Hello from Bowling Green, Kentucky!

My name is Blessing Phiri, and I’m a Mechatronics major from Zimbabwe. Coming into the U.S. has really been a dream come true, and I am seizing every opportunity to learn new things about American culture. Besides enhancing my leadership skills and learning about American culture, I really looked forward to learning about emerging technologies and how we can use these to make our lives easier. Therefore, I enrolled into Automated Systems and Robotics classes at Western Kentucky University.  

Blessing in the Robotics and Engineering Laboratory on Campus at Western Kentucky University

I have been having the best time of my life working with machines and robots. Of the four years that I have been in college, I had only learned theoretically about robots, but I had never seen one in real life. This opportunity to be hands-on and try new things with other engineering students has been priceless. I’m grateful to the U.S. Department of State and World Learning for giving me the chance! In the picture to the right, I’m standing next to Rosie; she’s been my favorite robot because she’s big and multi-purpose. After completing my studies, I plan to go back home and share this knowledge with other young people in my field. I am confident that after this, I will be an empowered leader capable of participating actively in building my country.  

I have also enrolled in business classes to strengthen my view of entrepreneurship and make new American friends. I am learning a lot of new things in this diverse community. One thing that I have learned so far during my stay in the U.S. is to be open minded, and I’m grateful for the OPAL (Online Professional and Academic Learning) courses that I took before coming here. I have seen a lot of new things that I was not accustomed to in my country and being open minded has helped me to learn a lot from different people. 

I have also encountered very supportive staff here at WKU. They are always organizing events for international students, which has helped me network with my peers. My academic advisor has been very patient and kind with me. My World Learning advisor has also been one of the best people around. He continuously checks up on me through his Monday emails and Skype calls. I truly feel at home, and I’d love to come back to America and learn more.  


Written by Blessing Phiri, 2019-20 Global UGRAD from Zimbabwe at Western Kentucky University