Snapshot: Khalid Srour
Hometown: Born in Jordan, moved to Nigeria at age 4
When Khalid Srour first came to AACC, he missed the enrollment deadline by a week. Considering he had just moved from Nigeria two days before, had no car or set place to live, and was operating on a six-hour time difference, he was graciously excused. The nineteen-year-old transplant, known as Kal (“like Cal Ripken but with a K”), is now thousands of miles away from home, preparing to transfer to a four-year college with hopes to become a doctor—all while leaning on his faith, independence, and perseverance.
“I wanted to be like my dad and go out and be independent,” he says of his overseas transition. “The U.S. has the best education, especially in medicine and technology.” He sent out his application to a number of community colleges that included Maine, Missouri, L.A., Kansas and Maryland.
“I picked community colleges because it was little bit cheaper,” he says. “The first application acceptance was Anne Arundel and so I came here.” After enrolling, he experienced his first day of American college, which he describes as exciting but also “the hardest day ever.”
“It was a culture shock seeing a lot of people and having a lot of freedom,” he says. “I didn’t know anyone. The first couple of weeks I was trying to learn the different culture and society and see how they act to learn how to live with them.” He apparently learned fast finding a place to live within walking distance from campus, getting a social security number, driver’s license, car, and a cell phone within six months time. He then immediately immersed himself into as much student life as he could.
“That was my first thing to do—to be involved, to know people and socialize,” he says and attributes this natural instinct to his culture in Nigeria. “We don’t have movie theaters. There is no entertainment so people are closer to each other.”
Within a year’s time, Kal racked up quite an extracurricular resume. He was part of the Chemistry Club where he served as treasurer, vice-president of the biology club, student association representative, member of the student opinion form committee, International Student Association vice-president, and Phi Theta Kappa member—not to mention recipient of two Student Association leadership awards and made the deans’ list three times.