Ruth Idowu

Nigeria, MSc Management in Health and Social Care

“Here, your lecturer is like your friend and I like that about Oxford Brookes. You can talk to your lecturer at any time and they would always be there to help. It could be by email or physically. My supervisor did a really good job supervising me”

When you were researching options for study, what made you choose the UK and Oxford Brookes specifically?

Oxford Brookes University drew my attention. Initially, I had an agent I was working with and the person actually gave me a variety of options of universities to actually explore. He searched and he said he found Oxford Brookes University and I thought ‘wow!’, that sounds like what I always wanted. It’s in Oxford city, and I always heard about Oxford city being a student city, being student-friendly and I thought ‘oh yes, please, I want to go for that’. Oxford Brookes had the course for me and was ready to pick me.

What attracted you to your course?

After my school, I started getting involved with a lot of volunteering and helping out people - children, women who were less privileged. It was a family thing and then with time I took a key interest in going into helping people and assisting the way I can. My mum, being a nurse, and my sister recently graduated as a doctor, so it just got me more interested and then I took a job at the hospital. That got me really interested in the health sector so I thought I will go into this and probably end up becoming a nurse. When I saw the MSc Management in Health and Social Care I thought that’s a good start for me, I start with healthcare here. I believe the healthcare here is quite different from my country, it’s more detailed, you do a lot of care in a home or in the hospital, whatever place you’re providing your care. I just saw that as an opportunity to actually start a path for me to become a nurse.

When you first arrived, how did you settle in?

I have a WhatsApp group and a lot of friends at other schools here in the UK. My experience getting in was quite different from theirs. My admission, CAS and visa came in early so I was able to come in early. I actually entered the country on the 25th December, Christmas Day! It was exciting and it was tough - there were no buses! But it was still exciting that I got to spend Christmas here. Then, when it was time to start with my freshers week, I attended every day because I was here. It was really lovely, I was shown everywhere I could visit, go in whenever I needed. I was looking around the school and the places where my lectures would be taken. That was one of the things that attracted me to Brookes - I watched a video on YouTube of the exterior, the classes, the environment and I thought ‘this is beautiful’ and seeing it physically was a dream come true for me. Studying in an environment that is really beautiful and with beautiful structures makes me more focussed. Seeing all of that and being shown all of that during that week was really exciting for me.

How have the academic staff been?

I will always be grateful to my supervisor. I had a course I was looking forward to before I came here which is Coaching and Mentoring. I read about it and it was really interesting for me, it felt like a life class - interactive, you get to learn a lot of stuff with you and your classmates. Experiencing it live was good because we get to coach our classmates, I mentor them and they do the same for me. We write about it and give feedback on our weak points, our strong points and all of that which is good. One of my other courses is Leadership in Health and Social Care which is very important for where I’m moving to which is nursing, you need to learn the leadership aspect of it. The lecturers were really helpful. The classes were never boring, it was always interesting and we always looked forward to it. Here, your lecturer is like your friend and I like that about Oxford Brookes. You can talk to your lecturer at any time and they would always be there to help. It could be by email or physically. My supervisor did a really good job supervising me.

In terms of Oxford as a city, do you have a highlight or a favourite area?

Being a Nigerian, I like music and I love to dance and socialise. There’s an African restaurant in Cowley where I get to mingle with my friends and I meet a lot of people there. That’s one of my favourite spots. Oxford as a city is a very beautiful city. I’ve been to a lot of other cities - Southampton, Sheffield because I love to travel. London, Coventry, Derby. A lot of cities. But there’s something about Oxford. I would say if you want to be focussed and be in that student environment that gives you that feeling, because there’s always that feeling being a student. You need that feeling. That’s something that was missing for me back then sometimes in school, that environment wasn’t there for me. But Oxford gave me that feeling I always wanted - that student feeling. It’s very student friendly, all the old buildings and museums are lovely to visit. 

Would you like to stay in the UK long term?

I want to still follow my education. Oxford has brightened my mind and opened my mind. It’s like I’m no longer limited in my thinking since I've studied my master’s. It’s just been progress to progress and I want to keep on doing more. I don’t want to settle for less, that’s how I feel. I want to go for my passion, something I’ve always had in me. I’d like to further my education and go for nursing. When I’m done with that I will be able to decide what’s next, but for now I would love to do my study here in the UK.