A new study by US News and World Report has confirmed a 400 percent increase in ‘American Studies’ programs in universities across the United States from 2020 to 2025. Researchers have accredited the rise in popularity of these programs to the influx of foreign exchange students who have flocked to the United States over the past few years.
Twenty-six year old Nizar Ahmed, a Syrian graduate student, came to Washington, DC last year to enroll in George Washington University’s (GWU) Master of American Society program. His concentrations are within the fields of “Religious Freedom,” and “American Ruralism.”
“I have been fascinated by the region, particularly, it’s more uh-rural areas, ever since I watched the movie Signs at a young age,” Ahmed said. “The classes are great but what I’m really enjoying is the people, last week I went to a mall in a town called Ashburn, Virginia, I couldn’t believe how well I was treated by the workers at Pretzel Time, despite the hardship I’m sure they were dealing with.”
GWU’s program is comprised of immersive English language studies, and a course load that covers topics such as “Violent Christianity in the age of Trump,” and “Christianity and America: Why there is no difference.”
There is also a fieldwork component to Ahmed’s concentration which requires students to conduct immersive research on rural society.
“I decided to do my fieldwork in Herndon, Virginia,” Ahmed Said. “Some of my American classmates are giving me a hard time saying that there’s nothing authentically rural about it, but I honestly don’t think they understand their own country, which is actually why my research will be helpful.”
Ahmed told The Daily Orb, that he has found the project to be surprisingly easy thus far as he has already conducted two interviews.
“I have had two conversations with my Uber driver on my way out to Herndon that will likely dominate the study. He’s a middle aged guy from Alabama named Pat who used to work at the post office, so his views are very insightful,” he explained.
Ahmed is looking forward to returning to Syria next fall, and applying his skills to the pursuit of his dream to found a Syrian-based NGO called Muslim Commonality that protects Muslims’ rights in the United States without ever really visiting it.