Every year a small group of Malaysian women arrive at the Rochester Institute of Technology on government scholarships from their country to earn degrees in biotechnology. The women prepare for the lab in their “Tissue Cultures” class at the College of Science at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) on Dec 4, 2013. Left to right : Aiman Rosdi, Norazleen Hashim, Kilala Rahman, and Fatini Busairi.
Aqlili Riana's bedroom wall filled with pictures of friends and religious reminders. May 9, 2012.
Riana prays the last prayer of the day alone in her bedroom. May, 9, 2014.
The women gather in an apartment to eat traditional food after a Malaysian Association meeting, Apr 19, 2013.
Fatini and her aunt cut the fat off a chicken in preperation to cook the Eid dinner, Jul 27, 2014.
Casting a fishing net in a river on Jul 31, 2014.
Fatini and her grandmother, Jul 27, 2014.
After riding throughout the village, Ameirya Mohd parks her moped in front of her home in Felda Neram 1, Kuantan, Malaysia. July 20, 2014.
Nur Faseeha Suhaimi prays in her grandmother's home in Kuala Muda in Kedah, Malaysia. Aug 9, 2014.
Riana works under black light in her genetic engineering lab at Rochester Institute of Technology, Apr 19, 2012.
Fatini re-veils her hijab before finding a place to pray in between her classes. Dec 4, 2013.
Zur Raiha and Filza Zaheera walk across the RIT campus to class, Nov 21, 2014.
Norazleen Hashim prays in between a wall and the staircase at the College of Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, Apr 22, 2014.“It is very narrow. We have to squeeze ourselves in between the ending machine and the wall behind the staircase. People walk down the stairs and no one knows I am back there.”
Norazleen Hashim takes out the trash from the dormatories at Rochester Institute of Technology, May 4, 2014. Norazleen works as a janitor on the weekends and has given herself the nickname of “Trash Girl.”
Nadia works on campus mopping and cleaning the laundry rooms in the dormitories. Rochester Institute of Technology, May 4, 2014. Many of the women do janitorial jobs with shifts that begin at 6:00 am on weekends.
Norazleen pushes Filza Zaheera down a hill on campus, Dec 14, 2013. This was Filza’s first time sledding.
Nadia laughs as her youngest sister, Amieyra jumps on her brothers back at Teluk Chempedak Beach, Kuantan, Malaysia, July 23, 2014.
Norazleen Hashim holds her niece, Adelia while shopping with her mother in Klang, Selangor, Malaysia on Aug 8, 2014.
Riana Alias and her sister Aliyana sit and look at crops from the top of Jugra Hill in Jugra Selengor, Malaysia on Aug 4, 2014. Riana graduated RIT in 2013 and is now pursuing a PhD in Malaysia.
Fatini’s sits and eats rambutan fruit with her aunt and cousins outside her grandmother’s home, Kuala Pilah, Malaysia, July 22, 2014.
Before eating dinner, the women pray together in their apartment, Rochester N.Y., Oct 5, 2013.
The girls gather around to take a "selfie" at their apartment in Rochester, NY. Sep 6, 2014.
After the night prayer, Aiman, Nadia, Norazleen and Fatini sit together on their staircase at their apartment in Rochester NY. Dec 10, 2014.