Culture Shock: Abrar Alghamdi

Abrar shares her struggles with cars while living in the United States.

Owning a car has been challenging. Women cannot drive in Saudi Arabia, so I had to learn how to drive by myself. I was not familiar with responsibilities of owning a car whatsoever.

I first had to teach myself about car insurance and auto loans. Since getting my car, I’ve forgotten to turn off my headlights twice and had to have friends help me jump-start my car. I had to deal with a traffic accident last year and pay $1500 to get my car fixed afterward. I’ve also gotten pulled over by a cop, ran out of gas and had to pay $100 dollars for a new battery. All of these problems I dealt with alone.

While here in the United States, I learned that driving is not for everyone. and I will not miss it when I go back home. I never had to face these kinds of struggles in Saudi Arabia because I had a personal driver to drive me around. I also never learned how to fix my car and change a tire, so I had to learn how to deal with all of that by myself while in the U.S.

I had to go through a lot of trouble to be where I am today. Now people see me as a strong, confident, independent and progressive woman who has it all figured out. I am thankful for studying abroad and becoming the strong woman I am today. Though there were hardships, I will miss my friends and apartment and even my tiny car. I am leaving Morgantown with a heavy heart, and it will be hard to say goodbye for good.


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