By Mariama Odoi
Asking an American student about transition from high school to college may be an easy question since the education system is similar. For an international student, the question requires more than a couple of paragraphs to answer. Why? Simply because plenty of decisions, values, experiences, and tactical planning happens throughout the journey of an international student pursuing a degree in an American institution.
To be candid with you, the application process to be accepted into Felician University was smooth sailing. It was my journey to be approved for a student visa that was overwhelming. I interviewed for my I-20 visa 5 times in order to study in the U.S. After 4 rejections, I was finally approved. Till this day, I remember the rush of joy I felt. I entered the United States not knowing what was ahead, with many questions in mind, but also with the belief that faith and hard work would see me through any storm I face.
As an international student in the U.S., I can be a full-time student and work to earn an income for my needs while studying; something I was not able to do in my home country. Most importantly, studying at Felician University has provided me the privilege of participating in many programs and organizations outside the classroom. Through Campus Ministry I can develop myself as an ambassador for Catholic Relief Services to help humanity through awareness, which is a dream I had always wanted to accomplish before stepping into this great nation.
I am learning to challenge myself using a human-centered approach to solving both work and personal issues. My coursework is empowering me to construct innovative solutions to arising obstacles in healthcare and to create a world for others that is inspiring and meaningful. I have matured in every aspect of life compared to 3 years ago. But much more importantly, I have met a roommate who is now very much family to me. I can live with her wonderful family and explore many places with her.
In conclusion, everyone’s story about their transition from high school to college is different but I can confidently say to you that “where there is a will, there is a way.” Now, I cannot believe there are just a few days left to wrap up my third year in college.
Let's be instruments of change!