Sylvia Ampadu


What were your first impressions of Calvin when you arrived?

I missed my connecting flight to Grand Rapids and as a result, arrived after midnight. I was very exhausted and didn’t know what to expect. However, immediately after I arrived at the airport and on campus, all form of nervousness vanished as I met the most amazing group of orientation assistants. Even after midnight, they seemed so energetic and managed to make me laugh in the first few minutes of meeting them. Walking out of my room the next morning, I knew I had made the right decision. The campus was beautiful! The weather was great and there were lots of colorful flowers everywhere. I loved Calvin from the moment I stepped on its breathtaking campus.   

How much time do you need to spend studying for your classes?

I spend most of my weekdays studying for my classes. I probably study an average of 5 hours each day. Calvin offers a lot of resources such as study sessions and tutors to further help students maintain or improve academically. Using these resources in addition to studying on my own means I spend about 30 hours studying each week.

How would you describe the community at Calvin?

One word: diverse. You can find students who come from so many different parts of the world. It’s amazing! Approximately 10% of students at Calvin come from different countries all over the world. The international community promotes international activities in an effort to support the students’ transition to Calvin and the American culture as a whole. I consider the international community, especially students from the part of the world I come from, as my second home. It really does feel like home away from home.

How's the food?

There is so much variety when it comes to food on Calvin’s campus. The Knollcrest and Commons Dining Halls are the two dining halls on campus. These dining halls offer food such as salads, soups, sandwiches, an array of beverages, vegetarian meals, many flavors of ice cream, and a delightful array of pastries. You can also stop by Johnny’s Café which offers freshly made breakfast sandwiches, baked goods, beverages and snacks, and daily specials. The Fish House is another place to eat if you prefer specialty coffees. 

One thing I really miss about home is the hot and spicy food which isn’t easy to come across on campus. The good thing is that there are many restaurants outside of campus which has diverse foods such as Chinese, Thai, and many more.  

What did you do last summer?

I stayed on Calvin’s campus for the most part of the summer to work. It was really fun because I didn’t have to think of school or homework. It was hot and reminded me so much of home. When i wasn’t working, I was usually hanging out with friends who were also staying on campus. It gave me the opportunity to explore Grand Rapids like I never had before.

How does Calvin help international student transition from home?

Calvin does a great job in helping international students transition from home. Kicking it off with a 6 day orientation program (International PASSPORT) for international students, Calvin helps you transition to North American culture and introduces you to Calvin through creative activities and programs.

During the school year, there are many events and organizations for internationals to participate in. Rangeela is my favorite international event! Rangeela is a multicultural variety show, where international students showcase their culture so others can learn more about their culture. Tickets are sold out each year!


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