Pre-Departure Orientation session(July 20, 2011)
On Wednesday, July 20, 2011, the American Cultural Center organized a Pre-departure Orientation session for students who will be attending University or College in the United States this fall. The purpose of the event was to provide participants with the information they would need to ensure their successful integration into the academic environment of a U.S. institution of higher learning. In her welcome remarks, Rhonda Watson, the Public Affairs Officer of U.S. Embassy Cotonou, encouraged the students to take maximum advantage of the cross-cultural experience by fully immersing themselves in academic and extra-curricular activities offered. She emphasized the importance that the US. Institutions of higher learning place on having an international student body and the contribution that Beninese would make to that cultural melting pot and the enrichment they would receive and could bring back to Benin.
The event was spearheaded by the Educational Advisor, Ulrich Demagbo, who gave a nuts and bolts presentation on the do's and don'ts of studying in the U.S. At the end of the program, a question and answer session was held with a panel that included Tidjani Fanta MAYAKI (Indiana University graduate), Camilla GRIFFITHS (3rd year student, University of Virginia) and Igor AKPOVO (Fulbright alumnus M.A. in TESOL/2011 Oklahoma City University) who shared their experiences during their stay in the United States.