Updated: Nov 8, 2020
Nsame Catherine Dzekem hails from Cameroon, a country popularly known as "Africa in miniature" because of its geographical and cultural diversity. Catherine came to study in Finland, as part of the Erasmus Mundus Masters Program in Research and Innovation in Higher Education. Before her studies at the Tampere University, she had studied at Danube University of Krems in Austria, and Beijing Normal University in China as part of the Erasmus+ Master’s program, specializing in internationalization. Catherine had taught as an English language teacher in a secondary school in the United Arab Emirates before her master's studies. At present, she works as higher education researcher and consultant and has done research in collaboration with Finnish institutions that focus on promoting higher education internationalization and student mobility. One of such is the Fulbright Finland. She has been a mentor to some Africans who desire to study in Europe, providing them with guidance regarding scholarship applications and more.
Catherine poses with President Sauli Niinistö of Finalnd at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki as a Fulbright Finland staff. The significant occasion marks the awarding where the U.S. presented a centennial gift to Fulbright Finland through the honorable president.
In one of the meetings during the making of OMA in 2019, Catherine has expressed her honest aspirations when asked what encouraged her to join OMA.“ I am passionate about meeting and networking with people from various backgrounds and in assisting immigrants in education-related matters in Finland”.
Catherine values the importance of education and she herself has experienced the joy, adventure and challenges through the process of her studies not only in Finland but from her past educational exposure in different countries. Her desire to inspire and help young people and immigrants to build their dreams in a foreign land may not be that easy but possible. Determination and focus may come first in achieving one's goal but to be able to do something that you love and passionate about is priceless. It's the motivating force that keeps you going.