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International Student Finds Academic Success at Montclair State

Basbibi Kakar is an international student at Montclair State University.  Where she is from, there are few educational opportunities for women. And anyone who takes advantage of those opportunities does so at their own risk. That’s why Afghan native Basbibi Kakar feels so fortunate to be studying at Montclair State University.

“I, being the first Afghan women in my family to attend university meant a lot for everyone back in Afghanistan, especially my father and siblings,” said Kakar. “I am paving ways for other girls to go to school and think about furthering their education beyond 12th grade.”

In Afghanistan, Kakar’s father had to fight for his daughter’s right to attend school – a position that is not popular and can come with serious repercussions. “My father hasn't only invested his capital into our education, but more importantly his time, love, successive thoughts, and passion in me and all my siblings,” she said.

“Everyone wanted him to take his kids out of school – since it is not a norm for girls to go to school. It is a place where there is no security or assurance of personal safety.” More than a chance to further her education, Kakar views her Montclair State experience as a vehicle to encourage her peers back home.

“I hope there would be opportunities for other young Afghan women who can come and study at Montclair State University,” she said. “They could profit from the diverse, inclusive education it provides and change their perspective on how life is different for a women in the United States. These kinds of experiences could bring changes in our shared society through education.”