This week we take a sneak peek at Ramona Whitaker, a first year Communications and Music major from Santa Cruise, Bolivia. She talks to us about her cross-cultural experiences and her appreciation for how they have shaped her.
Q. Where did you attend school in Bolivia?
A. I attended a public school in the town that I lived in and an American private Christian school in Santa Cruise.
Q. How did you find out about Goshen College?
A. I was taught by choir directors from Goshen College such as Carlos Santiago, who came here before and told me about it.
Q. What made you want to study abroad?
A. I always knew that I wanted to pursue Music and Communications, and I was looking for a place that would allow me to do that in English and at the same time would allow me to experience more than just my surroundings.
Q. How has your time at Goshen been so far?
A. It’s been good; it’s been a lot of work. I would say a little stressful to be away from home, but I’m hanging in there. I’ve definitely not enjoyed the cold, but the people and choir make up for it.
Q. What are things about campus that you have enjoyed so far?
A. The Music center is really nice. I’ve enjoyed coming to concerts in Sauder hall and having Master classes in Reith just because the sound is amazing! I’ve also really enjoyed reading the record last semester and this semester too.
Q. What things are different about going to school here in the United States as opposed to back home?
A. There is a lot less dictation. Back home it was what the teacher tells you to write down, and you write it down, and you take a quiz about it the next day. Just the ability to question whether what you are being taught is actually right or wrong is very important. Critical thinking.
Q. What is one thing you miss about home?
A. Mangoes and the sun!
Q. What do you plan on doing after your four-year studying in Goshen is over?
A. Right now I’m thinking Journalism is really appealing, but I would like a job where I can work with people, to interact with people, to be able to make a difference in people, and to feel like I am part of the broader community is what I would like to achieve once I am done with college.
Whitaker is still getting accustomed to the different culture here at Goshen College but is very relaxed towards the subject of learning new values and norms. Whitaker has had the privilege of interacting with people from different countries, both here in the United States and back home in Bolivia. She has become very appreciative of different principles and admires people who value their “roots”, where they come from.