Passport Adventures

Hi, my name is Annea, and IÆm an international student from Prishtina, Kosovo. This is my second year at UD as an Entrepreneurship and Marketing major. One of the first questions that people ask me is: How did you end up in Dayton? Well, that is a long story, but to make it quick IÆm just going to go back two years ago in August 2007 and start from there.

Finally, after a year of running around to fix documents that I needed for being an exchange student in the U.S. and even redoing them, everything was ready. It was August 16th, 2007 and the day that I was leaving home to not return for ten months. I knew I would be coming to Dayton, and being here before as a child, after fleeing from war in Kosovo, during 1999-2000 I had a sense of how it would be. I also knew my great exchange student host parents Ellen and Dennis Langer, who for ten months during 2006-2007 were nothing less than wonderful parents. So, the path that I was taking was not so unclear and scary compared to other exchange students, who leave home only with an address on a piece of paper. But, still being away from home was a challenge, that my host parents helped me overcome with less pain.

I got to Dayton on the 17th of August, after a very crazy trip from Prishtina. Disregarding my emotional state and that I cried during my whole flight from Prishtina to Vienna, I was faced with difficulties in the international airports that resulted from my UNMIK (United Nations Mission in Kosova) travel document. Many employees at the information desks were not able to find the code on their systems for the UNMIK travel document, and this code continues to cause me problems. Others didnÆt know where the passport originates from, so I would be bombarded with numerous questions. But, fortunately I didnÆt miss a single flight, which was a relief because I had other connecting flights.

By the time I got to Dayton, I was exhausted but ready to begin my foreign journey. I came to Dayton with the Rotary Exchange Program and completed my senior year of High School at Centerville. My exchange year was extremely productive, thanks to my host parents who would do anything just to help me excel in my difficult classes at CHS and perform well in the graduation exams. The thought of coming to a college in the U.S., was an enjoyable dream for me, so I would usually only keep it there and not think about it becoming a reality from 10 thousand miles away.

But, after an extremely intense year of studying, preparing, trying to catch up, completing all the college applications while trying to learn the college English level, and visiting five campuses with my dear host mom Ellen and my momÆs friends, I received an amazing letter from UD. It was an admission letter, which offered me a couple of wonderful scholarships, including the John W. Berry Scholarship. Receiving this letter was more than an excitement, it changed my life in its complete sense. Having been an exchange student was fruitful and pleasant in so many ways, but knowing that I will be spending the next four years receiving a unique education at UD was even a better feeling. The letter I received from UD was a testament of the hard work and perseverance and achievement of not only one person, but of a group of people with very different cultures and backgrounds, who did everything in their power to grant me with the chance of receiving a rare education, which sadly for the time being I would not be able to receive in my country.