Interested in the English language and being able to play tennis, after being exposed to the sport by her mother, is what nineteen year old Martina Garda says helped her on her quest to come to the United States. Martina explains. “I’m from a little town called Chavez, the Province of Buenos Aires [Argentina] and I really wanted to go out of the country to experience talking in English because I really like the language. When I was sixteen years old, I had an opportunity to go out of the country to come here to the United States because I play tennis and as I was practicing they offered me a scholarship to play and study in the United States, she says.”
“So from then on until I was eighteen I was working hard, playing tennis, studying for those tests… the SAT and everything to come here to the United States and here I am going to Alcorn State University.”
Alcorn State University is located in Mississippi. Martina is attending the university on scholarship because of her ability to play tennis. She says being able to play tennis as well as do other things is something she would not be able to do in Argentina. “I think it is really nice and it is not that difficult. You have a lot of opportunities of everything like right now I am trying to get an internship related to my major so I can have experience in that and it is really really good for anybody to study here,” she says.
“First of all you will have knowledge for later in the future and you will have an opportunity like an internship in your major and that is really good, I like that here in the United States. There back home it is really difficult to get an internship,” she says. “Another thing is that the university here and high schools it is organized. It lets you play a sport and do some other activities for example right now I am not only playing tennis, but I am also working here at the university here part time. Its like I am doing three things at the same time and in Argentina I cannot do it.”
The major in which she is studying is another interesting side to Martina. “My major is plant and soil science. In one word it could be Agronomy.”
So exactly how did she choose this major? It all stems back to her childhood. “Back home I use to live on a farm with my father. It is a farm with my grandfather and my aunt. So they worked together the land and I use to live there for seventeen years and so that is why I got interested in that,” she says. “With my father growing crops such as grain, corn, sunflower, wheat and all those things and apart from that he also has cattle,” she says.
“So I was really interested since I was little and then after primary school I went to high school and it was all related about farm, but apart from the basic subjects, there were subject to learn about plants, there was another subject to learn about mechanics those tractors and all the equipment you use to grow the crops and the chemicals,” she says.
“Then there was another subject it was for animals, to study animals. So that was really interesting because it was going in the field my father was working in.”
When it comes to Alcorn State University, Martina says she really likes it there because she feels like she is at home. “Everybody here is friendly, they are kind. If you need help you have it. There are many, many international students so it’s not like I am the only one and I felt like I am at home because this place is small,” she says.
“My home town is small and there are not many people over there and here is the same thing so I feel at home. Even though we speak in a different language, it is a different place, it is really good, really good. I am happy.”
Martina will graduate in 2009. Her thoughts for after college....”Once I graduate from college I would love to get a masters and a PhD in my field and then after that I would like to get a good job and then see about a family.”