Marist College, home away from home - Devine
“A school where my voice can be heard; a school where I will not be just a number, but will be valuable; a school where I can make an impact and be impacted.”
Founded in 1905, Marist College is located in Poughkeepsie, New York. It is a private liberal arts college that has been recognized for its academic excellence and good value for money. High-quality teaching, strong community and small class sizes also make Marist College an excellent choice for international students from all around the world.
SchoolApply interviewed Devine, a Nigerian student who has completed his undergraduate degree at Marist College and is now currently studying for his Master’s from the same school.
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York (US)
Student Name: Devine
Graduation: May 2019
Favorite class: Database Management. With database management, I did some coding and most importantly to me, I got to surf through huge chunks of data using SQL tools to extract useful information.
One of my dreams is to own a restaurant, so in my final project for this class, I developed a relational database about my future restaurant from scratch. The database included my menu, waiters, customers, home delivery services, ingredients, cooks, suppliers, and all the necessary things needed to run a restaurant. I must say, it was challenging, but it was worth it!
Favorite school event: Every time I get to sing on campus during events or share my story with prospective students, those are my favorite moments.
Four words to describe Marist College - Home, Friendly, Beautiful, Divine
How did you hear about Marist College and what made you decide to study in the US?
I was under a scholarship scheme from the Federal Government of Nigeria for my undergraduate degree and about 10 schools from the United States were chosen. These schools were asked to come give us an information session about their campus and programs and Marist was one of them.
First, I actually went to a large college in the northeastern United States. When I arrived there, everything seemed to be going too fast, so I decided that a smaller school like Marist would be better for me. A school where my voice can be heard; a school where I will not be just a number but will be valuable; a school where I can make an impact and be impacted. I found all this at Marist – it is my home away from home.
Did you have any problems adjusting to life in a new country and university?
Yes, I did when I started at a different, larger university, which was my reason for transferring to Marist College. When I came to Marist College, I was slowly given bits of information about American culture. That was helpful and it reduced my culture shock.
Another way Marist College helped me adjust was through the professors – they are so accommodating and patient. I would ask so many questions in class and they would answer every one. And in the process, they would tell me how things are done differently in the US compared to what I was used to. My communications professor taught me about the non-verbal cues in the US, like eye contact, personal space, handshakes, and so on. The professors would speak slowly on my request, just so I could better comprehend their answers.
During my orientation, the Center for Multicultural Affairs educated me a lot about American culture and that was a very good foundation for me to have. Overall, Marist is a friendly campus and my friends and class group helped me in my transition as well.
Tell us a little about Poughkeepsie, New York and things to do in the area.
Being a 90-minute train ride from New York City is amazing – I have had the chance to see Broadway shows and go on boat cruises! My average weekend in Poughkeepsie involves going to the mall with the Marist bus shuttle, helping out at a food pantry for community service, going to the cinema with the Marist College student discount ticket, eating at Italian diners around campus and roller skating. Since Marist is located close to New York City, I can take the bus and travel to visit friends in Boston, New Jersey and Vermont.
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What degree are you pursuing and why?
My first degree from Marist was a BSc in International Business with a minor in Psychology. I loved Marist so much that I did not want to leave, so I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Computer Science – Information Systems, which I am currently still completing.
I decided to study International Business because I want to travel around the world, bring investors to Nigeria and make Nigeria my America – the dreamland. I decided to study Computer Science because almost everything in our world today is filled with technology. So I thought that it would be a great idea to stay abreast of the tech world since innovation never ceases. Many things that I have learned in Information Systems complement my International Business degree, such as policy and leadership.
Do your current studies support your interests and talent?
Yes they do. Some of my talents are singing, writing and blogging. As the saying goes, music is a universal language. Since I studied International Business, I am more culturally and globally aware of wherever I find myself, whether I am singing around the world or conducting business. With data management, I am able to find trends about how things are done and how to grow audiences in the music industry, business field, and the blogging world. I have learned how to make a profit while doing what I love.
What has your academic and social experience been like as an international student at Marist College?
It has been divine, eventful, beautiful and inspiring. In terms of academic and social experience, I had to work on group projects with students from other countries and in the course of doing that, we exchanged information about the differences and similarities in our cultures.
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