Before coming to Europe, I had visited a couple times when I was younger and I presumed I knew what to expect. However, here are some things I did not expect as an international student studying in Europe.
The very confusing-mostly cold-weather
Prior to me coming here , I had never used or found weather forecast useful. Back home, I believe we have raining season, dry season and Harmattan. Now here I am checking the weather prediction before leaving my room. The thing here is, just when you think it’s really cold, It gets colder. I was really surprised the day it was really cold outside, yet I could feel the heat of the sun. It is really odd.
It gets really dark fast in the winter
This was something that took me a while to get used to and I’m still not used to it. During the winter period , it gets dark very early. I’m talking by around 4pm the sun is no were to be found. This actually messed up by sleeping pattern because I started sleeping by like 6pm.
People smoke a lot
I think this one shocked me the most. Partly because there is a lot of stigma around smoking in the area I grew up in. So It took me aback because my teachers were smoking, my classmates were smoking, there are cigarette bins almost everywhere, there are smoking areas in a lot of institutions AND behind the smoking packet it says SMOKING KILLS.
A lot of homeless people
This is based on my stereotype of Europe though, I guess that is why I did not expect it. There is a certain way a lot of people from western countries talk about most African countries in regards to poverty and homelessness. So I had assumed these countries had no such thing. So I was pretty shocked when I saw a lot of homeless people here. I also think this might be due to the area I live in Europe, but the amount of homeless people I see on a daily basis is shocking.
People refer to Africa as a country
Throughout this post, I have intentionally referred to one country in Europe as Europe when I can. This was inspired by a lot of Europeans(I mean across the the continent not one country), that I have talked to, that refer to one country in Africa as Africa. I find it odd and in certain instances disrespectful. In many of the conversations I have had with Europeans , I have asked them questions about their country but they would somehow reply with a question asking me about Africa. Even though I have clearly stated I am Nigerian. Odd isn’t it?
Anyways that’s it for this post! See you next week!