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Botswana Student Focuses on Finance at Hofstra University

Who is Julia Hisayi and why did she decide to come to the United States to study?

“I come from Botswana in Africa and I wanted to come attend a university in America because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone because I have been to boarding school in Zimbabwe and I lived in other countries in Africa, but never been outside so I wanted to experience life in another continent,” she says. "Another part of the world.”

The 24-year-old senior started out at a community college before going to Hofstra University.

“My parents told me if I wanted to come to school in America I had to live with my brother so I attended Daytona Beach Community College and then after that I received an offer for a scholarship from Hofstra University and that is how I decided to go to Hofstra,” she says.

“I really like it there a lot," she contineus. "I am very involved on campus. Everyone is very friendly; everyone is very nice, very welcoming to everyone not just to international students but also to other American students who aren’t from New York. Everyone is just nice.”

Julia's says she picked Finance over Accounting as the field to study because it seemed to interest her more. Studying isn't the only thing that occupies her time.

”I’m the vice president of the international student organization and I’m also the comptroller of the student government of Hofstra which oversees 138 clubs and I work at Hofstra’s law school,” she says.

Adjusting to Hofstra hasn't been too difficult for Julia, but she does mention a few things that have been a challenge.

“As far as cultural, my parents come from two different countries so that would be more difficult to answer, but something not cultural would be that we drive on the other side of the road and when I first got here it took me two months to get up the courage to even attempt to get a driver’s license because I was too scared to do that. The weather though at home its like a desert and in New York it snows so that was quite an adjustment,” she says.

Julia says as an international student, she appreciates the extra care and help she receives from the international student office at the university and her most memorable thoughts center around the international student organization she is a part of.

“I think my most memorable [thing] would be going from just a plain senator in student government to having them elect me the comptroller after only being in student government for less than a year and then they making me the elections commission chair,” she says. “Those two would definitely be my most memorable [thoughts].”

The only advice Julia says she would share with other students abroad that may be thinking about coming to the United States to study is the benefits of living on a college or university campus.

“I would definitely encourage them to live on campus if it is possible first because that way you get to make friends and not be lonely and also you get use to being in an area that you are not from,” she says.

In August, Julia will graduate from Hofstra. She says what she would like to do is stay in the United States for a while and look for employment with a financial firm that will allow her to apply her new skills.