I chose to pursue the second interviewing option, whereby I conducted interviews with student of similar ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Thereafter, I compared and contrasted their college experience with mine.
When I chose this option, I did not exactly know how I would approach the task of actually conducting interviews with U of M student. Firstly, I did not know what questions I would ask. I didn’t know what an appropriate length for each interview would be. Heck, I didn’t even know If students would give me the opportunity to interview them.
Fortunately, I was able to find students that were willing to take time out of their to day in order to assist me with my project. With time I was able to come up with the question I wanted answered.
I have currently interviewed two Somali student that attend the University of Minnesota, with the hopes of interviewing a third. In the interviews, I asked various question regarding their experience a the “U”. My question were as follows: Are you a first generation college student? Have you experienced any difficulties or setbacks due to your unique background? Have you at anytime had any difficulty finding a sense of belongingness/a sense of community within the greater campus? How has your personal upbringing influenced your perspective of seeking an education or education in general? How does your religious affiliation influence your college experience? How is your college experience affected by your cultural identity? Do you believe most Somali students at the “U” share a closely similar experience? If so, why?
Satisfyingly, the interviews were quite engaging. I believe they turned out better than I anticipated. I am very pleased with the overall outcome of both interviews and I hope I have a similar experience in my third and final interview.