Skip to main content


Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
Fax: 202-885-3354
Butler Pavilion, Room 410

ISSS office walk-in advising hours: Mondays: 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Bakar, Senem S
Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
410 Butler Pavilion
Washington, DC, USA 20016-8041


from Malaysia


has also lived in Thailand, Cambodia, Germany and India

Major: Business and Finance (KSB)

Why has AU been a good match for you?

I was filled with trepidation when I first picked AU. I went through the normal questions of doubt about whether I would fit in or in reverse, whether AU was a good match for me. Coming to DC was a huge step for me and quite frankly it was all a bit overwhelming. I was leaving my home, my friends and my family to go literally half way around the world to a college I had never even visited in a country, that wasn’t my own. I took it all in at once, AU's campus, the DC area and the American culture. Despite all the anxiety and apprehension, AU turned out to be perfect for me! From its diverse student body and city-feel yet secluded campus, I could not have asked for a better fit. Having been at AU for almost 2 years now, I know all that AU has to offer from clubs to study abroad opportunities and what it has to offer me is far more than I ever expected.

How has your understanding of “home” changed since coming to AU?

Trying to define what constitutes as “home” is like attempting to define the kinds of materials which everyone understands but cannot describe. Not only because home is an ineffable word but because being a Third Culture Kid (TCK) I have always struggled to answer that question. I have come to a realization and a self-acceptance that my definition of “home” will constantly be changing. Like me, my life and my background it needs not be a stagnant and tangible definition. Every person’s definition of home is different, and trying to define what constitutes as home seems almost impossible. To me, home takes on many forms and places and coming to AU and living here for a year, I have only added one more place to my definition of “home”.