Transatlantic connections


Faith Schultz

Stater reporter Emmalee Scheibe speaks with Professor Darius Agoumba about three WSC students from three different countries in Africa.

Emmalee Scheibe, Staff Writer

Yaovi Kpoga, Davidson Adams and Oswald Koffi Regis Adohinzin are three students at Wayne State College who are from Africa.
Adohinzin met Kpoga and Adams on his first day as a student at WSC during the Programming Fundamentals II class.
Kpoga, a sophomore, lived in Togo for three years, and moved to Texas when he was 11.
“I like Wayne because it’s a smaller town and you don’t have to commute far to places,” Kpoga said. “Where I live in Texas is a lot bigger than Wayne, so it’s nice to have a change.”
He wanted to go to a college that was out of state, and WSC fit into his price range.
“I still have two sisters that live in Africa,” Kpoga said. “I might go visit them at the end of this year. I’m not able to visit often.”
Kpoga felt like he had more freedom in Africa.
“My family knew everyone, so I would play with the other kids in the area,” Kpoga said. “The teachers also liked me very well in the schools over there.”
Davidson Adams, who is from Nigeria, says that affordable tuition, school size and the friendly environment are some things that made him want to come to WSC.
“I chose WSC because of their academic programs and scholarship opportunities,” Adams said. “Some of my favorite things about Wayne are their international student scholarship, friendly community and instructor’s evaluation system.”
Adams has lived in Iowa for the past four years, and has gone back to visit Africa once.
“Some of my favorite things about Africa are the open arms and hospitality, the respect for elders and teaching a moral value, cultural heritage and immediate and extended family values,” Adams said. “I’m proud to be African and a Wayne State College student.”
Oswald Adohinzin, who is from Benin, a French-speaking country, found out about Wayne State College from his uncle, WSC Professor Darius Agoumba.
“Since my childhood, I always wanted to study in the United States of America,” Adohinzin said. “So when my uncle told me about Wayne State College, I directly took the chance.”
When Adohinzin got his high school diploma, he started the process of coming to WSC.
“During the time of the process, I earned, in my home country, a three-year college degree in electrical engineering and industrial computing,” Adohinzin said. “Now here at WSC, I chose to major in computer information systems and networking.”
Adohinzin enjoys the classes that WSC offers and the teachers who teach them, along with other things at WSC.
“The classes are very interesting and the teachers are very good. I appreciate the way they teach and their availability when students need help,” Adohinzin said. “There is also the Multicultural Center, which helps the international students to integrate into the environment and have a pleasant journey at WSC.”
Coming to WSC was Adohinzin’s first time travelling outside Benin.
“I came here just in December,” Adohinzin said. “Before that, I had always been with my family.”
The cold Nebraska weather was difficult for Adohinzin to get used to.
“During my first weeks at Wayne, it was not easy to support the cold,” said Adohinzin. “Thanks to my uncle, who provided me with a very good coat, it was less testing and now I’m getting accustomed to the cold.”
Agoumba came to America in 1997 from Benin to get his Ph.D. in Alabama.
“In Africa, you have to fight to get what you want,” Agoumba said. “If you want to truly succeed, you have to leave the country.”
In 2004, Agoumba came to teach chemistry at Wayne State College. He says that since Wayne is such a small town he can have more of an impact on the students.
“If I went to teach at Lincoln and then left, they would easily replace me and the students wouldn’t notice,” Agoumba said. “Here, if I left, my students would miss me, and then I would know that I have made an impact.”
It’s teachers like Agoumba who truly impact Wayne State College and make a difference here.
“I’m glad to be here and attend Wayne State College. This is a good place to live, to study and integrate into the American society,” Adohinzin said. “I thank Wayne State College for accepting me. I also thank my mother, my uncle and my aunt for everything they did so that I’m here.”