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Explore in Video
Meet Magdalene Odhiambo ’16
Hometown: Kisumu, Kenya
Major: International Political Economy
Besides the climate, Magdalene Odhiambo ’16 notices one clear difference between Carthage and the schools in which she has studied: class size. At the high school she attended in the Western part of Kenya, classes normally had approximately 70 students. At Carthage, where the average class size is 17, she has been impressed by the small class sizes that allow one-on-one interaction with professors and classmates.
“It was even better than I expected,” Magdalene said. “This is a luxury enjoyed back home, mainly by private-school students.”
With plans to major in International Political Economy, Magdalene is taking advantage of the liberal arts education offered at Carthage to study everything from religion to microeconomics to yoga. For the summer, she hopes to pursue internship opportunities.
She is a member of Carthage Model United Nations and the International Friendship Society. She was a delegate in the annual American Model United Nations conference in Chicago and was involved in the Model UN high school conference at Carthage.
In high school, Magdalene was an ardent badminton player, which earned her a place on the school team. During her gap year after high school, she took up volunteering at a home for orphans and children with AIDS.
“You could feel that affected a child’s life positively,” she said.
Magdalene received a full academic scholarship to Carthage through the Zawadi Africa Education Fund, Kenya. She is eloquent in English, thanks to the strong emphasis on the importance of education in her homeland, but family conversation can bounce among four tribal languages.
She shared some of that cultural knowledge by teaching basic Swahili to those who attended the annual International Dinner. It gives her a sense of satisfaction to hear people around campus try to greet her in Swahili — even when those greetings are mispronounced.