Nigerian student Elizabeth Ochanya Idoko took a bit of time to get used to studying abroad, but with a little help from her friends, she settled right in

Traveling to Ireland from Nigeria for university was something I was extremely excited and

nervous about. I obviously had plenty of expectations; some were met, while others were a bit

underwhelming. For instance, I’m currently studying at the Institute of Technology Tralee.

Tralee is a very beautiful small town, but I never really expected it to be so small and quiet.

It’s a great place for studying and there aren’t a lot of distractions according to my mom, who

was a bit too happy about that fact. However, the town has its charm.

An Irish welcome

Adapting to life here was fairly easy, mainly because of the fact my mother was here to help

me settle. But also everyone here is extremely nice and approachable. I asked a lot of

questions when I got here and everyone I asked was happy to help and point me in the right


The stores here do seem a bit cheap at first but once you get used to it you see that

everything you think is cheap just adds up. I’ve had to refrain from treating myself on

multiple occasions all in the name of ‘The Budget’. The life of a student is truly a sad one!

Bumps on the road

Another thing to take account of is studying. In the first few weeks of school I did try and

study in my free time but as time went by I just stopped; well I didn’t stop completely. I just

found myself understanding the lectures to a degree where I thought that I didn’t need to

study as much. I admit that that wasn’t a smart move on my part, but I found that making a study

schedule helps a lot more than you’ll think.

University is never really easy, it has its ups and downs and there will be a few bumps on the

way. But one thing I know is that you should never try and tackle all the problems alone,

there’s always someone willing to help. Find people from the same place as you, make some

friends, join a club: there is always a way.