One of our Student Ambassadors from Zimbabwe, Bill Munyaradzi, has experienced the warmest of welcomes from the Irish people! Read about how happily he settled into a new country…
My name is Bill Munyaradzi and I am currently studying for a Bachelor of Social Science at Waterford Institute of Technology. I am from Harare, Zimbabwe and did my first undergraduate degree in Cape Town, South Africa. I remember when I was looking into furthering my education, I knew I wanted to study in Europe. The multicultural environment in Cape Town and studying away from home has broadened my horizons and has equipped me with life lessons that I carry to this day.
I started looking into different places and different universities. What attracted me here was an urge to understand the Irish economy – Ireland’s historical proximity to Vikings was also a key factor of interest.
Ever since arriving in Ireland I have experienced one of the best welcomes ever. The Waterford Institute of Technology has one the best support systems for International Students. They have exceeded my expectations in terms of ensuring that I am properly integrated, and I am thriving in my academia. There is always someone willing to listen and help whenever I face any type of challenge even outside of the University.
I think due to my personal experiences, it is safe to argue that my interaction with Irish people at the university translates to Irish society as a whole. Irish people will go out of their way to help you, despite you being a stranger. It does not have to directly benefit them for you to receive a helping hand. You can literally stop people and ask for directions. In some instances, they will stop you to have a chat.
In addition, the Irish are big on holidays. I was fortunate enough to experience Halloween, something we seldom celebrate in Africa. In Ireland Halloween celebrations can last up to a month. It is safe to say Ireland has a fun, safe and friendly environment to pursue academia. The Irish are rich in culture and if you allow yourself to be open you will make a friend.
Bill is pursuing a degree in Social Science at Waterford Institute of Technology.