A Nigerian girl goes abroad

3 minute read

Nigeria is renowned for a variety of things, including its rich natural resources such as oil and gas, cultural diversity, vibrant food, fashion industries, and its lively entertainment scene. The country is also known for its love of 'partying' and its lively nightlife. Coming to Oxford as an African can be a daunting experience, as the university is a small, tight-knit community, quite different from the bustling city of Lagos. However, my experience has shown me that there are many similarities between the two places and I would like to share some insights into what life at Oxford is like from a Nigerian perspective.

What set Oxford apart from other universities for me is its major focus on Africa and tutorial system. Instead of large lectures, students are taught in small groups through weekly tutorials. This allows for in-depth, one-on- one discussions with professors and peers, which I found to be a valuable experience. However, this also meant stepping out of my comfort zone and becoming more confident in public speaking. At first, I was hesitant because I was afraid of making mistakes or appearing uninformed. But, after spending four months in Oxford, I have come to realize that no one has all the answers, and we are all here to learn from one another. Each person has their own unique strengths and perspectives, and who is better suited to share my own story than me?

One of the things that caught my attention was the similarities between Oxford and my hometown Benin City. Both places have a rich history and unique architectural features that made me feel at home. The colleges within Oxford, each with their own distinct history and personality, reminded me of the various cultural elements, art, food and structures that I encountered during my trips to Benin City.

As a student, I immediately became a member of the University of Oxford, gaining access to resources, books, history, community and people who would become like family to me during my time here. I had the opportunity to form close relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds and while I initially felt a bit apprehensive, my classmates, friends, and professors have been the highlight of my experience thus far. The willingness to assist and open communication is something I truly appreciate about Oxford.

I had underestimated the party scene in Oxford, thinking it would be less lively compared to Lagos. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a wide variety of events and parties happening on a regular basis. From Thursday nights at Hank's with Reggaeton music to Saturday nights at La Casa with Afrobeats, there is always something to do. The variety of activities can be overwhelming at times, but it is all part of the fun. While the clubs in Oxford may not have the same level of elegance as those in Lagos, they still have a unique charm that makes them worth visiting.

Though I miss my loved ones and the traditions from home, like Sunday brunch and a relaxing weekend at my favourite Ilashe spot- Pura Vida Beach House, I try to find ways to feel connected to home while in Oxford, such as posting nostalgic videos on social media or seeking out familiar experiences.

Oxford MBA