Being able to study in the United States, Alfonc Rakaj says gives him the opportunity to see
things in more than one perspective when it comes to life and learning. “It’s a very beneficial experience. Before I use to see things from one
perspective, here you can see many other perspectives,” he says.
“You can challenge your culture, your
activities your things you know if they are the right thing to do from your
culture and your previous life perspective.
You can see life from a different eye and angle and you can choose
between the cons and pros and choose your own path from whatever you learned
before to what you have learned now,” he says.
“It’s a lot of broadening your perspective and knowledge. All of those areas.”
Alfonc is attending Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. He chose there because his high school is in
the same city and he already was a bit familiar with the university. He says
when choosing his major, he wanted to make sure it was something that could be
beneficial to others once he graduates.
“Well I am a citizen of Albania.
I was born in the northwest part of Albania in a small village called
Boge and my major is Political Science and when I was growing up I’ve always
liked Social Studies especially History,” he says.
“When I came here I realized that with
History it would be great to get a diploma in History, but there wasn’t much of
what I really wanted to do because I would like to learn theory but put it in
practice and if history was the theory of something I wanted to change and make
a difference, it wouldn’t give me much of a chance to doing that in
practice. So it would be like learning a
recipe for a favorite dish, but not being able to cook it. So I decided to study Political Science and I
can manage to cook it as well.”
When Alfonc says he can manage to 'cook'
his major what he means is....” I plan to get involved in some leadership. I
thought about going back to Albania and I plan to get involved in public
leadership, politics or anything that involves leadership and can bring
something about change. Something
different from the way it is done before.”
Alfonc just finished his freshman year
and so far he says he enjoys being on the campus and socializing with other students.“The campus is fairly big.The classes vary.The interactions with the professors have varied
as well, but so far I’ve had good experiences.
Some of them are better than the others,” he says.
“Professors I’ve have known and taken
classes from have been ready to help me and have been very friendly. They have offered to help and I can contact
them and visit them through their office hours anytime and I also had the
change to meet a lot of other students and other people and I am all about socializing. I also could get involved with student
organizations which I am doing right now, so it is a lot of positive things and
a lot of more space.”
He also has adjusted to focusing on
whatever plans he has for each day instead of trying to do everything all at
once. “I think I have both grown and
changed since I came here. I’ve grown
because age related I was seventeen when I came here and now I am nineteen. I’ve grown as far as my knowledge, my
perspectives, and my experiences. I’ve
grown getting to see life from different angles and traveling, getting to know
more people, getting to know more ideas so in those ways I have grown,” he
“The other way I’ve changed is when I
came here, time was very crucial here andfor me that was very hard to accept it and now I’ve changed in a way
that I go with the plans I have for the day and check them off when I finish
Alfonc has a few more years left to
complete before he graduates and he says more education after that is a
possibility. “If I can manage to
graduate in four years which likely will happen in June 2012, my plan so far is
to try to work for a year or two and then go back to graduate school.”