Blog Post by Husam Al Shukaili

During summer sessions, Minnesota English Language Program (MELP) students visit different places in the Twin Cities for a cultural experience. The following blog post was written by Husam Al Shukaili about his visit to the Mall of America with fellow students and faculty. 

light rail station

It wasn’t just about visiting the Mall of America: it was about meeting new friends and exchanging our cultures by speaking English, the mother tongue that connects all cultures together.

It was 12:30 p.m. at Nicholson Hall when three MELP instructors, Jenny, Zoe, and Kate, came in and told us it was time to go. The trip started by taking a picture of all students and instructors outside Nicholson Hall. Then, we walked together through the campus to get to the East Bank train station. When we got there, we bought tickets for the train and waited for the green line till it came. We took the green line to the U.S. Bank station. There we saw the new Vikings Stadium. I was impressed by the size and the design. I would love to see it from inside.

After we took pictures of the stadium, we took the blue line to get to the Mall of America. The train took around 40 minutes to get to the mall. While I was sitting in the train I had a nice conversation with my new friend Komi, who is from Japan. He is preparing to get his second PhD in agriculture. Komi doesn’t know much about my country.

He said, “I know what Oman is famous for.”

I said, “What?”
Komi said, “Petroleum.”

We laughed because obviously this is the only thing that the world knows about my country. Komi told me that sushi and anime shows are very popular in his country. After a while, we approached the mall and we were very excited to get inside.

We started the tour of the Mall of America by visiting the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, which was amazing. We saw many sea creatures. Then came the shopping. First, we stopped at the Vikings store, which is full of clothes and sports equipment that belong to the football team. We moved on to see other stores like Nike, North Face, American Eagle, and Abercrombie, where I buy most of my clothes. Then we saw a huge roller coaster in the middle of the mall. There were other games besides the roller coaster, like the LEGO store, which most kids love.

Vikings Store

At 3:45 p.m. we gathered at the train station. My friend Min bought a new laptop. Other students bought different things. We headed back to Minneapolis.

At the end of the trip, I was very lucky that I met four new friends, Komi from Japan, Zakaria from Saudi Arabia, Min from China, and John from South Korea. I had a great time with them.

This blog post was written by Husam Al Shukaili.