When I first joined the University of Birmingham I came from working in the humanitarian sector and not so much from an academic background, therefore learning, books, doing assignments and participating in actual academic work scared me a lot.
However, with the help and support of all the academic staff and more specifically, the encouragement of my personal tutor Dr. George Larbi and the current IDD Director, Dr. Fiona Nunan, who assured me that I was able to take the challenge. This was, in a way, a new life and opening for me and the support of staff helped me to understand not only the general concept of the academic environment, but how best to cope with life in Birmingham and the UK.
For me, living in the UK was not only academically enriching, but also an extension of a family environment. The kitchen at the IDD was where we all met, relaxed, connected and reconnected, drank tea and coffee during breaks, which made us feel a family even though we were more than thirty nationalities.
Apart from the great learning environment and the degrees I obtained from Birmingham, this was a great cultural experience and I still look to visit Birmingham whenever I go back to the UK. I often travel to and from Africa and London, but cannot stop extending my visit to the Birmingham and IDD due to my positive past experiences.
I am now in the private/business sector in Property, Finance and Islamic Insurance in Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan.
Thank you to all the guys especially the administrative staff of whom I can remember Anne Westover. Thank you and I wish IDD a successful 50th anniversary.