From Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates to … Missouri?

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BRANSON MO NEWS: Muhammad Abdullah was born in Pakistan, a developing nation battling political corruption, as he put it. When he was about 8 years old, his parents were offered a chance to leave the country and work in Dubai. When they accepted, Abdullah — now a senior at Missouri State — was presented with a new world of possibilities.“That opportunity they took to go to Dubai kind of opened up a pathway for me to get to other places,” said Abdullah, a triple major studying geospatial sciences, environmental and natural resources and cultural and regional geography. “Luckily, I got out of Pakistan.”The risk his parents took when they moved to Dubai proved to be fruitful. Abdullah said this inspired him to pursue his dream of getting an education in “the land of opportunity.” He said his family was hesitant at first because of negative American stereotypes, but Abdullah knew he had to take the chance.

“It all began with a dream of going to the United States of America, and that is because everyone says there are a lot of opportunities here,” Abdullah said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to do everything I can to make this dream a reality.’”Abdullah’s college application process began like most others, with a simple Google search. He said he initially sent applications to schools in Florida, New York and California. Despite earning some small scholarships, Abdullah quickly realized he needed cheaper options.“The cost of tuition is so high, and on top of that, the cost of living,” Abdullah said. “I literally went on Google and I said ‘cheap schools in the United States of America.’”Of all the colleges on that list, Missouri State was the one that caught Abdullah’s attention. He said the website was attractive and the information was presented …


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