- Position: International student
- Department: Admissions
- Name: Emmanuel Gyimah
- Major: I’m a Biology major with a French Minor
- Year at Calvin: I’m currently a sophomore
- Country or countries you grew up in: I was born in England but raised in Ghana.
- Nationality: Ghanaian
- High school: Ghana International School
What challenges have you faced at Calvin? How have you overcome them?
My biggest challenge was trying to make friends, especially with Americans. I came into Calvin as a very shy and reserved dude. Consequently, I was reluctant to participate in dorm activities or any kind of social activity for that matter. With time, I came to realize that my anti-social behavior repelled a lot of nice people from seeing how nice I was. To overcome this, I decided to engage myself in something I loved to do – I joined the Calvin College Gospel Choir where I met like-minded people who also love to sing. Therefore, when I hung out with such people, I never had an awkward moment. I was also able to make American friends as well as friends from the international community. To further stretch myself and step out of my comfort zone, I decided to take up leadership positions. Being an Orientation Assistant for International PASSPORT pushed me learn how to serve and show hospitality to people. After International PASSPORT, I became more confident, open and interactive. Now, I’m able to make friends very easily!
How do you get involved at Calvin?
I’m a member of the Calvin College Gospel Choir. I am also a singer in Africapella which performs during Rangeela . (I am very passionate about Rangeela – it’s my jam!). I also served as an Orientation Assistant for International Passport. I also work at The Rhetoric Center (RC).
How have you been helped by the student resources available to you?
Even before I started working at the Rhetoric Center, I took advantage of the RC as a resource to help me out with my papers. Today, as a member of the RC staff, I still walk into the RC as a client. The RC has always been great in helping me develop my ideas for a particular assignment. Ultimately, the RC has helped me grow as a well-versed communicator who eloquently presents his ideas through oral and written rhetoric, which are very essential to a successful college career.
What puts the “Grand” in Grand Rapids? Or, what do you like most about GR?
At the thought of “Grand” I anticipated an extremely wild and vibrant city, but I must say that I appreciate the tranquility of Grand Rapids. Nevertheless, downtown Grand Rapids has so much to offer, food especially! When I need a break from school, I like to hop on the Rapid bus to get myself some good grub, especially from X.O. Asian Cuisine, Yesterdog or Angel’s Thai (My personal favorites). For yummy, great, exceptional, and affordable food options, downtown Grand Rapids is your best bet!
There are literally thousands of colleges around the world. Why did you choose Calvin?
Learning that Calvin integrates the Christian faith in every aspect of academic work, I believed that Calvin was the best place for me to grow as a Christian intellectual. The Calvin curriculum has stretched my imagination because it is very difficult to think of merging concepts of Christian faith with the fundamentals of a course like Organic Chemistry. Integrating faith with learning requires deep thinking, and that’s what Calvin stands for; that’s what makes its curriculum challenging! That’s what makes it unique as an educational institution! Being a part of a community which broadens my horizons as Christian thinker makes me thankful. Looking back, I can never say that I regretted the day I decided to be a Calvin Knight.
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