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Fulbright Scholar Learns About The Culture and History of America

Fulbright Scholar Folake Oyedepo

Fulbright Scholar Folake Oyedepo

Folake Oyedepo attends Fayetteville State University where she is teaching the Yoruba language to American students while learning more about the culture and history in America.

Folake Oyedepo is from Nigeria and she is very focus on what she will be doing while she is here in America. "I'm an English graduate from Nigeria so coming to America has helped me to share my language and culture with diverse people and to improve my English because I hear English from the native speakers. I was a teacher in Nigeria and that is my career; I want to become a teacher in a college, a professor," she says. "So I came to America under the Fulbright scholarship and this award has given me an opportunity to get a global exposure about teaching and learning. It also awards me the opportunity to learn the American culture first hand apart from what I've read in books, what I've seen in movies and what I've heard in the media. I am in America to learn the American culture first hand."

Folake Oyedepo has plenty to keep her busy at Fayetteville State University. One of her assignments is teaching. "I teach Yoruba language at Fayetteville State University. Yoruba language is one of the languages spoken in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo and traces of it are found among communities in Brazil, Sierra Leone, Northern Ghana and Cuba. Now I teach the Amerian students this language and I also teach the culture and history of Yoruba language with it."

While teaching American students, Folake is also enrolled as a graduate student and one of the courses she takes is American History. "I've also learned so many things as a student. As I teach, I am also enrolled in Graduate school as part of my Fulbright scholarship award. I'm doing two classes because we have to enroll in two classes per semester. So the first class I am taking is Issues in composition and the second one is American history. Both courses have really helped me in many ways. Now I know a bit more of American history. I find what I learn more interesting than what I've learned when I was back home in Nigeria because I'm hearing it from the Americans themselves which makes it more interesting," she says.

"In Nigeria, we teach and learn English, but not American English. So I can appreciate the differences in the way the British speak and the way the Americans speak; there is a great difference. So, I am learning things and I am also teaching people."

Folake says the professors are friendly and people are always willing to help her get where she needs to go. "I must say I've enjoyed the friendly community I find myself in. People are so friendly, so helpful," she says. "I don't have a car and if I want to go anywhere they ask 'can I drive you?' 'Do you want to go to Walmart?'" People are friendly here especially in the university community. People invite me to lunch, to dinner, the professors at the university, the members at my church and I met some people from my own home country Nigeria and they have been very nice," she says. All of them have been very nice. I met with people and I've been to places in America. There was a time when we went to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina through the international Education Center here in FSU. It's been a good experience. It's been a wonderul one."

Folake graduates in May.