“Edmonds CC is a center of diversity and I’m glad to be here.”NWCCI, a U.S. Department of State funded program. This is the college’s third year of hosting the Northwest Community College Initiative, which, to date, has hosted 90 students. During the 2011-12 academic year, 40 students from Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan, Panama, South Africa, and Turkey will study in Washington state at Edmonds CC, Whatcom Community College, and Pierce College through this partnership.
— Benjamin Kanligi, Business Information Technology
Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) program
The program’s goals are to foster mutual understanding between the participating countries and the United States, and to provide young professionals from underprivileged backgrounds access to professional training.
Read more about Benjamin and read his winning essay about studying in the United States for the NWCCI contest.
Why Edmonds CC? It is the right place to be as student. Its friendly atmosphere nurtures any kind of student to mature.
Before Edmonds CC: I was in my second year of college education in Ghana pursuing a diploma in Financial Accounting.
Why Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) program: My advisers are particularly helpful and care for my daily stay. I could not do much without their benevolence.
Best college experience: Getting to know colleague students from around the globe. It makes it possible to see how close the world is. Edmonds CC is a center of diversity, and I’m glad to be here as a student.
Favorite classes: Accounting 201 and 216 — The instructors were welcoming which made the classes lovely.
Book: Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson — It talks about dealing with change in every aspect of life.
Interests: soccer — watching or playing for fun.
Advice for students: Talk to your teachers when feeling challenged in classes.
Dream job: professional accountant
My experience in the United States for the past months
Today the 24th of January 2012, marks my seventh month here in the United States. I was actually overwhelmed with what I saw on my first day here. Though frustration set in upon getting used to a new cultural set, I believed that the value of change and possibly transforming my life to a better person would be a welcoming veneration to my folks back in Ghana.
My first experience was a situation I encountered with my academic learning. This was an unhappy situation to me, but I am glad it did happen because of the lesson I learned from it. I unheeded to instructions pertaining to time management. As usual, I was playing tricks with time, but this went very short after I started to lose valuable marks for presenting overdue assignments. I quickly readjusted myself in order to contain the ever piling work from my college classes. I knew I was not going to make any head way with that attitude of mind toward time management. The “African time” syndrome, where people are intentionally late for everything, was not the best for me in a culture that values time very significant. I learned a lesson out of this incident; I should be very sensitive to time, and I am glad did. As a result, I am able to complete my exercises with extra time for further learning.
Also I conceded that, because I continue to participate in groups’ activities, my confidence has been spectacular. I attend clubs meeting, volunteering services, and of course, activities organized by the advisers of the NWCCI/EDCC program. I was barely involved in similar activities back home, so I never had the chance to realize myself. Getting involved in these programs has given me the opportunity to think differently. I used to find it very difficult to approach a person for a talk because I never had a reason to do so, but now, I am versatile in talking to people of all walks of life. I now believe much in everything I do, therefore I do not fear to take responsibilities among my peers. I always get inspired by myself that I can do it, and this has been a hidden strength I did not realize for long. My mind is unhindered now because I know myself, so I tackle issues with zeal and make sure that, I pursue my interest with relentless effort to ascertain happiness I deem necessary.
In summary of the above, I will state that this is just the beginning of prosperity and a brighter future ahead of me here in the United States and also in Ghana. I have learned a lot from the mistakes I made. Though I was new to the system, negligence was associated with my downfalls; such as the way I procrastinated against time. Now, I understand why time is a very special resource among the other resources here in America, and I shall surely replicate this in Ghana. As I said also, I have been assertive comparably. I had not before been an active member of any of the groups I found myself, but now I take active part in many union activities. Justifiably, I have volunteered to be the president of the Multi-Cultural Club here in Edmonds Community College. Hopefully, this is to pave the way for my self-creation.