In two short years, Upper Iowa University student Pinima Godpower has accumulated a lifetime of educational experiences in and out of the classroom. Born and raised in Rivers State, Nigeria, Pinima watched six older siblings graduate from universities in her native country. Shortly after learning about UIU and its International Diversity Scholarship, Pinima became the first member of her family to study abroad.
Now a UIU junior, Pinima explained that while the Rivers State government offers scholarships to approximately 300 academically gifted students from the state to study abroad annually Nigeria does not typically send students to study in the United States due to higher expenses when compared to other countries.
“But due to the scholarship Upper Iowa offered, I was allowed to come to America because the cost of my education here (at UIU) was equivalent to the cost of other recipients in Europe,” she added.
Soon after arriving on the Fayette campus, the biology major came to appreciate the University’s small classroom sizes and its faculty.
“My favorite part of the science program is the class sizes, which gives me the opportunity to better relate to my professors on a one-on-one basis. The faculty knows me by name and easily relates to me and any struggles I face in class,” she said. “Despite the small classroom size, the faculty uses different learning techniques to deliver a quality education to all students. I am able to do better in classes due to the small number of faculty. I know and understand most of the professors’ educational methods, thereby helping me achieve better grades.”
Outside of the traditional classroom, Pinima recently participated in the Atlantis Project Summer Internship program. The Alantis Project gives students from around the world an opportunity to experience European culture and health care programs, providing internships in public hospitals.
As part of the program, Pinima job-shadowed physicians in eight different medical specialties at Hospital Universitario in A Coruna, Spain. During the three-week period, she witnessed a thodothyroidectomy (a left neck dissection) to remove a thyroid tumor, plastic surgery, an upper and lower endoscopy, an autopsy, and a number of other procedures. In return, she taught English to members of the hospital staff.
The experience provided Pinima an opportunity to utilize the knowledge she has obtained from UIU, while also providing an inside glimpse of the field of medicine.
“This gave me insight into the lives of health care professionals and has only cemented my decision to further study medicine,” said the aspiring physcian. “And without UIU’s scholarship program, I would not have been able to come to America, which is a great country, with the best education and an abundance of opportunities.”
Following graduation from UIU, Pinima intends to attend a medical school and continue her journey toward a successful medical career.
Upper Iowa University believes in providing support to students who are serious about continuing their higher education. UIU offers several scholarships of increasing amounts to incoming students, both in the United States and internationally, based on their grade point average (GPA) and/or financial need. Among the available scholarships are the International Trustee Scholarship, International Ambassador Scholarship, International Presidential Scholarship and International Deans’ Scholarship.