Gay Young Man Moving from Tunisia to USA for College - Disney College Program

lucky_bunni

Live via Chromebook
Joined
Sep 2, 2003
Hello Everyone!

My name is Josh, and I've been a member of this community since I was about half my current age. I want put this out there, because I know this might strike a cord with others in the LGBTQ community. I've made friend and gotten to know a young man in Tunisia who is passionate about getting out of his home country and to the USA to attend college.

For those of you who don't know, Tunisia is a country in Northern Africa and is predominately Muslim and very conservative. Authorities there actively entrap gay men and place them in jail, and my friend constantly lives in fear of this if he should be found out.

In addition to the fear of being arrested, my friend faces bullying and harassment each and every day from his schoolmates, teachers, family members, and members of his community. They put him down about the way he talks, the styles of clothes he wears, his walk, and call him many disgraceful, homophobic names.

If you have any advice of his immigration, getting him into a college anywhere in the USA, or fund raising ideas, I would greatly appreciate anything you can think of.

I'd love to see this young man get into a college here and have the opportunity to get away from his tormented life in Tunisia. I have even suggested and described to him the Disney College Program, as I think it would be PERFECT for his outgoing personality and fascination with American culture.

Thanks much everyone!

https://www.gofundme.com/2pvev3w
 

wilkeliza

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
He could try applying for the cultural exchange program with Disney. Being fluent in 3 languages should help that. He could even just take an online course if college is a requirement for that. They usually get year long visas to work in America and in that time he could try to get a regular visa or get into a US college and stay on a student visa. This is different then the standard college program which he wouldn't qualify for.
 

lucky_bunni

Live via Chromebook
Joined
Sep 2, 2003
@sarahatthesea Thank you for the advise, and for posting that list of colleges. I think we've been a little concerned that since he isn't a straight A student with lots of extracurricular activities that he wouldn't be a prime candidate for scholarships. But that's not to say that it's impossible. He's beginning to send out emails about his situation to admission departments of colleges to see what the response is.

Asylum was also a thought of course, but we think the sure-er path out of his country is through gaining an education and stepping into a career. Asylum offers no guarantees, and the thought of getting sent back to your country if you're rejected is scary. Especially since everyone there would then know that he's gay.

@wilkeliza Great info. I didn't realize that there was a cultural exchange separate from the DCP. I will certainly have him check that out. I've reminded him that speaking English, French, and Arabic well is a big selling point.
 

Princesca

<3 Pink sugar heart attack! <3
Joined
Jun 14, 2011

MassJester

DIS Veteran
DIS Lifetime Sponsor
Joined
Oct 25, 2001
It's important to keep in mind that the path from student visa to permanent resident is neither easy nor a sure bet. Additionally, there are a lot of "immigration attorneys" who will take large up front fees for performing little valuable services. The both of you should get to know the immigration rules, and have detailed strategy for post-academic decisions.

It perhaps goes without saying, but academic success and continued enrollment is critical to maintaining the student visa.
 


Connect

Disney News and Updates

Get Daily Email Updates


Top