VB: Thanks for making time for this Interview. Please can you tell us what you are studying?
ST: I’m studying Medicine.
VB: Wow! Medicine! That’s great. What inspired you as a Nigerian to opt in for Medicine?
ST: The passion to save lives and help those who cannot afford healthcare services and also being a missionary for Christ to those dying in the hospital drove me to study it. Moreover I’ve always dreamt of being a doctor from childhood.
VB: Thanks for the wonderful answer. Why did you choose Russia?
ST: Actually, I did not really have other choices aside Russia. I was presented with the opportunity of studying Medicine here and so, I decided to take the offer since it was the only one I had at the moment it came.
VB: With the way things are in Nigeria and the conditions/requirements of these embassies, how did you go about successfully processing your Visa and Travel?
ST: The Visa was given without any problem. All I did was to submit my passport, and necessary documents and I was issued a Visa.
VB: For how long have you been in Russia?
ST: Going to four years now.
VB: Did you experience any Culture shock when you first got to Russia?
VB: Would you like to describe the Culture shock?
ST: First and foremost was the Language barrier, because I was only able to communicate in English and my mother tongue. I felt homesick a lot because I was not used to being away from home for a very long period of time. It was really difficult adjusting to my new environment, the people around, the weather, school, the religious atmosphere, etc. I felt lonely, emotionally destabilized and frustrated a lot of time. I felt inadequate, I even lost confidence in myself and sometimes wished I never left Nigeria. But I overcame all these with time.
VB: Trust me. I know how that feels. But now four years! How have you been able to cope so far with religion, weather, school and the language?
ST: Sincerely speaking, it has been through God’s grace, support and encouragement from family and friends. And also, the determination to make my dream of being a Doctor come true.
VB: Would you like to tell us about your experiences (both sweet and sour) so far in Russia?
ST: I got to meet a lot of nice and interesting people from various countries, learnt about their cultures. I learnt how to make new dishes. I learnt how to make Russia Kasha (Russian meal) and I really like it. I learnt what it really meant to be independent. I also got to discover myself more in a way I don’t think I would have if I was not here.
I had a terrible experience adjusting with new friends. I felt no one really understood me, unlike the friends I had back home and it was sincerely really bad for me.
Both the good and bad experiences only made me a better person.
VB: We hear a lot about the problems that foreigners face. Is there any problem with discrimination and racism?
ST: Actually, the word racism does not exist in my personal dictionary, because I believe I cannot be liked by everyone and I do not expect everyone to behave nicely to me. The world is full of good and bad, so if anyone discriminates against me, that’s the person’s problem. I do not allow it to get to me.
VB: That is really good. How would you advise people (especially Nigerians) trying to gain admission into foreign universities (for example: Russian universities)?
ST: They should just try to meet up with the necessary requirements. They should never lose focus of their purpose of coming here (Russia), if they finally secure the admission, because it is very easy to lose focus of one’s purpose of coming here, and also prepare their minds to work hard.
VB: Thanks for the Advice. Do you plan going back to Nigeria when you are done with your Study and what would you change or improve in the country?
ST: Yeah, I’m going back home to practice. Personally, I will make medical services available to those who cannot afford it to the best of my ability. So help me God. (Amen)
VB: Amen! Thanks you so much for sharing with us. And I know that you will continue to make us proud.
ST: Thanks for the Interview!
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