“Exeter is far!”

Year after year I would defer my admission for my postgraduate degree. I always had a very good reason, it was either I was pregnant, had just got a new job, or just couldn’t afford the fees. So when I got my offer to study at Exeter I was determined it would be the last time I would apply for a postgraduate course. Either I would go through with it, or forget about furthering my studies and focus on other things. After all, I did have a lot to focus on, a great husband, amazing children and a decent job in a top government agency; what more could a girl ask for?

It was a big step for me as although my office had granted me study leave they made it clear they would neither sponsor my study nor pay me while away. Also, though my husband was really supportive he wouldn’t be able to stay with me full time as he had a lot of commitments back home. There was also the nagging question of childcare, just how would we cope with our youngest who was just 14months old?

It didn’t help that most of my friends and family in the UK lived in or around London “but Exeter is far o” (we Nigerians love our ‘o’s) they would exclaim when I told them where I was off to, yes I knew it was a long drive from London but to be honest I was looking forward to being far away from ‘the maddening crowd’. I was looking forward to a nice quiet, small city like Exeter, where I could walk my children to school, hop on the bus and get to class in 15 minutes, and get back just in time to pick them up and watch a little telly.

So, despite all the ‘buts’ I packed my boxes (and my children’s) and started the long journey to Exeter. It’s now been about six weeks since and I got here and I can safely say “I think I’m gonna like it here!”

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About Chioma Nwamaka

Hi! My name is Chioma and I am a 37 year old postgraduate student who has 4 children. I have been planning to get back into education for at least a decade and I finally did it! I was born and raised in Nigeria and am now studying for a Master’s in Public Administration at Exeter (may sound boring, but it’s really cool). If you want to know anything about being a mature postgraduate international student and mother then you’re in the right place.

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