Written by Guest blogger
Hi, my name is Siju Yusuf from Nigeria, studying MA Media and Communication. Living in Bournemouth and studying at the University is one of the most exciting yet fulfilling things I have ever done. I have enjoyed experiencing a new culture and interacting with people of diverse nationalities.
First, the cultural shock
I was not expecting to be as disoriented as I was. These are three of the major areas where I suffered major shock, despite having mentally prepared myself for what was to come:
The food: the British food is completely different from the hot and spicy food that a typical Nigerian would consume. The regular grocery shops like Tesco and Asda do not sell the kind of food that I wanted, making accessing foodstuff somewhat a herculean task.
The weather: for someone coming from a tropical region, the weather is definitely one that will rustle you up.
The people: I had often heard and read about the British sarcasm. Experiencing it first-hand is an experience that I will never forget, especially as I find it hard to make out jokes from a serious conversations.
Then, the adaptation
The brilliant thing about these experiences is that as I integrated further into society, my way of life has become more interesting. Like I say to friends who are planning to relocate, it is important to identify your support system at the University. It is in this support system you will thrive and your integration into the larger society from then on should be seamless. For that to happen, you need to meet new people, and this is how I went on about it:
Within the university: there are several communities and societies within the university that provide support and are like-minded. An example of such is the Feminist Society which does not care about where you are from, but cares about who you are and what you stand for.
Outside the university: I joined a church of like-minded people, and within the church I have made friends, which is making integration easier by the day.
The Nigerian community: interestingly, there is a Nigerian community outside the university that holds and celebrates national festivals. In October, the Nigerians celebrate independence from colonial rule, which coincidentally is also the Black History Month. A Nigerian I met invited me to attend the celebration. I met a host of other Nigerians and I enjoyed the social event. The community also holds meetings periodically to innovate, plan, support and celebrate the Nigerian culture.
I would like to add here that enjoying and exploring other cultures is something I have an interest in. For me, one of the benefits of studying abroad is also an opportunity to explore diverse cultures and have a global approach to life. Bournemouth University is a university extremely rich in cultural diversity.
By Siju Yusuf, Nigeria, MA Media and Communication, 2017/18