International student aims to give back to her home community

By Mary De-Wind

A student from Gambia who wants to have her own fashion line to give back to her community back home has opened up about the difficulties of being an international student.

De Montfort University is one of the most diverse universities with international students from 135 countries as well as EU students.

Ejaatou Barry, 20, from Gambia, moved to Leicester in September for university. She was born in the UK and was raised in Gambia until she moved here in 2018. She has travelled to America, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa and Sierra Leone.

Growing up in Gambia and England allowed her to experience the best of both educational systems.

She said: “The educational system is much more stable and a lot better here, which is why I chose De Montfort University to study.”

Living in a country without family is very hard especially for international students.

Ejaatou added: “There was a time it was just me by myself and all my friends went back to their families for Christmas.

“I was just here in my room. It was very hard.”

But she went on to say: “I see my parents more often than most international students. My parents come to the UK quite often.”

She said the hardest part is missing those who are closest to you as you go from seeing them every day to once or twice a year.

For international students who do want to study abroad there are a lot of factors to consider.

Ejaatou advised: “Just because you are in a different country and the culture is different don’t feel like you need to come and be like everyone else.”


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