Sophomore business major Huzeifa Mustafa has had a “rollercoaster” of a time coming to UD, from his community in Pakistan to the heights of Six Flags in Dallas.
Mustafa grew up in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, a country that is smaller than half of Texas and can be characterized by its close-knit communities. He is the oldest brother to two younger siblings, a brother and a sister.
Mustafa recounts how his favorite pastimes involved playing sports like cricket, soccer and volleyball. These activities, coupled with the fact that people in his community were “very close” and that “everyone knew each other,” made his adolescence enjoyable and cherished.
When Mustafa became the equivalent of a high school age student, he attended the Roots Ivy International School, one of the most prestigious schools in Pakistan. Here he met his school mentor, who would prove to be influential in helping him navigate the complexities of life.
Roots was a very challenging preparatory school that included A levels and a more demanding version of Advanced Placement tests (APs), in Accounting, Business and Computer Science.
“American high school is very easy compared to my education,” Mustafa explained.
In Islamabad, success in A levels are very important to the trajectory of students’ futures. With this motivation, Mustafa did very well, and received the highest marks for some of his exams.
When it came time to apply to colleges, Mustafa said, “I was expected to apply to both U.K. or U.S. universities.” It was even normal in his class to apply to around 17 colleges.
One of the reasons he applied to colleges in the U.S. was because of his family and friends. Mustafa said that his “childhood friends are very important in my life,” and the fact that he has “a lot of friends and families in Houston” initially attracted him to Texas.
Whenever he gets the chance to visit his friends and families in Houston, he loves to visit Galveston Beach as well as just “getting food and playing games at my friends’ houses.”
While it’s hard for Dallas to shine with that kind of community competition, Mustafa still enjoys being in Dallas. Six Flags is his favorite place to visit, and the Riddler is his favorite ride, so it’s quite a real convenience that Six Flags is so close to the University of Dallas.
Interestingly enough, Mustafa did not know that UD had any religious affiliation when he applied. It was only until after he moved in that he found out UD is a Catholic university.
Along with the new aspect of having religion in a school environment, Huzeifa said, “I had problems with the Core because it was very unfamiliar.”
This aspect drove him to consider transferring during his freshman year. However, his professors and the friends he bonded with in Madonna Hall eventually made him fall in love with the school, so he decided to stay.
“My professors impact a lot of life decisions that I have made,” he said. Specifically, his time in leadership and managerial classes in the College of Business were influential in helping him to choose what “life route” to take.
In short, the people and the professors here at UD are his favorite aspects about the university.
Mustafa is a business major and is undecided about his goals after college, but thinks that he will probably pursue a master’s in accounting.
UD has around 100 international students, according to a July 2020 article from The University News. Huzeifa’s story of choosing to stay at UD and finding a second home demonstrates how interesting the backstories of our international community can be.