Nursing student from Afghanistan here to stay

Before his classes began, Haroon Said Hassan was in the library, studying for an upcoming nursing test. The junior nursing major looked like any other TCU student and spoke English impeccably. But unlike most young men his age, he has a wife waiting for him in his native country of Afghanistan.

Q: Why did you choose to leave Afghanistan and study here at TCU?
A: I moved with my family. My family moved here because my dad was living for a long time in Russia, and we could not all live together in Russia or Afghanistan for security reasons. We all moved here together. I just Googled TCU, and I found it here in Fort Worth.

Q: Your wife is still living in Afghanistan. What’s it like being so far away from her?
A: It’s really hard. I went just in the summer for a month and a half. It was really hard to not have a social support system here and be a full-time student and deal with a different community [and] a different environment that [I’m] not completely used to. It’s pretty hard.

Q: It was an arranged marriage, correct?
A: It’s half. It depends on family. [Mine was] not a completely arranged marriage, but for some people it is. But mine is half. I did know a little bit about whom I was going to marry but not much. We had never met before. We’re getting used to it.

Q: What has your TCU experience been like?
A: TCU is great. The busier I am the better I do with my life, because I don’t have time to think about something else. Nursing keeps me busy. Three months in the summer at TCU IEP [Intensive English Program] was what really brought me to be a Horned Frog. Amazing staff and faculty.

Q: Why did you choose to major in nursing?
A: More opportunity for jobs. Usually, it’s a female-dominated profession, and there’s more of a need for male nurses. That’s why I chose nursing. And, medical school is too hard. [laughs]

Q: What do you plan to do after graduation?
A: Work for a couple of years and go to grad school. I’m going to be permanently here.

Q: Is your wife planning to join you here?
A: Yes. Her paperwork is almost done. We are waiting for the visa list. It’s a pretty long wait list, but hopefully I’ll get the passport by May next year, and she will be here in a couple of months [after that]. I hope she can go to TCU.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: I’ve had a great experience here, and I’ve met great people. I know I’m the only one [from Afghanistan] at TCU here, but still people whenever I talk to them I see them sometimes concerned about Afghanistan and people from there. They think differently. Whenever they see me or talk to me, then they have some different ideas. It’s not just the TV. It’s not just the headlines.