Naif Daifullah Alsulami
Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Saudi universities have a long history of hosting international students, starting in 1962 with the establishment of the Islamic University of Madinah. The purpose of this qualitative case study is to explore services and facilities for international students provided by Islamic University in Madinah, Saudi Arabia. As most of these students are single and came from poor countries, they need services and facilities that cover various needs in order to succeed in their studies. By analysing the official documents of this university, the findings of this research reveal many services that turn international students’ challenges into opportunities. These facilities are not limited to the students’ academic lives while studying but also include several social aspects and financial support. In addition to free education, housing, books, and hospital treatment, free annual tickets are provided so these students can return to their home countries for vacation. This university provides special discount meals for international students and strives to provide food stuffs to international students and their families. It also aims to furnish housing for international students. The study results also showed that some facilities assist international students in bringing their first-degree family (members parents) through temporary visitor visas, housing them in furnished apartments for a period of three months, and other services. It is worth noting that these services are provided through a specialised centre at the university called the Centre for Care of International Students and Their Families, which provides its services through the university budget and with the support of some donors. Satisfying students’ different needs enable them to focus on completing their studies and returning to their home countries.