Everything would be new for an international student. To select courses and communicate with teachers and understand lectures, international students must adjust to a new academic environment.
International students at Wisconsin International University College, (WIUC), Ghana, have been adjusting pretty well to their social day to day life and academic endeavours.
Sarah Augustine Wesay from Burkina Faso joined WIUC-Ghana in July 2021 to pursue her interest as a future Lawyer. She is a Level 100 Bachelor of Laws (LL. B) student with great dedication and enthusiasm.
Sarah is a charming 20-year-old who smiles a lot and makes whatever discussion you are having with her (such as this interview), captivating and interesting while being pleasantly honest and genuine.
Sarah stays under her father’s care in Ghana so she might not be one of those international students who will typically feel homesick, but due to language barrier, she still found herself either confused, lost or having difficulty interacting at the beginning of her arrival in Ghana.
“Sometimes when I go to buy items in town, especially vegetables, I have no idea what their Ghanaian local names are so I am found wanting, the sellers usually help me with the names when I point,” she says.
Nonetheless, after three months at a language institute before entry into WIUC-Ghana, and currently still learning, she speaks English at a Limited Professional Proficiency level.
Coping with academic work
Coping with academic work, Sarah says their course rep will usually help her if there are topics or anything relating to her course she is finding difficulty with.
In the beginning, there was a bit of difficulty understanding all the English words used in lectures “sometimes you don’t understand the English properly but I am doing better now and I understand almost everything.”
Sarah shares that she is enjoying the experience as an international student.
“I realized In Ghana, people don’t drink the Ghana Water Company Water running through the taps but rather buy another ‘clean water’ like bottle/sachet water for drinking at home,”
“In my home country, Burkina Faso, we comfortably drink water provided by Office national de l’eau et de l’assainissement, ONEA, (National Office for Water and Sanitation),” she explained.
Sarah’s Ghanaian favourite dish is banku and Tilapia.