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From Nigeria to DBS: International Student Story

Adetunji Paul is an international student who travelled all the way from his home in Nigeria to study at DBS. He told us all about the experience of moving to a new country to live and study, read his story below...

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I hopped on a long 20-hour journey consisting of 2 flight legs from Nigeria to Ireland in January 2017. It wasn’t the first time I was leaving home to study in a different country only this time around I was ​more clear on what I wanted than ever before.

Why did you decide to study in Ireland?

I decided that I would extend my education with seven months further study prior to my arrival in Ireland. I listed out all the English-speaking nations in the world and began to cross them off one by one. I decided on Ireland because it was the only other English-speaking nation in the European Union besides the United Kingdom, which I had eliminated because the tuition fees were exorbitant. I was enticed by the prospect of one day becoming a European citizen, a chance at a different future compared to studying or choosing to work in Nigeria. 

Why did you decide to study at DBS?

In August 2016, I resolved to study at a Master’s Level, however, September 2016 academic sessions around Ireland were too close and I had not applied to any schools. To further add to my conundrum, September 2017 was a year away and I could not wait that long. I needed somewhere that had a January Intake, which is how I came across Dublin Business School, the largest private Third Level college in Ireland. Dublin Business School had an MBA with a Marketing stream which was exactly what I was looking for and the tuition fees were humane. That was it.

How did you find the transition of living in a new country?

It wasn’t the first time I was abroad, I lived in Ukraine in Eastern Europe for 5 years. It didn’t take me long to adjust, I was arriving in the winter, my least favorite season. The upside was all the signs and information were in English! Such a boon. I could also ask any passerby for directions and I could understand what they said because they spoke English! So, I knew I’d never get lost. I often joked with my best friend who arrived for the September 2016 year, that when I arrived I’d be the one showing her around and that turned out to be true.

Of course, there were things I had to learn which take time, how the housing system worked, how various government services operated, the structure of the government and how exactly different services can help me or affect me. That took time and I’m still learning every day.

What has your experience been like so far, both with living in Ireland and studying at DBS?

In the past year, I have had several challenges, many of which I will write about in the future. It was never smooth sailing but I found solace in my best friend and in my education knowing that I was getting what I wanted. It also helped that Dublin Business School had an open and vibrant culture I could always connect to when I needed. I'm a deep sort of person, I often compare and contrast Eastern and Western European culture and how that affects how I relate with the Irish people.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of moving away from their native home to study in Ireland?

I've learned a lot in Ireland, about the West, about Ireland, about life and about myself. I would advise my fellow Nigerians and anyone moving away from their home country to keep an open mind and be ready to accept new cultures. More than ever, Ireland especially Dublin is becoming a cultural melting pot. I didn’t travel from my home country only to remain the same, doing the same things and acting in the same way, and I believe that anyone who is moving to Ireland should be ready to adapt for the better.

Are you happy with your decision to come here to study?

Coming to Ireland for my MBA was a great decision, one that I'm ​very happy with. My MBA is coming to a close and I've been able to find ​employment here, so my MBA education was very good all things considered. My personal goals are still some way off, but this gave me a kick-start and I'm hopeful for the future.