You finally passed that O-level to be accepted in a decent varsity in a different country. At first you were super excited, because you thought uni was the start of something great. You get this nice title “International student”, you love it at first, and then reality sets in.
Studying isn’t always about what units you registered, getting those distinctions, it is a whole package from those classes to the college life. Ever thought why would that Nigerian come all this way to study at USIU or that South Sudanese study law in UoN? Well, they had reasons and all we can do to help is make their four years worthwhile or at least accept their diversity. Exchange programs or foreign students may go through such problems.
- Different culture. You leave your country where you eat bread to find ugali, like how long will that take for you to adopt? A Sudanese once expressed her concern when she saw a human cart. “Where I come from, carts are pulled by donkeys” She went home feeling so sorry that day. But how best can we deal with this culture changes? Foreign students are advised to interact, understand and accept the universality of culture. Dressing styles changes as soon as you land in that airport.
- Language barrier. foreign students find themselves shrubbing. You don’t even have to be an international student to be ridiculed because of how you speak. Mother tongue influence is real. There was a couple spotted in one of the campus both of different historical backgrounds a Rwandese and Ugandan, how they managed to pull through that language barrier is impressive. Now writing an essay becomes close to impossible. Best way to deal with this, have English lessons, speech therapy perhaps?
- Assumptions and stereotypes. You all have heard the claims that Naija men are good in bed? Or how South Sudanese have a lot of money? International students would be charged more for clothes, because of how they have been labeled.
- Homesick. Leaving behind your whole life, memories and loved ones is so hard. Foreign students become glued to technology and electronic gadgets to find any relevant information about home. In order to feel at home. Ethiopians have established eateries where they serve their traditional foods that are now being embraced by all.
- Expenses. Students visas can be expensive, fee structures could be tripled, rent would be doubled because you don’t belong. But the need to feed your brain through an education supersedes all these challenges.
Are you a foreign student? Share your experience below.