Ashinaga Scholars 2017: A Day in the Life 1

By Eleazer Afotey, University of Richmond

It was always a dream to study abroad. I remember my dad assuring me that I was going to study abroad. I was hopeful because his words never fell flat but when my father passed away in final year at my high school, all hopes dwindled. However, Ashinaga became the savior of my dream of studying abroad and I’m forever grateful. My passion is to build software platforms that enable key sectors in my country, Ghana — especially education and healthcare — to manage data and facilitate communication more effectively.

Unlike many others, my journey to the United States was profound. I was anxious about everything: Culture, food, academics people and college life. The classes we had on these were detailed enough but I still felt it couldn’t fully encapsulate the exact feeling and an absolute experience until I got here. I was more than happy to experience a new life but I was sad as well because I was going to miss my family and friends.

On the day I left, I remember how happy everyone at home was. My mom cried, that made me feel so strongly loved. The whole family was happy for me; in this midst of that happiness, I felt good about myself in such a long time. My journey was exciting. The border checks during my transit at Belgium were so thorough; even my phone was searched. When I got to Dulles Airport, I was warmly received by Ashinaga USA staff. From there, the journey has been as exciting as it could be. I’ve tried a vast range of delicacies and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. I’ve been challenged by my classes and it’s always beautiful to step out knowing that I’ll wake up the next day better than I was and more knowledgeable than before.

Studying at the University of Richmond is such a great privilege considering the caliber of students and professors in the institution. Initially when I arrived, I wasn’t so happy. The people were different and I found it hard to understand and communicate effectively. But now, I’m so happy. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people who are making my experience here a memorable one. The community is diverse and I’ve played all the sports I’m interested in. I know I’m learning so much now and I’m certain that my experience here is an eye opener to how I can contribute better to my community. Thank you, Ashinaga.