By Florida Ahado
I arrived in Portland in December 2016, and since it was a holiday season, the ambience, my first snow, the multiculturalism, everything was mesmerizing to me. I started at Portland Community College (PCC) in 2017 with English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and majored in computer information systems in fall 2020. The classes at PCC are small sizes which allows the instructor to pay better attention to each student and focus on each individual's success.
PCC has four campuses all over Portland and free shuttle services, which makes traveling between campuses easy and so I could get the best hours for my classes without worrying about transportation.
My favorite place to hang out at PCC was the International Students offices because there I could always find someone I could relate to, whether it be on the cultural background or interest level. There were always events inside or outside the campuses put together by international students to showcase cultures from different countries and help students interact with each other. Portland also as a whole is also a very welcoming place with warmhearted people and interesting events happening throughout the year.
In my time at PCC, I had the opportunity to work as student leader in the Student Government, the Women’s Resource Center, and the Office of International Students where I gained skills and experiences that are helping me right now find a job for my Optional Practical Training (OPT). After my graduation, I wanted to get some more experiences from the I.T. field before continuing with a bachelor degree so I applied for OPT, a program that will allow me to work for a year in my major field.
I will definitely say that enrolling at PCC was at first a very intimidating and scary decisionbut now that I am here and experiencing it, I am seeing how big of a life-changing experience it is for me. It is probably the best decision I’ve ever made.