Written by Jane Nduta Wambura

I recently concluded my Master’s in Clinical Nutrition in the University of Porto, and although I feel a little surreal that the study period came to an end so fast, I have no regrets when I look back since I began my course. This is by far the best decision I have made in my educational and occupational part of my life.

I have a lot to say about my experiences, but since I should exercise my student ambassadorial duties for at least one last time (hoping I can be back), I spent some time with some of my friends from African descent to listen to their reminisces of their experiences in Porto.

Testimonials of African students in Porto

Here is an excerpt of what they had to say:

Ask any student from Africa, and each of them is likely to attest to a certain form of change when they first left their country to study abroad. Both good and bad, the experiences they gather are bound to overturn their lives in a major way: occupational, educational, cultural or otherwise. The students I spoke to were from Rwanda, Mozambique and Nigeria.

When asked to explain the reason why they chose the University of Porto, they all generically agreed to the affordability and the high ratings of the University besides their dire need to experience a new culture. Several other students had also recommended it as a University of choice, since it incorporated strong avenues for research. In the same breath, the experiences that these students had was by far satisfactory regarding their initial expectations when they came to the University.

Their journey was not as smooth all the way. Some of the challenges they encountered were language barriers and cultural shocks from “out of the box” practices they found from the Portuguese locals. To one, he had never experienced the “double cheek Portuguese Kiss” form of greeting. To another, the lack of proper communication with the locals during the initial days was not a bed of roses. But these lemons were all made into lemonade as these students sought the invaluable wisdom of seeing the glass half full to brighten their days in Porto.

It is no wonder that each of them bore a smile in the end because either their self-esteem was boosted, while others were blown away by the opportunities that opened for them because of studying in Porto. Above all, the reception from the locals and the ambience of the city of Porto are some of the highlights that would cause them to return even for just a quick visit within a flash of a second.

Dare the experience of studying abroad!

To you, prospective student out there, whether you hail from the African continent or else, and still wondering if the city of Porto and the University of Porto will be a perfect fit, the students say:  come prepared to learn a new language, be ready to experience a wide array of opportunities from the university and have an open mind that will help you overcome challenges! These students are convinced that if they made it, then, it is with no doubt, that you can do it too! I am in no hesitation as well, that you will enjoy this journey, and when you do, help another student like I did. Believe me, it is the most rewarding opportunity thanks to Studyportals!

Follow this link and become a student ambassador.

As I sign out my ambassadorial duties for now, I would like to leave you with this quote just to encourage you to step out and study abroad: “Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” ― Wendell Berry.