February 14, 2024

First years' experience in university

Whether you're reminiscing about your first year of university, or eagerly preparing to apply and join later this year, there's something special about the journey ahead.

Let's explore the exciting experiences of two alumni navigating their way through their inaugural year at university. Meet Gloria in Costa Rica, passionately pursuing a degree in Agricultural Science Engineering at Earth University, and David, immersing himself in the world of Computer Engineering at Mbeya University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Tanzania.

David, venturing into a new region, shared his excitement about being in Mbeya. "It's my first time here, with no relatives or friends. The 18-hour bus journey from Arusha was quite an adventure." An 18-hour bus ride certainly allows for ample time to soak in the scenic views — we hope he enjoyed the journey!

Curious about how they navigate their surroundings, Gloria mentions, "I love exploring the vast university campus on my bicycle; it's the primary mode of transport here." Meanwhile, David relies on Bajaj, a significant shift from the daladala transportation he was accustomed to in Arusha.

Regarding the weather, Gloria finds Costa Rica's climate much hotter than Tanzania, attributing it to the humidity. In contrast, David notes, "Mbeya is a bit colder than Arusha, surrounded by high mountains and lush greenery." Despite the differences, both scholars have acclimated and forged friendships beyond their St Jude’s connections. David was able to make friends from Tabora, Mwanza, Iringa and Bukoba. Gloria now has friends from Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

Moving on to their studies, Gloria impressively tackles her courses in Spanish, a language she picked up through an intensive four-month program. Living with a Costa Rican family further immersed her in the local culture, and ongoing Spanish lessons help her stay proficient in the language.

David, currently taking into nine modules, acknowledges the demanding schedule with classes sometimes extending until 8 pm. However, the practical hands-on approach and camaraderie with new friends make the learning experience exciting. Gloria also has practicals at university “I love the fact that I get to do work experience on Wednesday and Saturday where I go to the farm and put my education in action.”

Both scholars actively engage in extracurricular activities. Gloria thrives in sports, participating in swimming, the Zumba club, and hitting the gym. David, a member of the Young Life club, contributes to creating awareness about university life and cultivating leadership skills. He also enjoys jogging in the evenings.

We are delighted to witness the flourishing journey of these two exceptional scholars. If you have questions about university life or selecting courses, feel free to reach out to the Beyond St Jude's Higher Education team for guidance (bsjhe@schoolofstjude.co.tz). The adventure of higher education awaits.