Studying abroad has been a dream of mine since I was a child. However, as an orphan who working at 16 years old, back then, I felt that I was dreaming too high. But, I was wrong! There is no dream too high to achieve. Moreover, dreaming is free, and as long as you believe, your dream will come true.
“Man Jadda Wajadda. He who gives his all will surely succeed.” Through this Arabian phrase, I finally reach my dream to study in the U.S. After the long selection process, on August 2, 2011, I went to Atlanta, Georgia as a Community College Initiative (CCI) student.
Atlanta, Georgia, a beautiful big city, is where I started my wonderful experiences to meet some incredible friends from another country. I met Leo, Gui, Vitor, and Lucas. My new great friends were from Brazil and they gave me the Brazilian flag. Also, my new Indonesian friends, Irni, Hanna, Erni, Anta, Razid, Mela, Hestin and I did a “Dangdut” singing and dancing performance at a cultural event. I felt happy to meet new people with different background and I felt proud to be an ambassador of my country, Indonesia. Then, all the CCID students got a chance to take tours of the Coca-Cola Company, CNN, and Stone Mountain.
After the three days in Atlanta, I headed for my host college in Madison, Wisconsin. The beautiful city which is located between Lake Monona and Lake Mendota is filled with lovely people, like Tammy Manthe.
When I just landed at Dane County RegionalAirport, Tammy Manthe, my mentor mom, her husband and two children came to the airport to welcome me. Can you imagine how happy I was to have a new, complete family?
At Madison Area Technical College, as a person who spoke Indonesian all the time before coming to USA, studying in English was my biggest challenge. But my instructors were and continue to be willing to help me to understand the lectures and material. In addition, my American classmates gave me detailed explanation when I asked them. Furthermore, the Learning Center and Writing Center were the perfect place to get help correcting my grammatical errors.
Besides learning in classes, I also learned a great deal during my internship as a staff writer on The Clarion, Madison College’s newspaper. Once I wrote a review about the Bandung Restaurant, an Indonesian restaurant in Madison. My review was published in the newspaper and on The Clarion’s website. The happiest time for me was when the restaurant posted my article to their Facebook page. My internship has given me practical skills for the workplace.
Another great thing to do in the U.S. is community service. I served meals to homeless people and their kids at the Goodman Community Center Family Night Dinner. Moreover, I helped Goodman Community Center to collect turkeys to the needy so they could celebrate Thanksgiving. Those great opportunities taught me to contribute to the community where I live.
I created many unforgettable moments while studying in the U.S. I feel so grateful for being a part of CCI program. This program has given me and other participants a lot of experiences that will benefit this generation and the world at large. Do you want to get these “once in a life time” experience? The simple answer is this formula “Dream + Efforts = Reality!”