While searching for new job opportunities, Saada Muntasser came across an online advertisement for the English Language Fellow Program and decided to apply with the intention of bringing her son with her. Before becoming a Fellow, Muntasser taught at community colleges and universities in New York for seven years as well as in Libya for seven years, where her son also accompanied her.
Muntasser was selected for a project at Bahrain Teachers College, and she felt that her previous teaching experience in the Middle East was an advantage when being matched. Having her son with her in Bahrain had both highlights and challenges: Her son was able to continue improving his Arabic language skills and he enjoyed having culturally diverse classmates from India and Pakistan. However, finding affordable schooling was a challenge. Muntasser recommends that anyone thinking of traveling with a child research local schools or online options before arriving in country.
For Muntasser, her fellowship was a unique experience as she was able to enhance her expertise in areas other than teaching, such as designing and giving professional development workshops, presenting at conferences, as well as reviewing and developing curriculum with the Dean of her college. Her fellowship has inspired her to pursue a Ph.D. in Education in the Middle East and to work with immigrant and refugee populations when she returns home to the U.S.