It was 3.30am in Mombasa…lovely moon was out there which seemed to say…. go well son, and come back soon. A decision had been made. My masters of science in Energy Economics and Policy program journey courtesy of the prestigious Chevening scholarship had just began. UK was the destination and University of Surrey was the place to be. The 15 minutes’ drive to the airport was silent but anxious. Nostalgia, the feeling I have nursed since I was a little boy gripped me when I finally said bye to my family…..I looked forward to seeing them again, which I still do to this moment. Aboard Kenya airways, several thoughts went through my head. Had I made the right decision? With the many stories of harsh weather, the complete opposite of my home town, Mombasa, would I really make it? What is the place like? What was Guildford like and how are the people and the culture? My family, how would they cope without me? The anxiety consumed every bit of me….but a decision had been made, I had to do it. Hope of a better place, a better people, a better culture, a better university education and a great decision made slowly returned.
After 8 long and reflective hours, my flight landed at Heathrow airport. Hope and excitement overwhelmed me again. I walked through the immigration gates, picked up my heavy luggage. As I made my way out, my optimism was restored even more. Courtesy of the meet and greet arrangement by the university, I was ushered into the UK by the university ‘staff’ who I later came to realise they were student ambassadors who had given their time to ensure international students arrived and settled into their respective halls of residence with ease. That was a calming moment for me; quite a special moment. Right at the airport were other international students going to the same Surrey. Meeting other students from other countries did it for me, I realised I was not alone. 30 minutes later, we were on our way to the university, the central and famous Austin Pearce building, where we were handed the keys to our respective rooms.
As the van snaked its way through the now quiet streets, thoughts of what had just transpired ran through my head, I had woken up in my hometown, Mombasa and now I was thousands of miles away, in a far off land where I was going to spend the night. The trail of thoughts were interrupted as the lead student ambassador, Anne welcomed us home…Hazel Farm. Just as I had expected, this was it…Hazel Farm itself is a fabulous story (to be shared ……)
As I rested on my bed that night, I made a resolve to be of help to anyone in my situation coming to the UK to study. The opportunity to be a student ambassador came just in time for me. One moment I look forward to, is being at the airport next welcoming fellow international students to this great country and this great university, assuring them of the beautiful moments ahead for them!
#Surrey; where wonderful things happen #where we meet and greet all our new students