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Clara, Imane and Luisa in Global UMD newletter

September 17, 2021 Linguistics

Imane Bou-Saboun, a PhD student in linguistics, standing on a mountaintop near her home in Italy, smiling at the camera

Representing second-year international students newly arrived in College Park.

UMD's Office of International Affairs publishes a Global UMD Newsletter, meant as "a roundup of the latest international events, news and opportunities at the University of Maryland." And rounded up in its most recent issue is the saga of our three second-years from Italy, Clara Cuonzo, Imane Bou-Saboun and Louisa Seguin. The story: 

"Luisa Seguin, Clara Cuonzo, and Imane Bou-Saboun are all second year Ph.D. students in UMD’s Linguistics program. They are all from different corners of Italy and were among the many international students who had to complete their first year with UMD virtually because they couldn’t obtain visas to come to the U.S. 

"Fortunately, they connected with each other online when they took [a year of courses in the UMD Linguistics Department] which helped them stay in touch with each other constantly despite having never met in person.  

"[Says Professor Colin Phillips,] 'after having them in my online classes all year, which was a really positive experience despite the students being all 6 or 12 hours ahead of me, I was excited for them to finally get here.'

"Phillips recently met Clara at the airport, and picked up Luisa a few days later (she was delayed by a day when her flight was canceled). They’re now living together in a shared house that is within walking distance from campus [with a lawn that is beautifully maintained by a neighborhood scamp connected to the department]. 

“It was a wonderful moment to see the joy when they finally got to meet in person for the first time,” said Phillips. “I arrived in the U.S. myself as a new international student, 31 years ago last month, and benefited a lot from the support that I received.”