ATHENS, Ohio -- Stella Kayaga described her experience at Ohio University as a combination of challenges, fun and stress.
"It was a worthwhile experience. Meeting new people and learning more about the U.S. first-hand has been great," she said. "Ohio University has many students from all over the world, so I have had the opportunity to interact with different people and learn more about their countries and experiences. It has not been easy adapting to a new culture. Fitting in while retaining a sense of myself through other people's eyes has helped me value my own culture a little more."
Although Kayaga has completed her master's degree in international studies, she won't be leaving Athens; she begins a PhD program in education this fall. Her undergraduate degree is also in education and while it would seem more appropriate to continue with a master's degree in education, she chose international studies.
"I find that decision was well worth the time," she said. "International studies has helped me to look at, analyze and compare policies on education, human rights, children's rights, economic growth and development not only in Africa, but globally, and this has provided me with invaluable information and insight that I will take with me as I pursue my final degree in education."
Kayaga's goal remains the unchanged, to promote and enhance education back home in Uganda, and to take everything that comes her way, good or bad, as a learning experience that may help her to attain that goal.