Katherine Kiskin, Ohio State University, WSP Class of 2016
I came into the IIIT Winter Student Program not knowing what to expect and just wanting a better general, yet more in depth understanding of Islam than what my university’s curriculum could offer. One week later, I graduated the program having just experienced one of the best weeks of my life.
With the program only being a week long we were immersed into the topics such as Qur’anic Worldview, The Sunnah, Maqasid, Islam in America, etc. very fast. I felt that with the topics being so diverse I really got a well-rounded and full circle understanding of Islam that complemented my previous knowledge. These classes were not only engaging due to the content but also because of the elite professors we were so privileged to learn from. These professors came from all different backgrounds and specialties that provided a unique collection of ideas that were truly enlightening.
Not only did I gain knowledge I am extremely grateful for from this program but I made incredible, life-long friendships. The group of my peers that I learned alongside was so intelligent coming from many prestigious universities across the United States. The conversations in class were engaging and interactive and it was humbling to be among such bright individuals. Since we only had a week to spend together we made sure to be very inclusive with everyone and we became very close very fast. I can honestly say we all still keep in contact almost a year later and whenever we are in the same geographical location we make an effort to meet up.
Not only were the friendships I gained from this experience rewarding, but the relationship with the IIIT faculty we all gained were so fulfilling. This is truly an astonishing group of individuals who are so inviting and eager to share Islam and its teachings. IIIT is an institute not only active in the Muslim community but one that makes an effort to integrate itself with the community of Northern Virginia and for that matter the United States altogether.
I would recommend the IIIT Winter or Summer Student Program to anyone who even has the slightest interest in it. It was a remarkable experience with so many gratifying moments that I will remember for my entire life.