Name: Gilbert Ampem
Host Institution: Stellenbosch University
Course: MASTER OF SCIENCE IN FOOD SCIENCE
Thesis: Quality Attributes of Pomegranate Fruit and Co-products Relevant to Processing and Nutrition
Experience Studying in Stellenbosch
A change in academic environment helps to facilitate a heathy progress in academia. Moving from University of Cape Coast, Ghana to Stellenbosch University, South Africa has helped me to gain a large package of knowledge and research experience. In addition to academia, the social interaction with the diverse culture and races in Stellenbosch was very useful and quite informative despite the different ideologies that seem to be peculiar to different cultures. Many times, it was imperative for me to learn and build on my mental cognizance. Furthermore, I had to be law abiding, which was very easy for me because I am by nature no obnoxious. Some days it was hard to find motivation but then motivation found me. Under the supervision of Distinguished Professor Umezuruike Linus Opara and Doctor Olaniyi Amos Fawole, succeeding in academia as well as in all that encompassed me was a bonus. This was due to their mental reservoir which contained enormous influx of astonishing knowledge and in-depth analysis of deeply rooted methodology and research that I was privileged to tap into for the greatest benefit of all mankind. Much more, they willingly gave me more than I ever asked for. Above all, we had a solid friendship, an unbreakable bond, among the three of us. It felt as if I lived in utopia. In their absence, a team of dedicated and selfless students under their supervision also assisted me in time of need. It was really a remarkable blessing to study overseas.
Nonetheless, dealing with social menace as a foreigner in South Africa was not a phantom or apparition. It is strikingly fascinating coping with academic stress and public menace simultaneously. There are currently many uncontrolled manner of habitual violence, robbery and theft attacks on international students and other foreigners. In the midst of it all, I exercised caution, nurtured strength of spirit to shield me in sudden misfortune, and inspired myself to enjoy my achievements as well as my plans, however humble. It was a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Max Ehrmann once said, “And whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” and so I did.