An international student feeling right at home at Greater Allegheny
She was born and raised in Italy, immigrated to Clarksburg, Maryland in 2008, speaks Italian, English, and French, and is learning Chinese and Spanish. Her name is Barblin Essien and now she calls Penn State Greater Allegheny home. When she moved from Italy to the United States for her father’s work, she had little basic English-speaking skills, which was a challenge at first. But now, she seeks more languages to be able to communicate and relate with people of other cultures.
Interacting with people and learning about their interests and cultures are some of Essien’s favorite parts about attending college and living among a diverse population. During her numerous college tours, she noticed that Penn State Greater Allegheny was different from the other universities she had visited.
“The people were friendly, with a passion for what they were introducing or presenting about the school, especially the Lion Ambassadors,” she said. “They welcomed me as if I was already part of the family and I knew then that they had what I was looking for---a family like school where people are valued and dreams are helped realized.”
It has been a dream of Essien’s to become a pediatrician and to help children ever since she attended a missionary trip with her family saw children suffering due to a lack of medical personnel. She would like to pursue a degree in medicine.
Essien dove into her studies and into all of the activities that the Greater Allegheny offers. She is a Lion Ambassador, a member of the Student Government Association, S.A.F.E, International Club, Psychology Club and is president and founder of the Environmental Club. The goal of the club is to promote environmental awareness on and around campus.
Essien is a science major with interests in pursing medicine and she says that she “ learned a lot of things about people at Greater Allegheny, but I especially learned that they are people who love you and respect you as if they are part of your family and that is the key.”