Photo: From Costa Rica to Siloam Springs

From Costa Rica to Siloam Springs

First-Year Reflections


Friday, February 24, 2017

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My name is Arfennee Córdoba Quesada and I am a Walton student from Costa Rica at John Brown University. I dreamed for a long time about coming to college in the United States, being sure that this was what I always wanted, but when the moment came to leave my country, I was scared. It not only implied leaving my family and friends behind, but also going to a completely unknown place to study… in another language! I would be totally out of my comfort zone.

I had my first experience in a plane, as well as being outside Costa Rica, but like me, in August, 2016, another thirteen people from different Central American countries and Mexico came thanks to the Walton International Scholarship Program. These freshmen helped me to feel at home in the first week. They became my friends really quickly, and made me forget about the hard feelings I could have had. It was so interesting to share with them, and know all the language differences that we had, despite the fact that we all speak Spanish. We talked, laughed, and played, which was an advantage for me to go through the first days of my new adventure.

Orientation Week was fantastic. I started meeting new people from across several states, and all over the world (I met most of my friends within that weekend), something that I really liked, because I shared all the activities with more people around me. We then had to move on, and an important day came: the first day of school. I was so excited, and I couldn’t wait to meet all my professors, learn new things, and explore more! The professors are great! They encourage me to go beyond my limits, and whenever I struggled, they would help as much as they could to keep going. Moreover, they made me be engaged in class as never before, and I have the desire of going to class to expand my knowledge.

Once assignments, papers, essays, projects, and tests came up in the schedule I knew I needed time to relax, so I started hanging out with friends, either on or off campus. We exercised, played soccer, and watched movies. I remember one time when I wanted to go see Marvel’s Dr. Strange, and the closest place was Fayetteville, AR. It was just me and two friends, but throughout the week I started inviting people to join us, and by the time we met up before heading out, there were about twenty-five people! After that we all went to IHOP, and it was one of the greatest nights I’ve ever had.

The Christian environment has made me enjoy my college life even more, because I can have fun in a different way - healthier, and safer - with all my friends, and without worries. I know that everyone will make me improve myself every day, and will make me seek and have a closer relationship with God. Students and staff put so much effort in their jobs and groups, and every time I ask one of my friends how they are doing with something, even when the week might be busy, they tell me they love what they do, which inspires me to be part of the positive change (development and progress) JBU provides to the community.

I know that there is still a lot for me to live as a JBU student, but time flies. That tells me that, first, I’ve been enjoying this blessing of experience, but also, that I will have to take advantage of this opportunity, and enjoy it even more. I always take as a frame of reference “The W-Curve graph” which describes the different states of emotion a freshman goes through. As a Walton student, I didn’t get to choose which of the three universities in Arkansas, part of the WISP, attend to, but everything and everyone here around me make me stay in the “honeymoon stage” of that graph, where there is always and only good feelings, and because of that I am  infinitely thankful for being a student at John Brown University.

Blog HomePosted By: Arfennee Cordoba Quesada - 2/24/17 9:00 AM



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