As an African, getting the opportunity to study miles away from home surely leaves some thoughts running through your mind. Right from the moment you stare at the buzzing phone to receive your conditional acceptance mail till you finally set foot on foreign soil, certain questions fill your mind like ”how is life in the country I’m heading to?” Also, you ask questions like ”how is the life of an African in the country I’m heading to?” And most importantly, you ask ”how is the life of an African in the school I’m heading to?”
As an African, I had many questions on my mind before I departed from home. Leaving my family and my home to arrive at Middle East Technical University was quite a turn around in my life. Arriving at Ercan airport, it dawned on me clearly that a lot of things surely have to change. I knew it was my responsibility to adapt to the changes. I must say that the real struggle of a student isn’t just getting admitted into a college. Moreover, getting acquainted with life in college might also be a struggle. While many students adapt to new environments easily, some students still struggle with feeding and other challenges. METU is aware of these problems and the University has worked hard to resolve them.
The Middle East Technical University, North Cyprus campus is an African-friendly society. To hit the nail on the head, I will highlight several questions often asked by aspiring African students. However, note that aspiring African students are the basis of this discussion. On the contrary, your fellow African brothers and sisters in METU provides adequate answers. As an aspiring student, you are about to begin a new phase of your life. METU knows this and therefore made adequate preparations for beginners, including you.
Where do I live?
Finding accommodation in METU is not a problem. You can choose from a variety of dormitories, whichever one suits your fancy and budget. These dormitories are safe and cleaned daily. Moreover, if you cannot afford dormitory fees, you can apply for the dormitory scholarship. To know more about METU’s dormitories, click here. On the other hand, you can rent a flat off of campus as well. Many students decide to live off-campus, so you won’t be alone. However, living off-campus comes with great responsibility as you will have to cook and clean up yourself.
How badly will I miss African dishes?
If you’d ask me, I also thought about this before arriving at METU. Although having a taste of my traditional meal for the last time was quite sad. I became determined to face whatever meal my educational aspirations led me to. However, tables turned wonderfully when I arrived at METU. The school had prepared several solutions to solve these problems. In METU NCC, you can buy different ingredients of your choice from the markets on-campus and off-campus. Moreover, cooking those dishes won’t be a struggle in the dormitories. In addition, the METU cafeteria serves some African meals from different Nations to improve social life and cultural awareness. You can gather more information on the University’s cafeteria here.
Will my religion be compromised?
There is freedom of religion at METU. The student population consists of different African students from different religious backgrounds. There is a place of worship for every religion present on campus. There is a mosque where Muslims meet and pray, as well as a church where Christians gather to worship weekly. The METU Bible Club is responsible for hosting these church services. Coming to METU will not compromise your religion or beliefs. In addition to these places of worship on campus, there are also several mosques and churches off-campus. You are free to worship and perform your religious rites at any of these holy places.
Can I get an African haircut?
Of course! There are saloons filled with skillful hairdressers and barbers at the University. These barbers are also quite acquainted with giving haircuts to Africans. The hair salons on campus are open from 9 AM to 6 PM. You can choose a variety of haircuts; the one that matches you perfectly. Furthermore, female salon workers are also acquainted with braiding. For those living off-campus, finding a barbing saloon is really easy. You can easily spot a good salon outside the school and get the perfect haircut that suits you.
How can I fund my education?
Perhaps, this is one of the most important questions often asked by many aspiring African students. Paying for university is not easy and can get stressful. Consequently, not many African students might be able to afford the fees. Even so, there is a solution. The good news is; there are loads of scholarships offered at METU NCC. These range from need-based scholarships to merit scholarships. In addition to that, many students still receive a scholarship on entry into the University.
For aspiring students, it is advisable to work hard to boost the grades of your high school diploma. If you want more funds, you can get a part-time job on campus or in the neighboring areas. There are different jobs students can join on-campus that range from teaching assistantships to part-time library duties.
Are there any language barriers affecting Africans?
Language does not pose a problem to Africans. The English language is the language of instruction at the University, and the majority of students can speak English. On the other hand, students that are not fluent in speaking English have a chance to learn it in the English preparatory school.
All the professors and lecturers are fluent in speaking English language and you will have no issue in understanding lectures. With that said, learning the Turkish Language will be very beneficial in your interactions throughout your stay.
Can I still make progress in my athletic life?
I also asked this question with so much concern before I left my home country. I played basketball and I was not ready to give up my skills for the sake of college. However, coming to METU made a difference. METU creates an arena for you to study and still focus on your athletic dreams. There are a variety of sports here on campus. It is common for students that are interested to join the school teams. You can choose to play for school basketball, volleyball, football, or even American football teams. Coming to METU does not compromise your athletic life. However, as an African student, it is your responsibility to balance your studies with your sports and recreation.
Is it possible to make friends with ease?
You can easily make good friends at METU. You can make friends from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and many areas of the world. METU is a multicultural institution with students from different Nations. Developing relationships with international students is quite beneficial. Additionally, you can also develop good relationships with your lecturers and professors. If you ever feel lonely, depressed and strangled in anxiety, you can always count on the International Students Association. This association makes sure that International Students feel good on campus. More information on the International Students Association can be found here.
To wrap things up, METU NCC is great in every regard. All culture are welcome and appreciated at the University. Furthermore, several African events take place in METU. You can click here to get a glimpse of the African Night event that was held on campus.
A famous quote says, “a good beginning makes a good ending”. METU NCC endeavors to give every student the perfect beginning that will make you successful at the end. Aware of the discomfort of living your homes to pursue your dreams, the school focuses on making it’s campus a “home away from home” for all students.
I hope to see you soon. If you don’t find answers to your questions here, you can put it down in the comment section below. We will surely make reviews.