Meet Johannes Dijkstra, a freshman communication major. Johannes lived in Senegal, West Africa until moving to Eiken, Norway two years ago.
So why did you come to Dordt?
I first heard about Dordt when Adam Adams, the director of global education, came to my school in Senegal and spoke about Dordt. I thought it was very interesting, so I went online and did some research. I thought it would be a cool place to study, so I decided that that was going to be my goal--to come here, because I wanted to go to a Christian college. In addition to that, my best friend is also here, so I already knew someone who was going to come here.
Did you go on a visit to Dordt before you came?
No, I didn't. The first time I saw it was for International Student Orientation (ISO) on campus.
How was that?
It was fun, it was great—I got to know a bunch of people. All the other students who were in charge of ISO were really friendly.
So what are you enjoying about Dordt so far?
Well, most of it, really. It's a really great place. The people are really nice, very open. I like how the professors are also friendly and open to discussion and talking in class, as well as outside of class--just to help you out.
How do you feel that your professors have engaged you?
Kinds of homework, for example. They give you homework that isn't necessarily a paper you have to write. It's more like, "Reflect on how you behave in society," especially in Core 100. It's really cool how it makes you think about how you engage with the school itself. They don't just give you assignments to write a paper; they also give you engaging assignments where you have to think and act.
Is there anything about Dordt that has surprised you?
Well, I didn't really have any specific expectations coming here. I knew that it would be different, I knew that it would be an American culture. So I came with a very open mindset. I didn't really get surprised, I just got informed, essentially. The most surprising thing is how open the professors are, how kind and generally how nice they are.
Why do you think it's surprising to you that they're so open?
Because so far, in high school, I haven't had super open teachers. It's always like the teacher is right, don't discuss, don't disagree, don't come to them outside of class times. I mean, you could send them messages outside of class, but it's never been as open as I feel like it is here. Here, you have much more of a relationship with your professors than a professional thing going on.
Is there anything that you would want to say to other students, maybe specifically international students looking at Dordt?
Well, come here. (Laughter.) It's a really amazing place. You barely notice the international thing, you make friends so quickly, both with other international students and other American students. People are very open to differences culturally, also opinion-wise. It's a place that really understands the fact that cultures are different and really helps international students to blend in and connect with each other and other students as well.