and soul of his passions in life. Living in the United States has offered him the opportunity to experience a cosmopolitan life in big cities, allowing him to navigate cultural structures as well as nuances in the hopes of making sense of all these new experiences.

Jiaxin (Tracy) Zhou

Jiaxin (Tracy) Zhou was born in Beijing. She attended undergraduate school at Capital Normal University in Beijing and studied Chinese Language and Comparative Literature. Tracy’s interest in teaching English brought her to the University of San Diego to study in the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and her goal is to find a job teaching English/Chinese in the United States before going back to China to work for an international school or language training center. Moving to San Diego has allowed Tracy to fulfill her dream of taking care of herself and becoming independent and she enjoys the university life and the TESOL program, which has brought her a new enthusiasm for learning. Tracy studied acting as a child and in high school and took part in directing two plays while attending undergraduate school. She has also worked for a soccer fan club as a translator and in her free time enjoys reading and the outdoors.

Kedir Assefa Tessema

Kedir Assefa Tessema is from Ethiopia and received his undergraduate degree in English from the Kotebe College of Teaching English. He earned two Master’s degrees, the first in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and the second from Umea University in Sweden with a focus on Social Sciences/Education. When the opportunity arose to attend the University of San Diego’s doctoral program in Leadership Studies, Kedid never looked back. His learning includes ways of exercising leadership across boundaries and he ultimately plans on sharing his knowledge as a university professor. He finds the United States to be a unique country because the rest of the world knows so much about it, yet in general, America knows very little about other countries and cultures. He also has observed that despite America being the home of very diverse people and backgrounds, most of these groups have little cross cultural interactions. However, Kedir is enjoying his time here with his wife and two small children.

Zheng Li

Zheng Li was born in Hebi, China and has lived in Beijing many years before moving to San Diego to attend the University of San Diego, where she is studying in the TESOL program (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Zheng completed her undergraduate education at the Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, where she studied English. Her post-graduate career goal is to teach K-12 English in China and perhaps someday open her own education institution. Zheng has traveled to many places since arriving in the United States, including Hawaii, Yosemite, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Because of her focus on English in school, her dream was to come to this country to study and learn more about the Western culture. Her favorite part about living here is making new friends who have totally different backgrounds.

Wenwei Lin

Wenwei Lin is from Shanghai and earned her undergraduate degree in English from Shanghai Ocean University. She came to the University of San Diego to earn a Master’s degree in the TESOL program (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Wenwei speaks Mandarin, English and some Japanese. Once she completes her studies, her dream is to obtain an internship in the United States to practice her teaching skills before returning to China to become an English teacher. Wenwei is an accomplished musician, playing the Chinese lute for more than fifteen years, as well as the piano. She also loves folk dancing and attending concerts.

Songting Hu

Songting Hu was born in Shanghai and graduated with an undergraduate degree in Business English from the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade. In addition to Mandarin, Songting is fluent in English and speaks some Korean and Japanese. She entered USD’s TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program in the fall of ’12 and after graduation her hope is to find an internship here in the United States to learn about how other teaching institutions operate and then go back to Shanghai to work in an English teaching organization. One of her personal goals while living in this country is to climb to the top of the Empire State Building. She enjoys the weather and convenience of life in San Diego and in her free time, likes to hike and attend festivals with local people to take in the food and culture.

Peter Maribei

Peter Maribei was born in Nairobi, Kenya of southern ancestry. He speaks several languages including English, Swahili, Portuguese and his Mother Tongue. Peter attended undergraduate school at the University of Nairobi with a focus on Computer Science. He earned a Master’s Degree in Leadership Studies at the International Leadership University in Nairobi. Currently Peter is attending the University of San Diego to earn his Ph.D. at the School of Leadership Education Sciences (SOLES), with a focus on Organizational Leadership. His goal once attaining his doctorate is to contribute to the development of value-based leadership through teaching, research and consultancy. Before moving to San Diego Peter worked for eight years as a student advisor with a Christian organization in Kenya and Mozambique, among other countries in Africa. He organized and facilitated seminars, conferences and exchange trips, all to promote value-based leadership development for college students in Africa, in collaboration with students groups in Brazil and the United States. In addition, Peter taught undergraduate course in leadership and management and consulted for numerous organizations in areas of training and development. He is a Lifeforming trained coach and is in the process of growing a personal network of transformational leaders. His dream is to see a new generation of leaders for a new Africa. Peter is married and is a proud new father of a son born in the fall of ’12.