Coming to the United States for college wasn't a hard decision for Adwoa Bart-Plange. A fourth-year student at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts she says financial reasons played a major part in coming to the United States. However, she says there were other reasons. “Iam from Ghana in West Africa. I wanted to come to school here because I had never been out of the country and I wanted to travel and also it was cheaper for me to come than to go to school at home because the financial aid here makes me pay a lot less. And also I knew that I would have more opportunities to work after graduation or to go to graduate school if I wanted.”
Adwoa is working toward a degree in French and History. She says history has always been a subject that has been of interest to her, because -- she says -- history teaches us about other people, cultures and governments. Adwoa says watching the U-S presidential election campaign has been an interesting contrast with her experiences back in Ghana. “Well I think the major differences is it is a lot more complicated here just because you have 50 states and each state has its own government and each state has its own laws like laws for abortion, or for capital punishment, the death penalty are different across each state boundary so that is complicated in the way that you run things here,” she says. “But it is similar in the way that we would have democratic processes and voting and several candidates from several parties, even though you actual only have two parties I have noticed we have quite a few more.”
Adwoa says going to Amherst College has given her the knowledge and the confidence to achieve whatever she wants in life. “I love going to Amherst. The students here are wonderful. I love the students here because they are always full of surprises and every time I meet someone I never know anything and then we they you about themselves you discover that they can play the violin or they sing or they play water polo it is just an amazing experience to meet all these students with some many talents over here,” she says. “I myself use to write for the newspaper in my sophomore year and I was an editor for the opinion section of the newspaper and it was something that I enjoyed doing a lot, but just since coming here I have noticed so many more opportunities that are open to me as a graduate of Amherst College and I think that knowing that is gratifying and that if I just look at there and use my Amherst College degree to the fullest I can actually get a good job or into a good graduate school and be successful and also I think I have become more confident in that I know I am receiving the best education and so I am more confident of my abilities to succeed in the real world and I have become a more confident, more outspoken person and I like that a lot about myself now.”
Adwoa isn't sure what she will do once she graduates next year, but it's clear her college experience has helped her form a philosophical view of the world she inherits. One of the things I have noticed that being a big factor towards world peace is just being content with what you have because coming from a liberal arts college where democrats is obviously the bigger demographics, one of the reasons I have heard that Bush is going to the Iraqi war is he wanted to exploit the oil reserves in Iraq and one of the big reasons for colonization as we all are aware is that the British wanted to make use of the natural resources of Africa to promote their own economic interest, so basically I think one of the big factors that I would see as being conducive to world peace is being content with what you have and seek into trade if you want and expand your resources,” she says. “I think basically staying within your boundaries and working with what you have instead of looking to gain what other people have ‘cause if you then want to go out and conquer other people then no one is going to be happy and then that is when wars come in.