AUBG senior Omar Cherchmi is majoring in Political Science and International Relations, with double minors in Psychology and Spanish. Beyond his academic pursuits, Omar took the best out of the student clubs’ opportunities and serves as a student ambassador for both the Admissions and Events offices.
Read the story of the first Moroccan student who is about to graduate from AUBG and his journey of exploration and learning below.
Omar’s journey to AUBG was unplanned. Initially considering American universities, he stumbled upon AUBG through an email and found it intriguing. The decision to attend AUBG was influenced by the lower tuition costs and the unique advantage of holding both EU and U.S. accreditations.
“I applied through the Commonapp. I already had almost everything, I just had to write the essay for a AUBG and that was it.”
The multicultural environment and the fact that it was in Europe and closer to his home further solidified his choice.
From the outset, Omar was drawn to political science, but his interest in psychology developed during an introductory course. Despite initially aiming for a double major, he settled for a minor in psychology due to time constraints.
“I always knew I wanted to major in political science, but my interest in psychology developed after taking a class with Professor Harvey.”
His choice of Spanish as a minor was influenced by a desire to learn a language that would be useful for his future career, considering its proximity to French and its prevalence in Latin America, as well as Spain being a neighboring country to Morocco.
Omar is happy with the experience he had with the political science department, noting that the professors did not only share with him and his classmates academic knowledge, but they also act as mentors sharing their wisdom about life. He values the close relationships with faculty members, describing their informal yet supportive approach.
Omar highlights the advantages of smaller class sizes and seminar-based learning, emphasizing the personal connection between students and professors. His positive experiences extend beyond academics, as he appreciates the collegiality and informal interactions with his professors, treating them as mentors.
“And I got that firsthand experience, especially with that direct contact between me and my political science professors this semester, especially because before I was mainly just academic. But now, since I’m a senior, I’m asking them about Masters programs about a future career, opportunities, what I can do, and all kinds of diverse advice or opinions.”
His internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Morocco provided valuable insights into diplomacy and foreign policy, aligning with his career aspirations.
The Student Clubs
Omar’s involvement in various clubs reflects his holistic approach to education. Beyond textbooks and lectures, he recognizes the value of experiential learning. These clubs not only enriched his university life but also equipped him with invaluable skills.
Being chosen for one of the dancers of the Cabaret musical by the Broadway Performance Club challenged him to get out of his comfort zone in many ways. It not only ignited Omar’s love for theater but also proved to be a practical training ground for public speaking. The skills acquired on stage translated into confident academic presentations.
“Being that vulnerable and that exposed to the public was the first time I was experiencing that. And at the same time it gave me a rush of adrenaline that I’ve never had before. And it was amazing, so addicting. And I learned so much from theater. And because of my Broadway experience, I took a theater class with professor Delchev, playing Joseph II in Amadeus.”
As a senior, Omar is now part of Phi Beta Delta, underscoring his commitment to fostering intercultural understanding and academic excellence. In addition to his role as a student ambassador for both the admissions and events offices, Omar showcases his passion for AUBG to prospective students. His journey, filled with unexpected turns and diverse experiences, becomes a living testament to the vibrant student life at AUBG.
Piece of Advice
Reflecting on his AUBG experience, Omar advises high school students to research thoroughly the culture and language of the country where they plan to study. He emphasizes the importance of being prepared for cultural differences to ease the adaptation process.
“Learn a bit of Bulgarian and a bit about the country itself.”
“Life taught me I should know more about the places I visit. I should be prepared for all the things that I am planning ahead so that I wouldn’t be shocked once I’m in a different country. I should have definitely done some research and like learn some language and also, done some research about Bulgarian culture in general, like how people behave and what is the mentality, maybe some history, background history of Bulgaria, because we know like Bulgaria was a communist country before and that that history still has an impact.”
As Omar looks toward the future, considering both work and master’s programs, he remains open to various opportunities. Omar concludes by expressing gratitude for the continuous learning experiences at AUBG, where every endeavor, big or small, has contributed to his personal and academic growth.