ONE YEAR STUDY ABROAD BY NAA LAMLE LAMPTEY
Studying in the US has been the highlight of my three years spent in college. Thanks to ISEP, my dream of studying abroad has been nothing short of amazing. Right from the beginning to the end. Fortunately for me, I was privileged to attend two wonderful schools in one year; One state school and one private school. The experience was so enlivening.
I have learnt so much from my experience in the US. Studying abroad for a year away from home has brought me out of my comfort zone. When you move to a country you have never been to, it teaches you things about yourself, about people, about cultures and about your perception of the world. Life outside our comfort zone is where the richest and most fulfilled versions of ourselves live, and pushing through the fear is what makes finding it so rewarding.
I am glad that I got the opportunity to study in the US because there is much to take advantage of and savor in colleges in the US. The courses I took at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne(IPFW) and Butler University have fulfilled my expectations. It was a lot easier to have meaningful relationships with professors who served as very important and influential mentors.
It is especially important to know someone in your field closely, as he or she will be able to provide you guidance in your specific area of focus, and even offer reference letters when you need them. Luckily for me, most of my professors served this great purpose as well.
Also, I realized that being a college student in the US has moments that could pass for having a full-time job. Most university students in the U.S. live on campus, in dorms provided by the university. This means that students eat, sleep, socialize, study and hang out all at the same place: campus. Most things going on in a student’s life – academics, extracurricular activities, social life – will likely be related to university life. In fact, during certain periods of the semester, such as midterms or final exams, university life might even feel like more than a full-time job. College in the U.S. is more than just taking classes; most of the work university students do will actually be outside of the classroom, such as working on assignments, group study or research. Sometimes, the amount of time a student devotes to university work will be more than 40 hours a week.
During my stay in the US, I learnt to balance work and fun. Even though there was a lot of adjusting and exploring to be done, I kept in mind the fact that my grades were going to transfer back to my Home University so I learnt to manage my time very well. While experiencing a new way of life during my time abroad, it was easy to get swept up in the moment and forget that this is study abroad and not just an extended vacation. I always reminded myself of that and my hard work and time management totally paid off with great grades.
Studying abroad has made me grow into a more independent person and it gave me an insight into several cultures and beliefs. From the shy person that I was back at home, studying abroad enabled me to break out of my shell which helped develop my interpersonal skills among others. I have made absolutely amazing memories meeting amazing people, spending time with family members that I have not seen in years, sightseeing and practically exploring the length and breadth of The United States of America. This experience was definitely a worthwhile one.
Thank you ISEP and IPO for this great opportunity.
Naa Lamle Lamptey