RAK Women’s College student creates history as city’s first Fulbright Scholar

5 years

Ebtesam Abdulla Saeed Marhash Ali Al Zahmi is Ras Al Khaimah’s first-ever recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.

The Higher Colleges of Technology-Ras Al Khaimah Colleges student recently learned that she will study in the United States. The Fulbright is sponsored by the US government. Past recipients have gone on to become international leaders and win Nobel prizes.

For Ebtesam, the big news came as a surprise. “I was shocked because the applicants to that program are really highly qualified, many of them already in their careers. But I’m still a student in the final year of my Bachelor of Education degree. I didn’t have high expectations,” she said.

Ebtesam will earn a Master’s degree in educational leadership. She is determined to play a role in improving teaching and learning in Ras Al Khaimah.

“I want to help UAE students reach their full potential by adapting the good ideas I learn in my studies to fit in our culture,” Ebtesam added.

For RAK Colleges Director Dr. Bob Moulton, Ebtesam’s success is indicative of HCT-RAKC’s high academic standards and shows how diligence can bring rewards.

”Ebtesam is a great example of the many outstanding students at Higher Colleges of Technology.  She sets high personal standards, she works hard, and she is a leader.  Because of her and her classmates, the future of the UAE is bright,” Dr. Moulton said.

Ebtesam expects that she will be homesick, with only one visit home each year. She promises to stay in touch with her family and friends. She will also stay in contact with her HCT-RAKC instructors, including Education teacher Kate Quinlan. Kate guided Ebtesam through the rigorous six-month application process and helped her achieve the successful result.

For Ebtesam, the Fulbright represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She will be an international ambassador for her community.

“I’m excited to represent Ras Al Khaimah and our culture in the United States. And I’m looking forward to making friends with students from a range of countries, not just the US, during my studies. I want to represent the UAE in the best way I can,” she said.