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Cal recruits new students from Africa

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Aisha Kingongo is one of the seven students from Africa who receives a full-ride scholarship to UC Berkeley courtesy of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program. The program aims to boost the enrollment of African students at UC Berkeley.


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APRIL 08, 2013

Our admissions office goes to great lengths to introduce new faces to the Berkeley scene, but we at the Clog didn’t realize just how far away they really go! Lin Larson, an undergrad admissions officer, goes more than 8,000 miles, actually. Lin is planning to go back to Zimbabwe after a successful visit last semester. She visited 22 of sub-Saharan Africa’s best high schools to give them info on Cal.

One school in particular really loved us. Zengeza 1 High School  was completely clueless about all things California. They didn’t know we were the number one public university and they equated California solely with Disneyland and Hollywood. As a way of showing how much they love Cal, they even renamed one of their buildings the “Berkeley Campus.” What’s even better about that fact? This building (as well as another one) was originally known as the “Harvard Campus” before it was changed.

We’re obviously better than Harvard, so we’re happy to see that others think so as well. If you weren’t convinced that Cal is the greatest school ever, you should be now. The decision to change the name of the building took no time once they found out how awesome we are.

Cal is a place of epic diversity — meeting people from all over the world at all different walks of life is almost guaranteed. To give you a glimpse of their lives, imagine this: Most of the students have no shoes, walk about an hour to get to school, and water, white bread and yams are on the cafeteria menu … pretty much every day. Most of us can’t imagine living this kind of lifestyle. These kids work their entire lives to get a chance at quality education and that’s exactly what Cal wants to give them. And it doesn’t stop in Africa. Last year Larson went to India and the Philippines to get our great name out in the world, and this May she’ll be heading to Indonesia. Within the next few years, we may be adding some very unique students to our eclectic campus, widely known as Berzerkeley.

Contact Kristen McFadden at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @kmcfadden7

APRIL 08, 2013