What are your name and age? Where are you from?
My name is Clara Burgess. I am 26 years old, and I am from Maryland (near Washington, D.C.)
What is the name of your university, study programme, which discipline? When did you start studying?
I am studying International Relations at Webster University in Accra, Ghana. I started studying in August 2016.
What made you choose this programme? How did you decide?
I chose International Relations due to my interest in discussing global politics and in working for international organizations. I am specifically interested in topics affecting International Relations such as migration, development, and environmental degradation.
What were the main challenges you had to face before being accepted to your university?
The main challenges I faced was applying for both scholarships and government loans. This took a long time to organize, especially between financial departments.
Did you take a language test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS) when applying for the programme? If yes, which one did you choose, why and how was your experience with it?
I did not need to write any tests.Check IELTS locations worldwide
What are three things you like most about the university? Why?
I love the students, they are friendly and provide an interesting perspective. I love the teachers, who hail from different continents and come with years of experience. For example, one teacher worked for years as a diplomat before becoming a professor.
I also love the activities. The coordinator for campus activities is fantastic and we get to participate in many fun trips and eat plenty of pizza.
What was the biggest surprise in your study adventure?
Restaurants - plenty of delicious and affordable local and continental cuisine. Night Life - lots of fun places to dance and listen to music! The culture - the cultural center and other Ghanaian made items such as clothes and paintings are a highlight, and I love looking through the different artisans and their shops. Their work is impressive, Ghanaians are highly skilled artists.
How would you rate your experience on a scale from zero to ten (0 – It is/was a total disaster, 10 – I have/had the time of my life)? Why?
8.5 - nothing is perfect, and there are always challenges that face. However, most can be overcome with persistence and a smile, and this campus facilitated a fun and engaging experience for me to enjoy both my studies and my leisure time.
What would be your advice for students from your country that consider studying abroad? Is there anything that you would do differently if you could do it over again?
If you want to study abroad, be brave and do it! It is not as scary as it sounds, and every place takes an adjustment, but it is worthwhile to travel and see other parts of the world. To live among other people is an incredible learning experience and I would not trade my 3 years in Ghana for anything. And if you go abroad, go and stay for a long time!
What are your plans after graduating?
I want to continue to work with international students either in the U.S. or abroad, and hopefully find new ways to encourage people to engage and learn from different people and cultures. I aspire to one day be a cultural ambassador representing the U.S. abroad.
What are three things you like the most about the city? Share your favourite spot, at the university and the city with us!
My favorite spot in the university is definitely the library. I love to read. My favorite spot in Accra is the 2nd cup, simply because I am a coffee addict.
Were you inspired by Clara's story?