This semester, two Tunisian students are studying at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus as a part of the Thomas Jefferson scholarship program. The year-long program allows students to explore American culture and build Tunisia’s workforce.
Gley Raki, one of the students, attends the Higher Institute of Technical Studies in Djerba, an island off the Tunisian coast. He’s studying software development and information security. He shared a little bit about his opinions on Fort Wayne, the United States, and his program.
On the United States
“Exploring the United States is a huge part of my program. That’s why I’m visiting the maximum number of states that I can. I have been in Chicago and Ohio already, and I’m planning to visit most of the East Coast cities during the next fall break; Washington and the cities around it in the winter; and what I can from the West Coast next spring.
“Chicago is a huge city and crowded and people drive angry—not my thing. But the infrastructure amazed me. When I’ve been in Ohio, I went to Cedar Point with a couple people I knew, and that was a really funny and scary day, and the lake is fantastic, too.”
On Fort Wayne
“Fort Wayne is a very peaceful city and calm most of the time. The people here are very nice, too. I’m a foreigner to the United States and its culture, but the community here is very diverse. You never feel as an outsider. That’s what I like about Fort Wayne.
On Ivy Tech
“Ivy Tech is like heaven for us, the software development people. The resources that it provides and the clubs concerning our major and cyber security competitions and events within clubs—that’s something rare to find in any other school, I believe. That’s what I like about Ivy Tech.
The tough part
“The hardest thing was getting to know people and communicate with them with my non-perfect English.”
On the Thomas Jefferson scholarship program
“The goal of this program is that it builds the workforce capacity of a diverse group of youth leaders from across Tunisia. Through year-long programs of study in the U.S., exploration of American culture, community service, and professional internships, participants develop a broad and nuanced understanding of U.S. values and become 21st century global citizens prepared to contribute to the economic growth and development of Tunisia.”