Students at the Florida State University Center for Intensive English Studies are mourning the loss of their classmate after his drowning on Saturday. Nineteen-year-old Saud Alajmi had returned to the Chipola River with a handful of classmates a day after a school-sponsored tubing trip there.
Andrew Wilson was Alajmi’s grammar teacher at the Center for Intensive English Studies, which offers international students an immersive experience in English language and culture. Wilson says when he walked into the classroom Monday morning, he broke down and cried with his students. He says he's never lost a student before--and Alajmi had already made quite an impression since starting the program in late June.
“He was a very funny guy and a very witty guy," Wilson says, "and the thing is, is a lot of students that are learning English from other countries, they come here to learn grammar, to learn the rules of English, but they don’t necessarily grasp humor, especially subtle and dry humor like I sometimes show my students. And he did.”
Wilson adds that Alajmi was not one to stay home on the weekends because he fully embraced not only the English language but also the culture and natural beauty of Florida.
Center Director Patrick Kennell says the tight-knit community of students are in shock over Alajmi’s death. The 19-year-old had come to Tallahassee from his native Kuwait.