A TCU student will be honored today for her efforts as an ambassador to her home country of Swaziland and the program which brought her to TCU, Director of International Studies John Singleton said.
Sidee Dlamini, a senior international economics major, came to TCU in 2007 through the Sister Cities program, an initiative that seeks to advance peace through lasting relationships and international understanding, Singleton said.
According to the Sister Cities website, a community in the U.S. will partner with a community from another country to promote the sharing of ideals between the two communities.
Dlamini said during her four years at TCU, she has been involved in programs such as Frog Camp, Connections, Marching Band, African Heritage Club, Model UN and was the director for Frog House, a Habitat for Humanity project at the university. Dlamini enrolled after receiving a one-year Sister Cities scholarship awarded by the university, according to a release from the Fort Worth Sister Cities affiliate. She later applied for, and received, multiple scholarships that helped pay for her tuition, according to the release.
Singleton, who knows Dlamini from the program, said Sidee has been a great connector between Swaziland and the United States and is excited that she’s being honored. Both Singleton and counselor Karen Scott will highlight her achievements from her four years at the university, according to the release.
Each summer, Dlamini said she would return home to Swaziland, and would help incoming freshmen from the country by helping acclimate them to the change of American culture.
“The Sister Cities [honor] is less about helping Sidee and more about recognizing her and the many things she has accomplished,” Singleton said. “This award is really something to say thank you to her because she has been an amazing ambassador for Swaziland and also for the Sister Cities program.”
Karen Martin, professor of Bilingual Education, said, “She has been a good diplomat for the two countries and it is a great accomplishment for her to receive the Sister Cities award.”
Dlamini said she first came to TCU during her senior year of high school as a member of the inaugural high school student International Leadership Academy from Fort Worth’s sister city of Mbabane, Swaziland. After taking a tour of the campus she decided to apply.
Once she received her acceptance letter to the university, she said she knew TCU would be the place where she would spend her next four years.
Coming from Swaziland, Dlamini said she did not see a huge difference in the culture but does miss the food from her native land. She said the food she has experienced in the United States has been more fattening and not as healthy as the food where she is from.
Martin said Dlamini is the kind of student teachers enjoy having at TCU. She said she represents the best of her country and the university, and truly cares about humanitarian causes and helping and sharing with others.
Dlamini said after college she is planning on staying in the United States and will be focusing on searching for a job dealing with community service and outreach.