BY TSILISO SEBATA
It’s no hidden fact that Zimbabweans constitutes greatly to the number of Africans national in this country.Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in the Southern part of Africa .The capital is Harare and Second Capital is Bulawayo.Zimbabwe boosts of a population of around 14 million people and 16 official languages namely Ndebele,Khalanga and Shona to name just a few.Although Zimbabwe is such a stunning country which prides itself with one of the Seven Wonders of the World Victoria Falls ,Economic and Political turmoil has pushed most of its students to the diaspora to study and the majority their main destination being North Cyprus.
The period 2015–2017 saw the largest number of Zimbabweans students migrating to this country for educational purposes.North Cyprus therefore became a home to many of the Students.A wonderful country I must say, with the cleanest beaches and one of the most safest countries in the world.Life in North Cyprus for a Zimbabwean student is a sweet bitter experience.The sweet being the educational system ,meeting new people and the culture
Education in North Cyprus is one of the best educational systems I have come across.The universities have the state of the art equipments for laboratory and practical purposes.This is so beneficial for those Studying Degrees like Medicine,Dentistry,Nursing,Audiology,Engineering to name just a few .These give us real knowledge on what to expect in the outside world after graduation.Audiolgy a degree offered in Near East University that I study has the best equipment offered to its students we have access to the machines and the Professors give us deep knowledge on how to conduct the test on our patients.The small number of students also comes is an advantage in the sense that there is more time for one on one with the professor.This therefore contributes to making us the best graduates both back home and in the world .
Constant learning is another sweet moment in Cyprus.The fact of being in a different place and continent from where you where born in means you have to learn daily ,One of the things is Turkish phrases for example teşekkürler,tamam and hayır etc.The nice citizens have made some of our lives easier.Most business owners for Example CHINA BAZAAR AND JUMBO stores offer student discounts which benefits us due to the limited funds we have thus making us to save more.
However in the high moments there will be also the low moments.Zimbabweans and other nationalities face problems like rent,tuition,racism and part time jobs .When we left our home countries most of the students we scammed by most of agents .The students where told they could work part time to pay fees only to find out it was false.Therefore due to this issue our parents have to work double to be able to pay our fees.The economic situation makes it worse because of the shortage of foreign currency since we use an unofficial currency banks take almost a month to clear EFT payments and this is a problem we students don’t have any control over .Tuition then comes in late. To add salt to the wound the university will add extra money termed “late payment fee”without understanding that it was not our fault.This therefore puts unnecessary pressure on both the parent and student .
The universities further prevents students with a debt to write exams and in most cases the student would have read and studied hard for the exam .As a solution I think universities should consider letting every student that attends lectures and has a debt to write exams and maybe hold the results until the student pays or the money reflects into the school account since for us Zimbabweans it takes almost a month for the funds to clear .
Rent has become a nightmare to students both the payment and finding houses .If it’s not landlords that are telling us that they do not want any Africans in their houses or increasing the rentals for students in worst case scenarios making us pay ridiculous amounts of money.Landlords usually ask for 6 months rent upfront or 1 year with 1 deposit or sometimes 2 deposit.This huge money that students cannot afford should be decreased so as we can have the right to housing which is Stipulated in the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS on the 10th of DECEMBER 1948.Landlords also have a tendency of giving detoriated houses to the ZIMBABWEAN students which in most cases are inhabitable knowing that we will stay in there because we do not have any choice but to settle into the house.Note should be taken that we also deserve proper housing and the 1 year and 6 months payment of rent upfront should be abolished.However I cannot paint all landlords with the same brush because there are some Wonderful Landlords that understand we are students don’t ask for ridiculous rent and make sure we are very comfortable in the island
Conclusively life for a Zimbabwean Student is a bitter sweet moment and more should be done for students to feel comfortable and not fall victim to abuse and unfair treatment.
BY TSILISO SEBATA