Fulbright student celebrates ‘a dream that came true’

Mohammad Jawad Jahid will graduate with a MPH-VPH this spring

Kristen Mitchell
Mohammad Jawad Jahid

Mohammad Jawad Jahid came to Ohio State from Afghanistan through the Fulbright Foreign Student Program.

When Mohammad Jawad Jahid landed in Columbus in August 2021, he didn’t know it would be impossible for him to return home. Just days after leaving his family in Afghanistan, the capital city of Kabul was captured by the Taliban.

Between the fear for his family’s safety and the shock of learning to navigate a new country and education system, Jahid had an extremely difficult first semester at Ohio State. This spring, he celebrates the completion of his master’s in veterinary public health, a collaborative program between the College of Public Health and the College of Veterinary Medicine. 

“I never dreamed I could come to such a university five or 10 years ago,” he said. “This was a dream that came true to me, and I’m really proud of that.”

Jahid came to Ohio State through the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, which supports educational exchanges between the U.S. and more than 155 countries. He studied veterinary medicine in Afghanistan and wanted to continue his education to gain knowledge, skills and experience related to preventing disease outbreaks. Many in Afghanistan support themselves and their families with subsistence farming and animal husbandry, Jahid said.

“When there is an outbreak of disease in the animal population, it endangers animals, which is a source of subsistence for 85% of our population, but humans are also at risk,” he said.

Jahid will continue his education at Ohio State and pursue a PhD in comparative biomedical sciences. 

Outside the classroom, Jahid works as a research assistant at the College of Veterinary Medicine and is president of Buckeye Brighters, an organization that brings together Ohio State’s Fulbright students and scholars. The club gives members a space to share stories about adjusting to student life in the U.S. and any challenges they’ve been experiencing. They also share tips and best practices for managing coursework and share snacks from home.

“We all miss our families and countries,” Jahid said. “When we come together and find those who have the same circumstance … that is impactful for me personally.”

You might also like