Esther Oviawe '22

This week I had the opportunity to talk to Esther Oviawe, a freshman (Class of 2022) here at DePauw. Esther is an international student from Nigeria with an interest in communications and law. She shared with me her reasons for studying in the USA and talked to me about being in college while being only sixteen years old.

Her Campus: How did you find out about DePauw, and why did you decide to come here?

Esther Oviawe: I discovered DePauw while I was researching the top schools to study communications. It was a great fit because I was also looking for a small liberal arts college – I’m not a fan of big schools. Money was also a factor I needed to consider, so after comparing financial aid offers, I decided to come to DePauw.

HC: Did you apply to other colleges as well?

EO: Yes, I did apply to other colleges in the USA.

HC: What do you want to do after college?

EO: I want to go to law school after graduating from DePauw. My top school choice would be Yale.

HC: Did you always know you wanted to study in the USA?

EO: At first, my wish was to study in England, because there I could have gone to law school directly after high school. However, I decided to come to the USA because I have three sisters that study in the USA, and most of my extended family lives here as well.

HC: How come you’re sixteen and already in college?

EO: I had a head start in school (I started earlier than other kids), and I also skipped 6th grade.

HC: Do you think your experience would be different if you were the same age as everyone else?

EO: I do think my experience would be different if I was the same age as other freshmen, because I feel I am not as mentally mature as some of my peers. I also think I could experience more if I was older.

HC: Did you have to go through an extra process because you’re a minor?

EO: Yes, I had to fill out some additional paperwork, mostly to certify that my parents were okay with letting me sign things by myself even though I am not eighteen.

HC: Is it very different here than in Nigeria?

EO: The USA is very different from my home country. There is a great difference in the environment, culture, diversity and educational system. Here, education is based on practical learning, not just listening to lectures.

HC: What do you miss most about your home country?

EO: I miss Nigerian food a lot. I miss the spices – food here is just so bland.