Khadija Arian's path to Northeastern University includes a terrifying turning point: the Taliban takeover of her native Afghanistan. She left her homeland in a sudden, harrowing evacuation, the massive August 2021 airlift from the Kabul airport.
Then a student at the American University of Afghanistan, Arian would've been in danger had she stayed. Instead, after a rushed goodbye to her parents, she boarded a bus, sat next to a fellow student who would become her best friend, and—guarded by a phalanx of U.S. soldiers—walked from the bus into the airport to board a flight out of the country.
Now, not yet two years later, Arian is living with three other Afghan transfer students in a dorm on Northeastern's campus. She's a junior, an accounting and finance major, member of a financial tech club and the university's Islamic Society.
“Northeastern is my home away from home,” she says.