I knew there was more out there for me to see, there was more sunshine in the world to experience – as a young Cameroonian, this was how I saw things. I have always been a very curious person. I love a challenge, and I love involving myself in things that keep me wanting and wondering. That said, it’s no surprise that I decided to pursue my bachelor’s degree at a university abroad. My name is Lenora Biche, and I study Economics and Finance with a minor in Entrepreneurship at John Cabot University.
Believing in Myself and Following my Dreams
In high school, I didn’t know where I was going to study, but I knew deep inside of me that it was going to happen. A family member eventually found JCU online and urged me to apply about a week before the application deadline. The day I was accepted to John Cabot marked a huge turning point in my life. Nothing was going to be the same after that. Initially, my friends and family were opposed to the idea of me going so far away for school. They presented with many reasons why they thought Rome was not the best the option for me and why moving to another continent was a bad idea. They said I was too young to travel, that I did not have the funds to finance my education. They told me that I could not speak the foreign language and said I was going be alone in a world where no one knew me. I had to a difficult decision to make.
I decided to believe in myself and follow my dreams. I tuned out the naysayers and focused on the positive things that awaited me in Rome. There was no stopping me. With the support and dedication of family members, the JCU Admissions Office and the Immigration Office, I eventually got my Italian study visa and the scholarships I needed. I bid my family farewell and got on the plane to Rome. It was my first time out of my country, and I was alone. It was exciting yet scary at the same time, but I knew that a brighter future was waiting for me at JCU.
When I got to campus, I found a new family. I felt welcomed and accepted by the JCU community. I made new friends from all over the world, and I found my home away from home. With the help of the university, I integrated quickly into the Italian lifestyle by taking Italian classes and exploring the beautiful neighborhoods of Rome. I have become more open to the world and more assertive than ever. John Cabot University has provided a safe space for me to grow as an individual and as a member of the community. I am constantly enhancing my leadership, interpersonal, and professional skills. I became an Orientation Leader to support new students, my own way of making others feel as welcomed as I did when I first arrived. I am currently a Resident Assistant for JCU Housing and a member of several clubs.
My time here has been so empowering and motivational. I have learned to take more risks. I have become more independent and more curious than ever before. I have even found the courage to start my own clothing business as a preliminary step to my future career as a social and educational entrepreneur and public speaker. As the years go by, I see more and more of the sunshine I had dreamed of and hoped to see when I was still in Cameroon. I gain courage from my professors, I develop life time bonds with my peers, and I emulate the passion and devotion exhibited by the JCU family. My hope for you, dear reader, is that you gain some inspiration from my story: focus on self-growth, filter out the naysayers, and believe in your potential.
Everyone’s road to Rome is different – Watch Lenora’s story
Class of 2021
Major in Economics and Finance
Hometown: Bamenda, Cameroon