The American University of Nigeria (AUN) is in partnership with many universities outside Nigeria. This allows students to spend some semesters abroad. Natural and Environmental Sciences Major ( Biomedicine), Maryam Usman spent the Spring 2020 semester at Richmond, the American International University in London. Here is an excerpt from our conversation with her:
I must say it was really interesting and eventful. At first, you know of course we were not expecting the Coronavirus. So Spring 2020 was full of surprises. The academic experience was really something that was so good because I was able to learn a lot from their curriculum, and going out to do fieldwork. I remember I went to the museum to do two or three assignments, and then instructors give a lot of ground study, which of course was very similar to what we do in AUN. Then, I was able to relate with a wide range of races. I have been in the black community for a long time. This was my first time being in a society that has a variety of races, it was so much good fun.
I observed a lot of similarities between the AUN academic curriculum and that of Richmond because we had a lot of assignments, we had a lot of term papers, like every course I did had a term paper and that is so much like AUN. I had written a lot of papers here as well, and they are within the range of 1,500 to 2,000 words. The only difference was that I had to learn Havard citation style because we use APA and MLA here in AUN. Richmond uses the Havard citation style. Also, there were presentations as well. So there weren't difficulties because both universities were very much similar.
My worldview has widened. My universe was a lot limited to the black community, thinking the world was so small. But going out to Europe, I was able to see that indeed, the world is a lot bigger, and I was able to appreciate other people's views. There were a lot of things done very differently; people are so different and it's so beautiful. I experienced new things in terms of food, culture, and a lot of events that are not done here at AUN were hosted on campus there.
The facilities in AUN and Richmond are so much alike in terms of the e-library, 24-hours library services; but then, the campus life is different because the dormitories were for both sexes. Males and females stayed in the same dormitories. That is a lot different from AUN’s style. Then in terms of class size, my general classes in Richmond had a lot more students than here because you have about 25 per class in AUN and maybe 30 in general classes. Over there my general classes can be up to 40 students in class. There were two campuses in Richmond. They had one that was about one hour commuting from the other. Most of the campus activities were more independently organized but here, AUN tends to bring all students together.
For my fellow AUN students yet to go on a study-abroad program, you need to do it because it is really beautiful and, I mean, I can just say a little because I feel I'm not expressing as much, but one thing I will say is if you're thinking about it, you just have to do it immediately.
Reported by Esther Onyinye Ofeli