Man Jadda Wajadda – he who gives his all will surely succeed. Through this Arabic phrase, I finally reached my dream to study in the U.S. After a long selection process, on August 2, 2011, I went to Atlanta, Georgia as a Community College Initiative (CCI) student.
This was how Andreas started his story of studying in the Community College Initiative (CCI) program. He had written in to talk about his year studying in Madison, Wisconsin, which he called a “once in a lifetime experience.” According to Andreas, he got this opportunity by adhering to a simple formula: “Dream + Effort = Reality!” But the “Effort” part of that formula wasn’t quite as easy as it sounds. He explained:
I knew about the CCI program from my best friend who got this scholarship. After seeing my friend’s pictures in the U.S. on Facebook, I told myself that I had to go the U.S. too. I began to search for as much information as I could from Google and my friend.
I realized my English was not good enough, so I took an English course for three months, three times a week, as my preparation for the TOEFL test. Although I had taken the course, I failed the TOEFL test two times. I had to get minimum score of 500 to apply for CCI program, but my score was just 417 and 473.
Then, I tried another way to improve my English. I bought a TOEFL test preparation book and forced myself to answer 10-20 questions each day before my next TOEFL test. Finally, my effort went great! I got more than 500 for my TOEFL test.
I applied to the CCI program in October 2010, because the deadline was November 1, 2010. It was a great moment when they contacted me in early December to say that I passed the document selection and they wanted me to do an interview.