Egyptian student first ever at YSU as Fulbright Scholar

Dina Abdo

Dina Abdo, a citizen of Egypt who earned a bachelor’s degree at Nile University in Cairo, is now attending Youngstown State University as a Student Fulbright Scholar, believed to be the first student ever to study at YSU under the prestigious international scholarship program.

“This certainly speaks volumes about the growing reputation and quality of both our Economics program and YSU as a whole,” said Ou Hu, chair of YSU’s Department of Economics.

The Fulbright Program, started in 1946 and named after U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, operates in more than 160 countries and annually awards about 8,000 grants. In Egypt, the program offers scholarships to qualified graduate students to study at the graduate level in the United States.

“Being chosen as a Fulbright recipient is a strong endorsement of Dina's intellect, drive and future plan,” said Nate Myers, YSU associate provost for International and Global Initiatives. “Being affirmed as a host institution is further recognition of YSU's increasing excellence across multiple disciplines."

After learning earlier this year that she had been selected as a Fulbright recipient, Abdo turned to the internet to search out a school in the United States to pursue a master’s degree in Financial Economics.

“I was looking for the best programs, and YSU was always on that list,” she recalls.

She enrolled in YSU’s program this Fall semester. “The people of Ohio have been very accepting and friendly,” she says.

Abdo, who is from the southern region of Egypt, said her interest in studying in the United States started three years ago when she first visited as part of a U.S. Department of State program on gender equality and women’s empowerment. “I had a dream of someday coming back,” she said.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in 2017, she worked for two years as a teaching assistant and financial analyst before applying for and receiving the Fulbright scholarship, which fully funds graduate study in the United States for up to two years.

She said she chose YSU’s Economics program because of its good reputation, strong academic curriculum, professors with outstanding backgrounds, affiliation with the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute and for YSU’s “friendly and professional” program for international students.

After earning the master’s at YSU, Abdo said she plans to return to Egypt or the Middle East-North Africa region to work on poverty issues.