Adetunji Paul, our Nigerian and DBS Ambassador, shares how he made the choice to studying in Ireland for an MBA and his experience so far…

I hopped on a long 20-hour journey consisting of two 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 clearer on what I wanted than ever before.

I decided that I would further my education with further study seven months 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 one of the only other English-speaking nations 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.

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. Decision made!

It wasn’t the first time I was abroad, I lived in Ukraine in Eastern Europe for five years. It didn’t take me long to adjust, I was arriving in the winter, my least favourite 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.

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.

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.

Coming to Ireland for my MBA was great decision, one I’m quite happy with. My MBA is coming to a close, I’ve been able to find work here, my MBA education was very good all things considered. My personal goals are still some ways off but this gave me a kickstart and I’m hopeful for the future.