Sample Psychology Paper on Reform of higher education in the Arab world


I recall zoning out of the class while daydreaming about moving into the United States. I was about ten years old when my parents separated through a divorce. After separation, my mother moved into the United States despite not having a college degree. She was hoping to get a better future for my siblings and me. I was entirely unaware that it would take seven years to get a visa to move to the United States.

In Beirut, there was no foster care system available for us. My father was more focused on building his new family. The lack of foster care made me spend seven years waiting for my visa moving around relatives’ households. The aspect of living in different homes in Lebanon triggered my cross-cultural comparison tendencies.

Lebanon was a small country, but there were a lot of cultural practices to compare. I noticed the disadvantages, abuse, and social discrimination faced by women and girls in day-to-day life. Having come from a divorced family, I was aware of the systematic injustices women face within different legal and religious institutions and the systems put in place.

My eldest brother, being gay, had moved out of the country to avoid living a split personality life. My other brother had a schizoaffective disorder which made him be in hospital regularly. The situations had left me looking after myself and clinging to education as it was my hope for a brighter future. The search for knowledge had maintained my sanity and resilience throughout the distressful years.

After a decade later, while I was in the college dorm in the US, I realized that life in the United States was not as good as I had assumed it to be at my young age thinking. There were challenges associated with being a first-generation immigrant and a student in the United States, such as navigating the college process, finding resources, and balancing dreams and goals with my family’s opinions on education as the only source of improvement to socio-economic status.

I had the advantage of entering the country with a green card, which allowed me to pursue social sciences as it was my academic interest. Most of the Arab students venture into stem fields and majors (Waterbury, 2019). My case was different from theirs because I had entered the country with a green card. I was also not worried about getting sponsored for a job after my graduation.

Taking courses in economics and women’s studies in the United States introduced me to the country’s social contracts and collective psyche. It also enhanced the expansion of my cross-cultural thinking. I often compared and analyzed the economic, political, social systems, the situation of race, gender, and sexual minorities between the USA and the Middle East.

I developed a coping mechanism to help me deal with the cultural, psychological shock I was going through as a first-generation immigrant. I often joked with my friends about first-generation immigrants living unhappily due to their double-conscious aspect. I also had an identity crisis because I did not Arabic. I was often perceived as a white American and lived a privileged life before people knew me and learned about my life story.

The life experiences did not stop me from advancing. Every life challenge I encountered contributed to my diverse thinking today. I realized that cross-cultural research is stuck within binary confounds in clinical psychology, such as comparing individualism and collectivism. The need for easily recognized answers, binary and straightforward answers do not currently reflect the true psychological complexities of people in a highly globalized world. While pursuing graduate studies, I hope that I will clarify the issue and address psychopathological disorders with a keen observation on the matter.



Waterbury, J. (2019). Reform of higher education in the Arab world. In Major challenges facing higher education in the Arab World: Quality assurance and relevance (pp. 133-166). Springer, Cham.