The average student at Olivet College wouldn’t have to leave the state to visit home. A visit home for Kayoed Janet Oluwafunmilayo requires five planes and a whole day of traveling. Janet is from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. Leaving Nigeria to attend school in the United States was more than a long trip - it was a massive change.
“I have never been away from home. I’ve always lived with my parents. I haven’t even traveled within Nigeria,” said Janet, “[and] my first time in America was this August, when I arrived for classes.”
Janet studies business management at Olivet College. She hopes to earn her degree and then return to Nigeria and start a business, eventually scaling it to a large size operation. Future plans are not the only thing on Janet’s mind - she also wants to start blogging and video blogging while at Olivet.
“I have a big, energetic personality. I want my vlog [video blog] to show that. I think people would like the perspective of an African student living in America,” said Janet.
Janet discovered Olivet College while doing internet research on schools offering academic and talent scholarships. She decided on Olivet when she was offered a talent scholarship through the Olivet College Gospel Choir. Janet grew up singing in the church choir and in her school choir, so this felt like a natural fit.
Janet said it was natural for her to sing in the gospel choir because she grew up singing in church. Both of Janet’s parents are pastors.
“I grew up in a very religious home… My mom didn’t like me wearing makeup or having weaves. They have high standards and are really protective,” said Janet. “We are a very close family….When I left for school everyone was crying. I’ve never seen my dad cry before, not even when his mother passed away, but when I left he was in tears. My mom was crying and so was I.” Janet also grew up with an older sister and younger brother.
She said her family will have a boring, quiet home with her gone for the school. As the “tigress of the house,” she brings life, energy, and noise to her home. Janet hopes to bring that same life and energy to Olivet College.
Currently, there are 20 international students at Olivet, from countries including Ukraine, Congo, India, Great Britain and of course, Canada.