International Student Experience

The International Student Experience

The decision to leave your family and friends to pursue a higher education outside of your country can be a difficult and long process filled with a lot of stress as well as excitement and hope. Hope that everything goes according to plan and your sometimes very high expectations are all met. Language barriers and culture shock is something almost every international student will experience. It can be very challenging and frustrating especially during the first semester, where we usually face problems such as adjusting to the new place, getting to meet other students and the stress over our academic performance. But the determination and the need to quench our thirst for knowledge as well as to further our career options in our various fields of choice, makes us power through all the obstacles and hurdles we may encounter.

As an international student it can be very lonely when you don’t have friends and a support group, which is why getting involved in the school life with student associations such as the International Student Association and Student Government Association helps immensely. Not only do these associations connect us with the community we live in and help us experience our host country, but they are also meant to connect us with other positive and goal oriented students who support each other academically and socially. Through these associations, I have met some of my best friends and gained relationships that I will treasure forever. The opportunity to increase your career prospects while living abroad is a great one; it is to be enjoyed but also taken very seriously, as a Bulgarian saying goes, “seize the opportunity by the beard, for it is bald behind.”

Seedy Njie is from Gambia, West Africa and has been at CPCC for one year. He’s currently enrolled in the Associate of Arts program, and wishes to transfer to complete his Bachelor’s degree and continue his studies to become a Human Rights Lawyer in his home country. In his free time, Seedy loves going on road trips with friends and watching soccer games.

Join the Ruth G. Shaw Scholars Program

March is Women’s History Month, so there’s no better time to reflect on important women who have made an impact in our world, nation, and even in our local communities. It’s also a great time to recognize the everyday contributions and work of women all around us, including our very own CPCC students!

I’ve had a great opportunity this year to play a role in the inaugural Ruth G. Shaw Women’s Leadership program at CPCC. Dr. Ruth Shaw was CPCC’s second college president, and she was a trailblazer in seeing the need for CPCC to open local campuses that would eventually serve more than 70,000 people in our community. After Dr. Shaw left CPCC, she served as president and CEO of Duke Power Company, now Duke Energy. She remains an active participant in our community and is still a loyal supporter of the College. As a result of her generosity, the CPCC Foundation created the Ruth G. Shaw Women’s Leadership Program at CPCC.

This leadership program aims to connect women to one another and to a supportive network of faculty, staff and community mentors; to inspire women to assume leadership positions and celebrate their own achievements; to nurture female leaders by encouraging them to creatively solve problems; and, most importantly, to foster a deeper awareness of the many roles women play and their contributions to society.

I’m so excited and proud of this year’s scholars who are readying themselves to take on the world. They are mothers, daughters, future machinists, social workers, medical professionals, entrepreneurs and, most of all, leaders. They are like many of our students – juggling multiple responsibilities, looking forward to their future academic and career goals, and balancing all that comes along with being a college student in today’s world. Many of them have shared that without the Ruth G. Shaw Scholars Leadership program, they would have missed out on some important opportunities to grow and connect – both inwardly and with others they met along the way. We look forward to providing the same educational and enriching experience for future scholars.

If you are interested in participating in this unique leadership opportunity, please visit the Student Life website for the 2015-2016 application. Applications are due back in Student Life by April 27, 2015. If you are interested in learning more about the program and speaking with a recent graduate of the program, we invite you to attend our upcoming event:

Film Screening of Girl Rising
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Central Campus, Overcash Building – Tate Hall
Screenings at 9 AM and 12 PM
Reception between screenings at 11 AM

Girl Rising is a moving documentary tells the stories of nine girls from different parts of the world who face arranged marriages, child slavery, and other heartbreaking injustices. Despite these obstacles, the brave girls offer hope and inspiration. By getting an education, they’re able to break barriers and create change. Girl Rising unites girls, women, boys and men who believe every girl has the right to go to school and the right to reach her full potential. The Ruth G. Shaw Scholars will show excerpts from the film and lead a short discussion about the girls featured in the film and the impact of education in their lives.

Blog Contributor:

Amanda Capobianchi
Associate Dean of Student Life/Co-Facilitator of the Ruth Shaw Scholars Program

Apply Now: Student Leadership Conference

A trail always leads you somewhere. Some paths lead to familiar and expected destinations, while others open you to new discoveries. If you are looking to forge your own path and learn more about who you are as a leader, then grab a bag and join us March 27-29th in the Blue Ridge Mountains for the 2015 Student Leadership Conference.

This is a great opportunity for students to learn outside the classroom and interact with a diverse group of individuals, while also enjoying beautiful scenery and good food! Focused on personal growth and leadership development, this conference will challenge and motivate you to live out your potential and become a better leader in all aspects of your life. Students should be prepared to participate in a full agenda of small group activities and interactive learning experiences. Please join us for a weekend that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

TO APPLY: Please visit the Student Life website for more information about the conference and to print off an application. You may also visit any Student Life office. The application deadline is March 6th by 5 pm.

Celebrate Black History Month at CPCC

Photo courtesy of

During Black History Month, we remember the strength and courage of those who have gone before us and made a difference in the world, while living out new stories that can be passed on to future generations. The Office of Student Life is committed to developing programs and events that foster an environment of inclusion and celebrate diversity throughout the College. Join us this month for events honoring the movements, traditions, and legacies of African-Americans.


For more detailed information about each of the following events, please check the Student Life events calendar.

February 10
The Power of Women
Central Campus, Tate Hall, 11 AM
Author and motivational speaker, Patrice Gaines, will be speaking on the topic of what women have contributed to African American history.

February 17
Rejoice!! Live Performance Celebration of Dramatic Literature
Levine Campus, Atrium, 12:30 PM
A series of performances that commemorate the history of African American culture, including readings from “The Delaney Sister’s” and “The Whipping Man.”

February 18 & 19
Our Unsung Heroes
Cato Campus, Cato II Atrium, 10 AM
SGA officers will take on the roles of various African-American unsung historical heroes to share the stories of those who have contributed so much to the history of the African-American community.

February 19
Hip Hop & African American Male Identity
Central Campus, Tate Hall, 11 AM
Quincy Brewington, University of Georgia Doctoral Candidate, will be speaking to the realities of the connection between what is being portrayed in hip hop today and how it affects young African American males.

February 20
Black History Presentation
Merancas Campus, 11:30 AM
A series of performances that commemorate the history of African American culture.

February 26
I Am Somebody
Harper Campus, Auditorium (Room 108), 11:30 AM
This performance examines racism, exploitation and survival in South Africa and the Congo. This performance has the power to build bridges across communities and facilitate dialogue across cultures.

Register for the 2015 MLK Challenge

Join us for the 11th Annual MLK Challenge

January 19, 2015
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The MLK Challenge on January 19th is an annual Service-Learning Center event that celebrates the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The day incorporates an educational kick-off, service projects, and a reflection wrap-up. The day begins with an introduction to King’s life and lessons, and then students are randomly assigned to groups and given a service project at a local organization to complete. Students must work together and utilize problem-solving skills in order to finish their task.

At the end of the day, students will reassemble to reflect on their accomplishments in a guided discussion. This helps students process all that happened during the day. Click HERE to read student reflections from previous MLK Challenges.

This event is FREE and open to the CPCC community only. We will provide transportation to service sites, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Check-in begins at 8:00 a.m. at Central Campus in the Student Commons area of the Overcash Building. Participants are asked to dress comfortably and be prepared for anything, including service projects outdoors.

To register for this event or to learn more, please contact:

Jenn Marts
Central Campus, OC 241-D

The Service-Learning Center initiates and supports curricular and co-curricular activities that enhance student learning, promote civic responsibility, and respond to the critical needs in our community through collaborative campus and community partnerships.