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My expec­ta­tions and my real­i­ty study­ing at Cyprus (Episode 1 Reloaded) – Ifeo­ma Onuike, Dias­po­ra Con­nect

Ifeo­ma Onuike rep­re­sents a house­hold name which all media out­fits, blogs and mega sites across Africa preyed on her suc­cess sto­ry. From a hum­ble Chris­t­ian back­ground she raised to fame receiv­ing many acco­lades and awards.

She start­ed cre­at­ing her spot­light here at toktok9ja media by shar­ing her sto­ry on the adven­ture of study­ing abroad and how she with­stood all pres­sure and obsta­cles.

Today she han­dles a col­umn on dias­po­ra con­nect where she bring togeth­er stu­dents from all part of the world to share their sto­ry on study­ing abroad in oth­er to inspire and moti­vate oth­ers.

Though this sto­ry had been pub­lished some­time on this plat­form, this is a reloaded ver­sion with more details for clear read­abil­i­ty and com­pre­hen­sion. Enjoy! (Abel Wealth)”

The Sto­ry Begins…

I do not want to gen­er­al­ize but with sta­tis­tics it can be said that so many peo­ple have migrat­ed and a large num­ber are still migrat­ing from Nige­ria and oth­er African coun­tries to Europe and Amer­i­can. For some they just want to leave their coun­try no mat­ter where the des­ti­na­tion might be at all cost.

Though, there are dif­fer­ent rea­sons why peo­ple seek after this, the most com­mon rea­son is due to the harsh eco­nom­ic state of some African Coun­tries. I jug­gle between two rea­sons for leav­ing my coun­try which is edu­ca­tion and eco­nom­ic.

Yet this ques­tion comes to mind, does it mean there isn’t good edu­ca­tion in my coun­try?

Can I not get all the eco­nom­ic resources I need to ful­fill my dreams here in Nige­ria?

Well, I may have to write an epis­tle to explain this some­day.

The more fas­ci­nat­ing ques­tion here is when we leave our coun­tries in search of this green­er pas­tures do we get what we seek for?

For now I will tell some part of my sto­ry, sub­se­quent­ly, I will share sto­ries from oth­er mem­bers of Dias­po­ra Con­nect (DC).

From Left Ifeo­ma Onuike

After I fin­ished my first degree in Uni­ver­si­ty of Nige­ria Nsuk­ka 2012, where I stud­ied Busi­ness Man­age­ment, I became eager to fur­ther, prob­a­bly to get a sec­ond degree in a course of my choice which was Law.

I was pas­sion­ate about law, I always want­ed to be a lawyer, though at Nsuk­ka I was offered admis­sion to study Busi­ness Man­age­ment instead of law which I applied for. So I had to write jamb again twice in 2012, 2013 with no suc­cess in gain­ing admis­sion to study my desired course law.

In 2014 I decid­ed to wait for my BSc result to be ready so I can apply for direct entry to study Law instead of end­less writ­ing of Jamb. It was while I was wait­ing a friend informed me about an Agency that can help me secure admis­sion in North Cyprus with 50% schol­ar­ship.

Wow, that was it, a great oppor­tu­ni­ty I thought, so I cal­cu­lat­ed the remain­ing 50% I will have to pay as tuition fee, it was even less com­pared to some pri­vate Uni­ver­si­ties in Nige­ria, so I jump at it. I tried to inquire on the pos­si­bil­i­ty of work­ing while study­ing, and was assured by the agency that it was very pos­si­ble.

Oh I was so hap­py, I start­ed pro­cess­ing my papers, I spent over N500,000 (Five Hun­dred Thou­sand Naira) for a process which was sup­posed to take at most 100,000 (One Hun­dred Thou­sand Naira).

My par­ents kept warn­ing me to be care­ful because peo­ple have lost huge amount of mon­ey in this process. My faith was alive, so I com­plet­ed the process and paid every nec­es­sary fee, booked my flight and just like a dream, I got the visa.

Through­out the process I was think­ing, plan­ning strate­giz­ing, though I had paid for my first semester’s fee I nev­er had an idea on where or how to get the next fee. I even fan­ta­sized on how hard I will work at my office space to make enough mon­ey to spon­sor my edu­ca­tion and send some back home to my fam­i­ly.

I imag­ined how beau­ti­ful the streets will be in Cyprus, full of sky­scrap­ers, mag­nif­i­cent build­ings, civ­i­lized soci­ety and all man­ner of things. Please don’t mis­un­der­stand me am not say­ing Nige­ria my Coun­try is not civ­i­lized, on the con­trary, Nige­ria is a great place to stay.

My fan­ta­sy kept flood­ing, I imag­ined how friend­ly and accom­mo­dat­ing the peo­ple of Cyprus will be and yes I knew about racism I just had the pos­i­tive mind­set that the peo­ple would look pass my col­or.

I also thought about how I will improve my Eng­lish not because I don’t speak well as a Niger­ian, but I will also want to improve it to an inter­na­tion­al stan­dard.

Being an ambi­tious young woman, I want­ed every­one to be able to hear and under­stand me prop­er­ly.

On the day I was to depart from Nige­ria, I was very ner­vous and anx­ious, I and my fam­i­ly mem­bers were con­veyed in two seana bus. We all took pho­tos at the air­port and my par­ents gave their final advice and farewell as I board­ed the plane.

I could not hold my anx­i­ety to reach the dream des­ti­na­tion Cyprus!

When the plane final­ly touched down I took my hand luggage’s and made way for the door, I could not con­tain the joy inside, the air host and host­ess with a big smile on their faces each said ‘ thank you for fly­ing with us, enjoy your stay’ this must be it I said to myself.

I went to the counter where I was to present my pass­port and be allowed into the coun­try. The man spoke to me in Turk­ish, he tried to explain to me what they want me to do but I couldn’t under­stand him.

Then the first real­i­ty hit me, for more than 10 min­utes no one could speak Eng­lish and explain the issue to me on why I was being delayed.

I didn’t expect this sce­nario, dur­ing my research about the coun­try it said that Eng­lish, Turk­ish and Greek were wide­ly spo­ken. I became con­fused at the man­ner the air­port offi­cers where speak­ing to each oth­er in a lan­guage I could not under­stand.

Will I be deport­ed?

The thought came to me, no I have all my papers I answered myself try­ing to calm myself about the sit­u­a­tion.

To be Con­tin­ued…

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