University of Surrey: Nigeria

This blog covers the highs and lows of living life as a Nigerian student at the University of Surrey!

The Jollof Wars

Hey guys, how have you been? Seasons Greetings! I’m so happy it’s the holidays. Initially, I was going to stay in the going UK for Christmas but, after all, the stress from deadlines, I figured I should treat myself to a mini tour around West Africa! And I’m going to take you guys with me 😀 1st stop Ghana. Now, this is my take on the infamous Nigerian/Ghanaian Jollof wars…….. Ehhh Chalee see Jollof is Jollof! It tastes just as great in Ghana as it does in Nigeria, Gabon or Senegal! Lowkey, I like the way Ghanaians make it.

 

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For me, this holiday is about learning more about my history, culture and how to move Africa forward. Ghana is definitely one the most beautiful countries I’ve been too. The vibe is chilled and the people have been very friendly. It is somewhat hard to believe that this used to be an area haunted by slavery and is still undergoing western capitalist exploitation in its cocoa farms.

Today I went to visit The Dubois Memorial Center for Pan-African Culture in Accra, I allowed myself to soak in the heritage of my people and how far we have come. As always being at home brings bitter-sweet feelings especially during Christmas where the gift of giving never seems to be enough.

God Bless

Nana x

Christmas away from the family

This will be my first Christmas away from my family. I really can’t believe I’m not going back to Lagos for the holiday but whenever I look at the workload I have to get done by January I know I made the right decision hahaha. There’s my final year project midterms, a group project report and of course, exams to study for…..all due in January. If anyone is in my shoes can we please come together for a mini cry session and then a pep talk?

I decided to write this post to remind anyone in this position that you are not alone, at least there’s me. Try to keep yourself preoccupied during the holiday (well, work wouldn’t allow otherwise, to be honest). I’m highlighting this point because it’s easy to get depressed knowing you’re away from family and anxiety from exam preparation. Make sure you have family on speed dial when you miss them, try to meet up with your course mates or friends staying back as well (trust me there are others). Treat yourself, take breaks from studying, your brain would really appreciate it.

On the 22nd of December, there’s going to be a free End of the Year lunch at Young’s Kitchen on campus, organised by the International Student Support Team for International students, guests are also invited!

Take care,

Theresa

Lagos to Guildford

Hello everyone, I’m Nana a new postgraduate student at the University of Surrey. I choose this university mainly because it offered an MSc Sustainable Development with lecturers who have worked in Nigeria and Worldwide. This was important to me because after my undergrad I came out feeling a bit lost and not quite sure how my degree could make a real change the lives of improvised Nigerians, I wanted to learn from people who are at the forefront of innovations that make a continent so rich in resources more prosperous. Sounds a bit philanthropic?  Well, if you’ve been following Nigerian news you’ll see how economical and humanitarian crises are quickly escalating so it comes as so surprise that I would want to help. I feel this ties in very well with religion. Most of us come from a fairly religious family and we have a duty to protect the world we live in. UoS makes sure that there are chaplains from various faiths to help you carry on your journey with God at university, they can also introduce you to other members of your faith who are from Nigeria. Click Here 

As the Christmas festivities begin I have felt the need to draw closer to God. Whatever your faith or lack of faith ( I’m Catholic), the end of the year is a good time to reflect and I’ve been doing a lot of that at St Edmund’s in Godalming. The aesthetics and holy ambiance of the church make it a lovely place to sit back, relax and think about how to use the last bits of 2016 positively.

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God Bless

Nana x

Women In Tech by Debut

Have you heard about the new graduate recruitment app called Debut? Well last Wednesday, my friends and I attended an event in London after being Talent Spotted on our Debut app.

 

It was a Women in Tech event where we got to meet and network with different women across the UK interested in technology.  Present there were technical female representatives from L’Oreal, Bloomberg, Siemens, Rolls Royce, Microsoft and Vodafone and it was interesting learning different perspectives from females in technological roles.

 

The event started with the Founder of the Debut app introducing us to the speakers who then gave a 2mins pitch of why we should join their companies. We got the chance to ask questions such as what problems do they face being women in tech roles? If it is possible to apply for a tech job without coming from such background (e.g  lawyers, business degrees), What skills do we need to show during interviews? Do these companies offer staff development programmes?

 

These were really good questions and the speakers were very reassuring and encouraging. There was a competition which involved cracking a code. The winner got a chance to have a one-to-one interview with the company of her choice thereby fast-tracking her application process. Hint: if you do get an invite to such an event by Debut, get your mind read, you just might have to crack some code 😉

 

It was a really nice evening, lots of good food and drinks. I really got to network with so many people and that was a great opportunity to expand my network.

 

Theresa xx

Thursday’s For Food at UoSurrey

2016 has been one hell of a year so far, Nigeria’s election (and now recession), Brexit and the US elections. Boy, I wonder what 2017 has in store for us.

Anyhoo, I’ve been seriously racking my brain on what to discuss today and I thought, why not talk about food 🙂 That’s one topic that makes everyone happy so go for it.

Today being Thursday I thought to highlight the fact that there’s always a Fruit and Vegetable Market on campus here every week. I’ve written a blog post about this sometime ago but a lot more has been added since the last post hence this update. To all my Nigerians out there, they sell yams and plantains! ^^ and many more things of course but just thought to highlight those. There are also pop-up stalls right at the entrance of The Front Room that sell some lovely Paella (shout out to our Spanish homies out there), some amazing street Thai and Greek food as well as Nigerian food brought to you by Foy Cuisine. Yes, she now comes to campus people, you can now get that ready-made Jollof rice every Thursday. You can also get beans, puff-puff, meat pie, ayamase etc. To satisfy your sweet tooth there’s also a huge stall that sells cakes, brownies, pies and the likes. I literally struggle to pass by without buying anything. You guys need to check them out.

Now, you have no right to be hungry on Thursdays people, especially if you’re on campus. Go get that food and stay happy 🙂

Theresa xx

WINTER “SURVIVAL” TIPS

Hey friends,

 

I hope you are well and you’ve been having a great week so far.

So as you may know or may not know, it’s getting cold here and ehhh the weather just switched in a blink. Last week was nice, not too warm but not too cold but this week chaiii….. it has not even started o guys. The cold is just introducing itself but ehhh let’s just leave it there.

 

DISCLAIMER: This tips may not work well for you, you may not find it useful if you’ve been in the UK for a while now and you may feel like it’s just common sense….. But I would like to share them with you guys cause you’re my friends right? 😉

 

Yeah so my winter survival tips;

  • My very first advice my people is too wrap up warm, I mean you know anyways that you are expected to but this is so important. As for me, I wear 15 layers joke! But really one layer of cloth is never enough. I am sorry but when it gets cold, for me it’s just that time of the year to store away all my nice summer dresses, my sandals and any fancy clothing I have. It’s time to start dressing like ‘baba suwe’ J   I mean, I really don’t expect myself to be wearing sandals when its like 10 degrees out there. The truth is that, I have actually done this before *covers face* that day was crazy. I was trying to do “miss fashionable”, but please don’t ask me what I was thinking of because my people that story is for another year lol. As I always tell my friends ‘our body wasn’t made for this cold at all’.. Now I just tell my inner self that my comfort any time before fashion, and you guys know that ‘I cannot come and die’.
  • Tip 2: Hehe this might sound funny but pepper soup is definitely needed in this weather, so if you can from Nigeria bring your spices with you. I mean there are definitely places in London you can get them. But since it’s not really going to add to the weight of your luggage why not bring the original pepper soup from the mother land. Tbh I actually really love my pepper soup, when I sense my throat is starting to get sore. I don’t even wait, I just go grab my pepper soup spice, oya. I could have it alone or sometimes with rice, with yam. You guys definitely know the deal…. ‘Let me not even say plenty story’.
  • Hmmm tip 3 please just learn how to drink tea, milo, or coffee, whichever one you prefer really. This is what I had to do people, because I just was not big on it when I was in Nigeria but really no one told me before I started forcing myself to. And it is now one of my top survival tip. I drink tea now like it’s water, and it definitely helps to keep me warm. Well not really for a long period of time, but however long it lasts, it does help.

So people I hope you enjoyed this, and I hope it was indeed useful for you all.

Take care guys and have a lovely weekend ahead, till next time!

 

xo

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