Western Michigan University is getting ready for the arrival of 300 students from Saudi Arabia, one of the country's largest delegations on U.S. campuses.
Saudi students also are the largest single national group among international students on the Kalamazoo campus.
The students acknowledge the challenges that they face coming from a Middle Eastern country. And having fellow Saudis around can slow the acculturation process, they say.
"What happens is we just speak our own language with each other and we cannot practice English," said Abdullah Albalawi, a Saudi Arabian student who will graduate from the school's Center for English Language and Culture for International Students program before he starts his master's degree in statistics.