Hiba is an Iraqi university student

Where are you from? (City, country)

Baghdad, Iraq.

Where are you being resettled to?

Utah, USA, but I’m not sure which city.

How long ago did you apply for resettlement?

My family applied in 2012.

How did you hear about IOM?

We heard about it through word of mouth.

Are you traveling with any members of your family/being resettled near any family or friends?

Yes, with my mother and sister.

How has the Cultural Orientation course influenced your expectations about life in your country of destination?

I already knew to expect culture shock and that everything will be very different and strange, because I’m going to a different country and it’s so far away, so I would say the course confirmed these assumptions rather than teaching me anything completely new.

What other sources of information have helped give you an idea of what to expect? (ie, friends’ stories, online forums, TV…)

My sister is already in Utah, and we have friends there as well, so they have told me a lot about what to expect.

What is your biggest fear or worry about the new life that awaits you?

Until you experience something first hand, everything is scary, so I’m nervous about a lot of things!

What are you most excited about?

I can’t wait to learn English. I used to speak really good English, German, and Turkish, but I had an accident and lost my memory. I know it will come back with practice, so I am really looking forward to immersing myself in the language and enrolling in language courses.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I’m looking forward to a new beginning, to having a stable life, to working, getting an education, even if I have to start with nothing!