Munashe from Zimbabwe is a Student Ambassador who is studying a Psychology degree at Nottingham Trent University. Here, she shares what she learnt from being an international student in 2020.
University is a home away from home
Being a student in 2020 was hard enough on its own, but there are additional challenges that come from being oceans away from home.
My university, Nottingham Trent, did so much to make the situation warm and welcoming for those who did not go back home. They provided an international community where we could all come along to share our experiences and realise that we were not alone, but we were just at a home away from home. This was one of the most important things I learnt from being an international student in 2020.
The world is at your feet
Here I was, in a different country, not able to really get together with others to explore. I decided not to limit my curiosity and I took a walk and came across beautiful places. The bottom line is: do not allow yourself to be a stranger in the country you are studying in.
Cultural exchange is so important
With so many things going on in 2020 and being an international student, I learnt to be aware. Mixing with other cultures and nationalities helped me understand other people’s perspectives on things. Although it was online, we educated each other about what was happening in our countries. By sharing our ideas and experiences, we all got to understand each other and get rid of the misconceptions we had.
It’s time to rediscover yourself
Many people get lost in the fact that they are a student and think that studying should be their only priority, but 2020 really made me stop and re-evaluate things.
There are so many opportunities for self-development offered outside of academia, and if you find something that is not offered in your country, seize the opportunity and make the most out of it. Basically, if you came out of your home country as a caterpillar, you could return as a butterfly, all while making connections in the process!