Danielle Frempong

  • Major: International Development Studies
  • Minor: International Relations
  • Grad Year: 2020
  • Hometown: Accra, Ghana

"Calvin University mission is to equip students to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world. I would say the part of the mission that resonates with me the most right now is ‘thinking deeply’. " Frempong '20

What was the best part of being in GDS?

Classroom discussions in the GDS program are always so engaging. The reading material can be challenging sometimes, but it mostly pushes us to think deeply about how we define development and which approaches are best. I also loved the fact that everyone in the program is genuinely interested in learning about countries other than their own. We always remind ourselves to be culturally sensitive and at the same time, we are not afraid to question, analyze, and engage in spaces that can be very different from what we’ve always known. 

What was something unexpected you discovered about this field of study?

The path of an GDS graduate is wildly meandering and unpredictable! Most GDS students pair the major with other majors or minors that allow the possibility of bridging several fields of study. Thankfully, the GDS program offers plenty of real-life experience before you graduate to ‘do’ development work which allows you to ‘test’ your specific skill or talent! For example, you could end up interning with an organization that is focused on providing educational opportunities for persons with disabilities as a videographer or communications specialist. To make the development dream work, you can always bring multiple interests and talents to the table! It is truly awesome!

 What’s one thing you would want to tell someone about starting their journey at Calvin?

Calvin is essentially what you make of it. Be as diligent as you can be in finding out what it is on campus you really want to get involved in and then dive in, headfirst! Don’t be afraid to take chances and to push yourself outside of your comfort zone – academically, spiritually, and socially. Take this opportunity and really invest in your personal and academic growth.

How has your faith grown at Calvin?

Coming to Calvin challenged my faith. I recognized that there were Christians who believed a vast range of things about Christianity. This helped me to realize how limited my understanding of God was and it really made me sit down, pray, reflect, and ask myself, “What is it that I believe? Why? How does that impact my life?” Calvin can make you think hard about your faith and in those moments, you develop a more genuine passion for knowing and living life with God.

What part of Calvin’s mission resonates with you, and why?

Calvin University equips students to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world. I would say the part of the mission that resonates with me the most right now is ‘thinking deeply’. While I am passionate and ready to go out into the world after receiving my education, I know that much of my work must come after thoughtful reflection. In those moments of reflection and prayer, God reveals his desires to us and we are able to receive a better understanding of how exactly we can live out our calling in this world.

What is your favorite space on campus, and why?

My favorite space is the Fish House because it is the perfect blend of peaceful and bustling. There are people all around having conversations and laughing, yet you can sit in a corner and do something on your own. In other words, you can be on your own without necessarily being alone and that is wonderful for me. I also appreciate the fact that student art is used to decorate the place and the pictures are constantly changing – making space for artists to share their work.

 Did you receive any scholarships or financial aid at Calvin?

Yes, I received financial aid from Calvin. Even after getting into Calvin, there are opportunities to apply for more scholarships and depending on merit, one can get more aid!