When PhD student Sinan Abood decided to study at Michigan Tech, he had a much longer commute than most other students.
Abood, originally from Iraq, had heard lots of good things about American universities—enough to bring him across the globe in search of the best education. Although he didn't know about Michigan Tech specifically at first, he says that once he learned of its reputation, research opportunities, and friendly environment, he was convinced it was the right place for him.
"As students at Michigan Tech, we are treated like future scientists," Abood says. "My advisor treated me very respectfully and listened to my opinion."
Since coming to Michigan Tech, Abood's experiences with campus culture and atmosphere have continued to impress him.
"The first time I came here, I was a little bit shocked," Abood says. "I'm a city boy. I was born in Baghdad—it's about six to seven million people. In Houghton, I can yell from the University and somebody can hear me downtown. But then, I realized that it's the perfect place for me. It's small, quiet, and lets me focus on my research."
According to Abood, Michigan Tech's small size enables him to have a close personal relationship with professors and advisors.
"Back home, the relation between a student and an advisor is more formal," he says. "It's a different environment—a different culture. When international students come here, advisors say ‘call me by my first name' and sometimes we can't do it. I couldn't do it for my first year, but my advisor just kept telling me to call him by his first name."
Michigan Tech's unmatched natural setting has also let Abood take advantage of many new outdoor activities.
"International people are sometimes afraid of the snow," Abood says. "When I came to Michigan Tech, I thought that once the snow came, everybody would be inside and there would be no activities. It turns out that I go outside in the winter more than I do in the summer!"