It was the typical time for my lunch, and I could not wait to eat the food that my mom made for me. I grabbed my bag down across near my leg and pulled the laptop out of my bag and put it on my desk. I went out and into the kitchen to wash my hands. I quickly rushed back; my friend Haly was already there. She had left her house with her lunch, and she pulled a chair near my desk and sat next to me as we started eating. We opened my laptop in front of me to search for colleges and scholarships. We did not take it seriously; it was just to kill our lunch time and chill with each other.
If you told me two years before that I would be in New York State at Herkimer County Community College I would not believe it. I am an international student from Ethiopia, studying marketing beginning in spring 2019. This is my fourth semester. How did I become an international student at Herkimer? I often ask myself this question as I walk through the halls of Herkimer College.
As an international student at Herkimer I found out about the college while I was searching for colleges on the Internet with my friend. As we were searching, we came across of Herkimer County Community College. We decided to check it out.
When I remember my journey to Herkimer on the day of my flight, I was feeling many kinds of emotional things. One of them was happiness because I got to go across the Atlantic and have new experiences and adventures, and learn different cultures, and many things. On the other hand, I was scared and sad to leave my family and friends behind. After I said goodbye to my family and friends in front of the airport, I pushed my luggage inside the airport. I turned around one more time to my family and friends, and I waved to them one more last time. After that, I knew I was alone and there was no turning back.
The plane trip from Ethiopia to Syracuse was over 12 hours. I know I was exhausted. I flew with Lufthansa, and my flight was transit, so the first country that I took rest in was Frankfort, Germany. After that, I changed flights to United Airlines and went to New Jersey. Then I took my last connecting flight to Syracuse. By the time I reached there, it was so cold and snowy. I had a headache from the plane, so I was not in a good mood. I was dressed badly for the winter. One of the challenges was the weather because where I came from we don’t have snow.
One of the things I liked about Herkimer County Community College as an international student was when applying, the admissions team was always online to answer all my questions. They were very cooperative in each step and helpful.
When I look back at my journey, I do not have anything I would change. Herkimer County Community College is a second home for me from the familiar staff and the helpful teachers to the overall welcoming community that helps students make the best of themselves. If I have a problem in one of my classes I can go to the Academic Support Center and get all the help I need, or I can go directly to the instructor. I love that every weekend they have activities for students to help them relax and have fun. They are helpful activities, especially if you are stressed.
No matter how many steps you take, it is worth it to become an international student at Herkimer County Community College.
From Where I Sit is a recurring column featuring the voices and perspectives of international students attending Herkimer College.