International student appreciates midwest life

Julia Simenz, Staff Writer

Photo provided to the clarion Student Deborah Zongo is from Burkina Faso
Photo Provided to the Clarion
Student Deborah Zongo is from Burkina Faso

Diversity is the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, or religion. Fortunately, Madison College strives to provide all students with an environment that acknowledges and appreciates human differences and cultural awareness by encouraging students from all over to further their educational experience here in Madison.

Deborah Zongo, an international student at Madison College, came from a small country in West Africa, called Burkina Faso. Zongo is currently enrolled in the Transfer Program, and is planning to pursue a major in Accounting and Finance at UW-Whitewater in the fall.

Zongo decided to attend Madison College because she knew that it would provide her with the best opportunity to get the education that she deserves, for the price that she can afford. Zongo’s friend graduated from UW-Madison a few years past and shared with her how great of a school it was, along with the endless opportunities that come along with living in the city.

Zongo explained that absolutely everything about Madison is different from her home in West Africa, “the temperatures here drop below 0, whereas in Africa, the temperature stays above 100 almost all year long.” Another culture shock she encountered was that the food is completely different, “we barely have any fast food in Africa, everything is basically organic,” she said.

Having lived in New York for a while, Zongo said that she never pictured herself living in a small city, let alone in the Midwest. However, Zongo said there is not one thing that she doesn’t love about Madison. “The people are extremely kind, and I love the way the tree leaves turn an orange-yellow color in the fall.”

Additionally, Zongo enjoys walking downtown Madison and being surrounded by mostly college students. “It is nice to be able to relate to students who may be struggling in classes but are still driven and dedicated to their education,” she said.
Not only has Zongo fell in love with the city as a whole, but she is entirely glad that she chose to attend Madison College specifically. “Although at first, I thought I was just another pea in the pod, I still feel like I have a purpose on campus, and have the ability to make a difference,” Zongo said, “I have made great friends at Madison College, and am also still able to challenge myself academically each and every day.”

Zongo wanted to use the opportunity she was given at Madison College to make a difference, so she became involved in the Madison College Student Senate, and is currently holding a position as the Vice President of Finance and Administration.

Zongo grew up with an ambition to help people in any way she can, and being a part of the Student Senate allows her to carry that passion with her. “Student Senate has made me a part of something bigger, and has given me the opportunity to challenge myself, as well as, help strive to make a difference for Madison College students as a whole.”

Although Zongo plans on going back home to Burkina Faso following her education, she has loved living in the United States. Zongo knows that she has a purpose in her country and she refuses to not help make a difference there as well. “I know people back home are relying on me to use my education that I have received here, to help develop my country back home.” Zongo wants to take her appreciation for the education she has gained in the states, by giving back to those who never got the opportunity.

Madison College encourages those from all over the world to follow in Zongo’s footsteps. Everyone at Madison College is important and each student is encouraged to engage and be a part of something bigger than themselves. Acceptance of all is something that Madison College takes pride in and Zongo is a beautiful example of diversity and student excellence here on campus.