INTERLINK International Institutes have served thousands of English language learners from around the world since 1980. Our focused programs and courses help students and professionals to enhance their English language skills and develop time management, research, critical thinking, and leadership skills. Our programs include university ESL and EFL preparation courses, Corporate Training and Development, English for Specific Purposes (ESP), and Academic Business English.
INTERLINK International Institutes
Committed to transformative education, INTERLINK strives to promote mutual respect, cross-cultural understanding, and peaceful coexistence by enabling participants to: recognize and appreciate cultural differences; communicate in accurate and thoughtful ways; and become creative and humane leaders.
Guided by standards of quality and fairness, we provide English language instruction, academic preparation, cross-cultural orientation, and professional development training in ways that empower participants to become engaged students, independent learners, critical thinkers, and effective communicators. (Extended Mission Statement)
Committed to excellence in training, we believe that honesty, openness, and compassion are qualities fundamental to meaningful interaction. All our actions stem from a single focus – disciplined attention to student needs, satisfaction, and success. Our faculty embody the highest standards of professionalism manifested with care, concern, and commitment. Our administrators are clear that they lead best by serving and serve best by meeting participants’ needs.
Fostering critical thinking, academic readiness, and cultural awareness has been as important to INTERLINK as helping students improve their linguistic skills. At INTERLINK, learning is not viewed as the accumulation of data but as a dynamic process of discovery, learning, and personal growth.
We are delighted you are considering the INTERLINK International Institute at Al Yamamah University, one of the leading English-medium universities in the Kingdom and the region.
Since its establishment at Al Yamamah University in 2004, INTERLINK’s unique program has enabled students to perform with distinction. Some of their achievements include employment with leading corporations in the Kingdom; superior performance in their academic studies; first- and second-place prizes in international debate competitions; successful participation in youth forums in Europe; and successful attendance at US, Canadian, Australian, European, and some Asian universities.
Since its inception in the United States in 1980, INTERLINK has helped thousands of students and professionals to achieve their academic and professional goals. Some have attended major U.S. universities, including Berkeley, Cornell, Duke, MIT, and The University of Pennsylvania among many others. Now as alumni, they are using their skills to serve their communities as professors, researchers, and executives at major international corporations, universities, and governmental agencies.
We hope you, too, will be able to take advantage of our unique learning environment and its motivating and enriching academic opportunities in KSA and abroad..
With good wishes,
Ahad Shahbaz President & CEO, INTERLINK International Institutes
Khalid Al Khudair Board Chairman, Al Yamamah University
INTERLINK US Senior Staff
Ahad Shahbaz, President & CEO
Ahad Shahbaz has directed and overseen over 30 programs on various university campuses in the U.S. and abroad. Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s global message of helping and learning from the world through the Peace Corps program, he began his career in teaching and learning with the Peace Corps in Afghanistan and subsequently continued with coordinating the Teacher Corps/Peace Corps language and cross-cultural project at SUNY/College at Buffalo. Having completed his tenure at SUNY/College, he taught English as a second language at SUNY/Buffalo followed by directing the Office of International Student Affairs at Snead State College in Alabama. His incurable addiction to language and culture subsequently took him to Saudi Arabia to set up the Ohio University intensive English program in Taif, Saudi Arabia. An active participant in multiple organizations, he served EnglishUSA (formerly American Association of Intensive English Programs) as its first elected Vice President for Standards; Carolina TESOL as president; the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation as a task force member; and NAFSA: Association of International Educators as a multi-year presenter on leadership, management, and cross-cultural training. He obtained his BA in Liberal Arts/Linguistics from SUNY/College at Buffalo and his MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from SUNY/Buffalo. Committed to transformative education through project-based curricula, he currently oversees U.S. and international programs focusing on academic preparation, language learning, and cross-cultural training.
David Parsons, Senior Executive Director
David Parsons has had extensive experience in teaching, research, and administration. Prior to joining INTERLINK, David directed a Kellogg Foundation-sponsored program on agriculture in the liberal arts: “Food, Peace, & International Development” at Wilmington College of Ohio. He has taught ESL and conducted cross-cultural research in Algeria. Since 1986, he has worked with INTERLINK as teacher, assistant director and director of two different campus programs. As former president of Carolina TESOL, he has been active in the region promoting standards in ESL programs. David holds a B.A. in History and Math from Guilford College; an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Northwestern University; and a MAT in English as a Second Language from the School for International Training. He speaks fluent French and is familiar with Arabic and Russian.
David Woodward, Senior Advisor for Strategic Outreach
As the INTERLINK Senior Advisor for Strategic Outreach, David Woodward brings a wealth of significant experience in global business, international program administration, language education, and cross-cultural communication. His expertise spans 40 years of facilitating global K-20 education and multi-regional business development. He has led multi-site organizations nationally, conducted marketing and outreach internationally, contributed to corporate board and organizational development, and has set up strategic relationships worldwide. David was born in Iran where he spent his early youth and developed a fascination for languages and cultures of the world. He holds four degrees from the University of Washington, including an MA in Higher Education with a specialization in Teaching English as a Second Language, an MA in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, a BA in Linguistics, and a BA in History.
Shaima Shahbaz, Executive Director
A native of Colorado, Shaima Shahbaz has held various management posts in the US and abroad. After obtaining her BA in Sociology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, she volunteered as a project manager for the nonprofit Afghans4Tomorrow in Afghanistan. Her experience in Kabul inspired her to enroll at the U.N. University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica. With an M.A. in Responsible Management, she then worked with the nonprofit BeadforLife, conducting research and managing projects in rural Uganda. Having served INTERLINK since 2012, Shaima has worked in various capacities including as Project Manager, Communication Director, and Assistant Director of the INTERLINK institute at St. Ambrose University. As Executive Director, Shaima brings a strong appreciation for and commitment to INTERLINK’s vision, mission, and ethos of service.
In Memoriam: Bob Steiner, Founder & Chairman
Founder and Chairman, Robert Steiner had extensive experience in the field of cross-cultural training and international education. He held key posts in leadership, management and training in the U.S. and abroad; was Director of Cross-Cultural Training and Research at the University of Hawaii; served as Director of the Fulbright Commission in Iran; at the request of Sargent Shriver, President John F. Kennedy’s brother-in-law, started and directed the Peace Corps programs in Afghanistan and Iran, and was later promoted to Peace Corps Regional Director for North Africa, Near East, and South Asia; worked as Executive Director of New Jersey Education Consortium; and was a consultant at the United Nations. As a chief executive officer of government agencies and private institutions, Robert managed and promoted world-wide educational and training projects. He held an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University and a B.A. in Mathematics and Physics from the College of Wooster. He was listed in Who’s Who in America. Robert spoke Farsi and French fluently.
INTERLINK YU Administrators
Nebila Dhieb, General Director
Nebila oversees both the Women’s and Men’s Divisions at the university as well as all outreach programs offered by INTERLINK. With MA and PhD degrees in Applied Linguistics from the University of Manuba (UM), Tunisia, and as Assistant Professor in Applied Linguistics at UM, she has lectured on Curriculum Development, Applied Linguistics, English for Specific Purposes, and TESL/TEFL Methodologies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. During most of her tenure, she has been involved in facilitating different pre-service and in-service teacher training programs. An active participant in international conferences in TESOL, TESOL ARABIA, the Maghreb Conference, and INTERLINK’s various, annual ELT International Symposia, she enjoys training, research, and writing. Her articles have been published in English for Specific Purposes, ITL Review of Applied Linguistics, CALL-EJ and English Teaching Forum. Her book “Understanding Reading in a Scientific Context: A Genre-based Approach” was published in 2010 (VDM). Nebila is fluent in Arabic and French.
Bu-Madyan Kahtan, Assistant Director
Bu-Madyan is a passionate English language teaching professional who has been working in the field of English language teaching, program administration, teacher training, and curriculum review and design for over 22 years. After earning his BA in TEFL from the College of Education, he earned a TESOL Certificate and was appointed as teaching assistant in Sanaa University, Yemen. After five years of teaching EAP and ESP at Sanaa University and EFL at Yemen’s most prestigious language center, YALI, he received a Fulbright Scholarship and earned his MA in TESOL/Applied Linguistics at the University of Northern Iowa, USA. He then served as a teach trainer for in-service and pre-service teachers in the UAE. His training included an introduction to portfolios and continuous assessment. From there, he joined the INTERLINK team and within two years was promoted to Instructional Coordinator and then Assistant Director. Bu-Madyan’s strengths include program design, curriculum review and design, assessment, teacher training, counseling, and comparative linguistics. He speaks Arabic fluently. He enjoys cross-cultural interaction and is a lifelong learner.
Randa Sibahi, Assistant Director
Dr. Randa Sibahi holds an EdD in TESOL and an M.Ed. from the University of Exeter. She is a passionate English language teaching professional who has been working in the field of English language teaching, teacher training, and curriculum review and design for over a decade. Sibahi has written on reflective practice, project-based learning, students’ evaluation of teaching and learning, academic writing and professionalism. Sibahi remains active in the field of ESL by attending and presenting at conferences and has been a member of TESOL for many years. Her areas of specialization are: TESOL, 21st century skills and improvement of both teacher competency and student academic success.
INTERLINK YU Instructional Coordinators
Mohamed Haroun, Instructional Coordinator
Mohamed graduated from Hunter College, City University of New York, with a BA in English literature and political science with a special honors in curriculum. Mohamed holds an MA in British and American literature. He also studied abroad at the American University in Cairo, which helped him to brush up on his Arabic and gave him his first taste of education in the Middle East. While attending college, Mohamed worked in higher education administration for ten years as the Assistant to the President of Hunter College. He developed his love for teaching when he was given the opportunity to teach expository writing in the Department of English. He completed a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults from the University of Cambridge and continued to refine his pedagogical outlook, both in theory and practice, while teaching both English and Arabic to adult learners at a language center in New York City. Mohamed is interested in research on second language acquisition in an EFL context.
Aaron Abdow, Instructional Coordinator
Aaron earned a B.S. in Organizational Management from Colorado State University and a M.A.T (TESOL) from SIT Graduate Institute. Prior to his role as instructional coordinator at INTERLINK Al Yamamah, Aaron was an English lecturer and teacher trainer. He began his teaching career as an English teacher with the Peace Corps in Mozambique and later worked with Peace Corps Liberia teaching English and mentoring administrators at a rural teacher training institute.
Partnerships & Projects
Since its partnership with Al Yamamah University (YU) in 2004, INTERLINK has been preparing YU students (both male and female) for academic studies. Over the years, additional programs have been established to further support the needs and aspirations of YU students. Graduates of INTERLINK YU are among the best prepared to continue their education in pursuit of advanced degrees from YU as well as institutions of higher education abroad.
Beyond the YU student body, INTERLINK serves the linguistic, academic, and professional development needs of the larger Saudi community through affiliation with governmental and private agencies. Organizations wishing to equip their employees with the specialized English language skills of their respective professions entrust their training to INTERLINK.
Examples of entities with which INTERLINK YU has had affiliations include:
- National Information Center (Ministry of Interior)
- SABIC (Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation)
- SAMA (Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority)
- HRDF (Human Resources Development Fund)
- INTELP (INTERLINK Teacher Training English Language Program) al Namouthajiyah Elementary-Secondary Schools
- Ministry of Health: Psychiatrics Division
- SALIC (Saudi Agricultural & Livestock Investment Company)
- The Charity Fund
- Saudi Information Technology Company
“INTERLINK is the most important asset at Al Yamamah University. The English program distinguishes the university from any other college or university in KSA. The skills I acquired and developed and the potential it ignited in my mind is what I carry with me to the job market and it is what makes me stand out in a crowd.”
Sami Al Owaini
Investors’ Relations Officer, National Company for Education
My time at INTERLINK was nothing short of remarkable. From the point of landing in Riyadh to working as an instructor, I was met with efficiency, professionalism and the utmost care. This extended to the classroom where INTERLINK has outstanding and highly qualified instructors- experts in the field of English language teaching- who use their knowledge to inspire confidence within the students and ultimately generate outstanding results. INTERLINK stands out because of its supportive, knowledgeable, and approachable management team.
I was very impressed with the different teaching methodologies that instructors utilised as well as the students’ interactions and responses to them. The students…are confident users of the English Language. Through the student-centered approach taken in the classroom, I observed gifted and talented students from all over the world flourish both inside and outside the classroom.
My experience in the INTERLINK program was very positive. It teaches students more than just English language skills. It prepares them for the workplace by teaching important skills such as body language awareness, presentation, analysis, and technical report writing which has benefited me in my business, study, and work at the United Nations.
INTERLINK is run by the best and the most qualified instructors. I truly enjoyed learning new things every day in a creative way. We had the option to choose our areas of interests as subjects for our research projects. Fortunately, I had the best, native speakers as instructors. They helped me obtain a higher level of speaking and pronunciation. I liked the creativity involved in the methods that the instructors used.
In my orientation year, I was enrolled at INTERLINK and the program was amazing. It enhanced my writing and speaking skills. We had different activities ranging from class work to in-class games and the instructors were very helpful inside and outside the class. I highly recommend the program to those looking forward to learning English and for those who want to enhance their skills.
At INTERLINK I developed reading skills I use every day now. The communication classes in the INTERLINK program gave me the confidence and skills I need to do presentations on stage. Now I can present complicated topics to a large audience at work with confidence. Doing a mock trial was an unbelievably beneficial exercise in teaching me how to work in a team. The writing classes helped me learn how to best use vocabulary, and the listening activities dramatically enhanced my ability to use English in real situations.
Khalid Moulham Al Sabbagh
Marketing Manager, Corp Production Company
INTERLINK is a very pragmatic program that has equipped me with English speaking and communication skills. The skills I acquired through this program have given me an edge over my colleagues. Through my studies at INTERLINK, I mastered not only powerful, professional writing skills, but gained the confidence to speak eloquently in a public setting. I had an amazing experience studying here as it promotes creative learning. The instructors are very friendly, supportive, and provide individualized attention to students. The course I took had many fun activities intended for groups, which contributed to my team management skills. Overall, it was beneficial to my professional development.
My experience with INTERLINK was primarily with their English and Business Writing courses. These courses improved my creative and technical writing skills and greatly complimented my marketing education. I appreciated how the class structure was geared towards not only improving my writing skills but also training me as a future business graduate. As a graduate, I appreciate the practical skills I learned from these classes, such as case-study writing and analysis, reports and summaries drafting, and business plan development as well as the soft-skills coaching provided with these classes. The course structure forced me to improve my time-management and multitasking abilities with its constant stream of different tasks with varying difficulty levels. Furthermore, the instructors were always more than willing to have one-on-one sessions and provide constructive feedback. The courses not only complimented my business education but prepared me for the job market and have helped me tremendously in my professional life.
The INTERLINK program made my English learning experience much easier and better. It helped me tremendously in improving my communication skills through presenting in front of my classmates and instructors. Now, these skills set me apart from my peers.
General Manager’s Assistant, Cisco – Saudi Arabia
The INTERLINK program has the unique feature of igniting creativity and potential in students eager to achieve and succeed. I have seen this over and over throughout my many years of service. I have the great pleasure, and honor, to help students along this path, and I see how they grow and evolve. I am especially proud of the students I trained to participate in a GCC-level, public speaking competition in Dubai. It was very professionally fulfilling to see them win first place prizes in a competition that brings together students from top universities in the GCC countries.
Asaad Al Asaad
English Language Instructor INTERLINK at Al Yamamah University & Student Activities Center Director
Apply to Al Yamamah University
INTERLINK at Al Yamamah University
Al Yamamah University
P.O. Box 45180 – Riyadh 11512 KSA
Phone: 011 2242222
- Ext 3692 – Men’s campus
- Ext 3665 – Men’s campus
- Ex 4025 – Women’s campus
- Ext 4485 – Women’s campus
- 011-4858629 – Men’s campus
- 011-4858628 – Women’s campus
Details about INTERLINK programs
English Orientation Programs
English for Special Purposes
Corporate Training & Development
Al Yamamah University
Al-Yamamah University is located north of Riyadh, on the Al-Qassim Highway, and occupies an area of 160,000 square meters. It was designed in accordance with the latest standards for educational institutions.