Education

Covid-19 pandemic; Ghanaian student in Virginia shares his story

By EMMANUEL BARTELS ANKRAH

Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC), informally called NOVA is one of the most internationally diverse colleges in the United States with 77,332 students population with a student body consisting of individuals from more than 180 countries around the world. It offers a dual-enrollment with more than 1000 courses for which students receive grades.

NOVA is a great place to get a degree, earn credits and transfer them to a four year institution, enhance career or something new.

Justice Mensah, a bold NOVA, a Ghanaian International student of this institution speaks amidst Covid – 19 pandemic. ” I have the passion to pursue a bachelor degree programme in pharmacy, it is for this reason why I got enrolled in NOVA to go through the college system to finish certain prerequisite courses which will be transferred to the university of my choice.

That’s the only way I can pursue my pharmacy programme.

COVID – 19

All campus activities were suspended for a short while but that did not hinder the smooth run of academic activities.

E- learning

We were enrolled on our e-learning platforms. We have our lectures, do our assignments, take quizzes and exams respectively.

Support from the college to foreign students

The special offers they put in place for us were that those who had not paid their school fees by then were allowed to defer it and pay later. Those of us who had paid also had the opportunity to request part of it to sort ourselves out.
Secondly, the United States government gave each citizen and legal foreigner an amount of $1,200 as a relief fund. I must confess, it really helped me my Brother.
Also, the government has provided hand sanitizers by the walls at vantage points on the street. You’re free to timely apply them on your hands anywhere you go or wherever you find yourself.

Source of Survival

America is very sweet most especially here in Virginia. Not having a girlfriend here is even a taboo but life here depends on you. It usually favours the hard working people. The system will beat you if you’re not careful. I work as a medication aid in one reputable hospital here and with my skill in driving, I render Ubah Service when I close from my first work. With the medication aid work, it is my responsibility to give medication to patients suffering from Alzheimer and Dementia disease. This is a common disease in people over the age of 65. It rarely affects young people too. It has no cure but we only give the medication to sustain them. I clock in at exactly 11pm and close at 7am. After this work, I go and rest for a while or quickly run to school for lectures depending the time I have lectures but whichever way, I make sure that I catch some sleep within that space of time.
By 6 to 7pm, I begin my Ubah Service which sometimes fetches me a lot of money. I use my own car and so anytime I feel like I’m tired, I just drive home and rest. By 10pm on the dot, I return to the hospital. I mostly do my assignment in the hospital since I have a limited time.

Students Associations

Associations ? There isn’t associations here in my school like how we do have in Ghana. For instance in Ghana, you will see some associations like Brong Ahafo Students Association, Ashanti Students Association etc. It is totally different here. We don’t have that time. There is nothing like “afekubo” here oo because every time you waste, you are directly losing money. Besides, out time is limited. You easily get fired when you make late for work. The only thing I know of is the electing of the SRC executives and even with that, everything is done online. They mostly campaign online and we vote online as well. Wherever you are and at any point in time, you can vote for your favourite candidate.

Advice to Colleagues students in Ghana

If you say education is expensive, then try ignorance. They should not be dismayed when pursuing their educational glories. To those who want to come here, I will advice that they wait and come next season.

A story reported by
EMMANUEL BARTELS ANKRAH
HON. BARTELS
NUGS, ENSEMBLE
ankrahbartels@gmail.com

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