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Freshman from Zambia adjusting to life at DU

Amdom Giday. Photo by Wayne Armstrong

Amdom Giday has to be in the running to get the prize for traveling the farthest to attend the University of Denver.

Giday traveled about 10,000 miles, which translates to 27 hours on planes through five airports in Ethiopia, Rome, Washington, D.C., Orlando and Denver. Fortunately, he got here about a month before classes started to overcome any jetlag.

It was a leap of faith. He’d never been to DU — indeed, he’d never even stepped foot in the United States. But so far, so good.

“It’s definitely new. It’s not what I’m used to,” says Giday who is from Lusaka, Zambia. “But I like it so far. People are friendly.”

Giday had traveled through Asia and Europe but not in North or South America. He admits he’d had a little trouble dealing with the August heat when he arrived.

“I didn’t like the heat, it’s very hot here compared to Zambia. You need air conditioning here. It was 24 C in Zambia when I left [about 75 F].”

For Giday, the DU experience will encompass school work and new friends, and he hopes to watch DU sports teams — especially soccer and basketball — and try out some new hobbies.

“I think I’ll try snowboarding here,” he says. “I tried it once in Denmark but I fell pretty hard.”

He considered Purdue University, Pace University and Pepperdine University before choosing DU.

“I plan to study computer engineering and those schools are all good, but I think DU will be best for me,” he says. “There’s a better student-teacher ratio here, and I was given a scholarship to attend here.”

He’s not the first Giday to attend DU, either. His sister, Mizer, graduated earlier this year with a bachelor’s degree and is now a master’s student in economics at DU.

“That’s definitely another reason I chose DU, because my big sister was here and she told me many good things about DU and recommended it,” Giday says.

And he says he misses a lot about Zambia.

“My life growing up was awesome,” he says. “I have three other siblings, and my childhood was filled with different adventures and mischief. I will miss all my friends and family, and just home in general.”

But Giday expects any downsides to be well worth the trouble.

“My family, especially my dad, has always wanted me to come to the States for my education,” he says. “Schools here are better off. The U.S. has the most top schools and that means better job opportunities. The advantage goes to those who get educated in the U.S.”


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