A Mali Student Comes to the U.S.

By Salifou Fofana, Mali Rising Intern

Do you believe in destiny?

If your answer to this question is yes, I can only say that you are right. And if your answer to this question is no, it is okay. I used to believe just like you that destiny was just a product of our imagination. Yes, I do believe in destiny, I believe wherever we are, is where God wants us to be. At least I believe that being in the United States, right now, at this moment writing this post was the result of my destiny. 

When I finished high school, I had never thought about coming to study in the United States. The reasons are many, but the number one reason is that I hated English, and I never thought I would, one day, be able to communicate in English nor even write a post like this. The other reason is that I dreamed about going to school in France because I had some of my best friends going to school there, and also, I had visited there a couple of times and loved it. Because I had been in there and speak French, I thought it would be easier for me to apply for the visa, get it, and go to school there. This is when I have found myself forced to believe in destiny because I wasn’t even thinking about the United States. 

As I was applying for the schools in France I encountered some difficulties, but because I am not the type of person to give up, I kept applying to schools until I got accepted to one of the universities in Paris. I was happy and couldn’t wait to go until the French embassy told me that I couldn’t apply for the student visa the same year because I had applied to both public and private universities. This discouraged me because I didn’t want to waste another year after graduating from high school. My aunt then proposed that I go to the United States for school. When I started the process everything went smoothly. The University I applied to in Philadelphia accepted me, and when I applied for the visa the embassy handed me the visa quickly. 

A new chapter of my life had begun, a chapter I am thankful for because I believe it to be the best thing to have ever happen to me. Soon, I realized that coming to the US was the best thing for me, opening a lot of doors and opportunities for me. Going to school in the US, especially in Utah, helped me gain many relations with amazing people, and helped me to have a different perspective on life. As a political science student, with an emphasis on international affairs, I learned the history of the development of the US, and how they dealt with the corruption issues, and how foreign politic works. My plan is to apply all those things that I have learned here and apply them in my country in order to reduce the excessive corruption that’s a huge handicap to the development of Mali.  I would also like to participate in improving the education system, as I believe is unfair to children in non-urban areas.