Mahabad came to IEI in 2000 at the recommendation of a friend. She and her husband came to Nashville from Kurdistan, and she wanted to study English in order to do graduate studies. In addition to preparing to achieve her academic and career goals at IEI, Mahabad found a close-knit international family of teachers, staff, and classmates to support and encourage her.

“I have lots of wonderful and unforgettable experiences at IEI,” she says. “Every single day at IEI was a ‘new’ day.”

She did indeed perfect her English skills and went on to earn a masters degree in Leadership in Education from Tennessee State University (TSU) in 2002.

“Without attending IEI, I would have not been able to get my masters degree in an American university,” says Mahabad. “IEI teaches English in such an easy way that you would not ever forget.”

Since then, she has worked in several capacities that combine her skill and passion for teaching with her multilingualism. She has been a teacher for both Metro Nashville Public Schools and TSU. Today, she tutors math students in English, Kurdish, Arabic, and Turkmen for the Homework Hotline. She is also a translator and a substitute teacher for the public school system.

As Mahabad’s professional resume has grown, and so has her family. Two days before Mahabad graduated from TSU, she and her husband welcomed a baby son into the world. In 2004, their daughter was born.

Today, Mahabad still happily remembers her days as an IEI student. “I have already recommended IEI to many friends and family members and will continue recommending it to others because IEI is not just a school for us. It is like a home for all of the students. I love it so much and I will never forget it.”