How did Safie Ekue choose Slippery Rock University as the place to further her education? She says, “I’m from Togo. It is a West African country and my primary purpose for me coming to the United States is because I thought it would be good for me to have a bilingual education,” she says. “We speak French back home and as the world is moving, having English is a good opportunity. So compared to London or South Africa the expenses would have been higher so it was kind of easier in terms of expenses to come over to the United States."
The 24 year old freshman also says the university was very supportive with the application process. “First, Slippery Rock was recommended to me by one of my auntie who lived in Pennsylvania before and the next thing is when I was sending my application to several universities in the United States, in Nebraska, Pennsylvania and California, Slippery Rock has been the only university to keep in touch with me,” she says. “At the international office they were answering all of my requests, everything was on time, I had a lot of support so when it was time for me to choose it was kind of easier to choose Slippery Rock.”
Having a bit of experience in International Business helped Safie choose that as her major. “Before prior to coming here I went to Ghana to do a professional course called Business Administration so here it is kind of different when I was looking through the program they offered I thought I International Business would be a good field for me as I already had experience back in Togo and Ghana and now in the United States.
Safie is the only international student from Togo going to Slippery Rock. She says the campus and faculty help her as well as other international students become familiar with going to the university. “I really like the campus it is green, very spacious and there is a lot of equipment I would have never had the opportunity to have back home like the computers everywhere, access to PowerPoint, to have classes,” she says.
“Everything is another way to teaching subjects it is kind of different and it makes it easier for students to be successful and I think for now we have good professors because the professors I had this semester were very helpful. They say when they know that you are an international student they help us with how to get use to the system and how to find our way through so I really like it.”
Safie says she will likely stay in the U.S. for one year and work once she graduates in 2008. Her future plans however will take her back home. “For my future plans I really want to go back home and have the kind of complex, entertainment sports complex and restaurant you know all the kind of big complex where you can have everything for entertainment for youth,” she says. “We would really like that back home so I think that is what I want to do with my International Business major.”
Safie advice to other students back home thinking about studying in the United States is... ”Back at home we always think that when you come here you have a job, you have your car, you have everything just in a snap like that, but it is not that easy,” she says. “You know people around here are different. They see foreigners with I use to say ‘big eyes’ not that they don’t accept us, but there is a huge challenge to be accepted, so they should know that the United States is not that bright as perceived by home back home… there is a lot of struggle here.”