Sihan Aljallad says she was lucky."I'd applied to BGU because I wanted to be a doctor. I went through their preparation year, but ultimately wasn't accepted, although their admissions person told Kher [Albaz] about me," she recalls. "I was happy to come to SCE and study chemical engineering instead. I love it.
"I've been so surprised by the welcome I felt here," she adds. "In any school, I was expecting to find rejection or even racism, but there hasn't been any. Everyone, all the professors and the support staff, are always reaching out to help. 'Is there anything you need?' 'Are you okay?' 'Can I help?' That really surprised me."
Still, there are some issues that need to be resolved.
"At the moment, I'm having a little trouble with transportation," she says. "For a while, our local council provided us with a shared bus, but then they stopped. We're trying to work something out, but on the evenings I have to stay late, SCE pays for a taxi. I'm sorry when that happens."
Myuassar Abo Sbeitan credits her mother with furthering her education at the college.
"If it weren't for my mother, I wouldn't be here," she says. "She's very proud, and she's doing everything to help me that she can. After my father died, she had to be very strong.
"I also met my husband here - he was my tutor, and we were married a few months ago. That wasn't easy, either, because my husband is an Arab from the North. Mixed marriages like ours aren't normally permitted, so it took a lot of arrangements to work it out. We live here in Beersheba now. My husband already graduated, so when I finish, we'll move up North to be with his family.
"It hasn't been easy, any of it. But it's worth it, every bit of it. I know one thing: Money comes and goes, but the one thing you can always keep is your education."