The series is about international students in the small town of Tambov. They talk about their problems with integrating in local society, relationships with other students, their lives, dreams and plans for the future.
Christiane Fleure from Ivory Coast International Relations major: “Overall, I like studying here. If I ignore some of the little things, like some of the locals’ habits, it’s a cozy little town where everything is affordable. I miss African food, though.”
Israel Premier from Cameroon Medicine major: “I was shocked when I saw our dorms: the dirt, the cockroaches, and there weren’t any lock on the doors. I fixed the room up myself: I put up wallpaper, bought a fridge, curtains and other little things. No one else has a room like mine.”
Rocky Mataruusse from Gabon International Relations major: “Sports are as important for me as my studies. Rugby and boxing are my true passions. I do rugby professionally. It’s difficult in Russia since they don’t really want to take me into the regional team because of the color of my skin.”
Alima Kambi from Gambia Civil Engineering major I spend all my time studying, and that means a lot to me. Sadly, I’ll have to take a leave of absence next year due to financial issues, but I will do everything I can to complete my studies.
Landry William Yao from Cameroon Medicine major: “I am very proud of my cup. We got it for winning a university football tournament. I can’t live without sports. I’m also an amazing cook, my friends call me Le Cordon Bleu.”
Owolowo Akorede from Nigeria Management major: “This painting is one of the few things I bought here in Tambov. I liked how realistic the depiction of the woman is. She is very beautiful. Many of our guys want to be friends and hang out with the local girls, but they aren’t very friendly.”
Abina Zoua Bertrand from Cameroon Management major: “I pay for my education myself and can only count on myself, that’s why I work as a loader part time. It’s very hard but I don’t have a lot of choice, since there aren’t many job opportunities for people of color."
Lotfi Zuari from Tunisia Medicine major: “I’ve only been here for a year, but I can say with confidence that the local people are very guarded and hostile towards Arabs. We’ve had different situations. For the most part, we’re on our own here. Playing ball at the local stadium is my favorite activity.”
Catalea l'Or Ngiia from Gabon Business and IT major: “I find blending in with the locals difficult. I feel like a stranger. Girls at university laugh when they see me. We’re in a strange situation here.”
Banzie Joel Nelspruit, South Africa Medicine major: “I didn’t expect having to share a room with three guys and having to sleep on bunk beds, but I’ve gotten used to it. There’s almost no personal space, but that can be fun sometimes.”
Tobonguia Ornella from Congo. Refused to talk.
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