Meet Nehemiah: a UAlberta student from Uganda

 

Student name: Nehemiah Mutebi

Hometown: Kampala, Uganda

Program: Faculty of Nursing

Year: 2nd year

 

 

"I like how accessible the professors are. They are approachable and they encourage you to come to them."

 

Nehemiah: So I am in 2nd year, nursing


UAlberta: How are you liking that so far?


N: Good so far. It is a challenging program. We have classes, as well as labs and clinicals, so pretty busy.


U: What initially attracted you to UAlberta?


N: The nursing program here and when I looked around at Edmonton in general, I realized it was a big University. So I read about it and checked out some videos.

 
 
 
The Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
 

U: Was having the videos online helpful for you when you were looking at schools?


N: Yeah. They were interesting and gave you some insight as to what to expect.


U: Did you look at any other schools in Canada or did you already know you wanted to come to Edmonton/ UAlberta?


N: I looked at a few in Vancouver as well, but it is kind of expensive and when I did the research Edmonton was more affordable.


U: Are you living in residence?


N: I was offered lots of opportunities to live in residence, but I had a few friends who were living off-campus, so I decided to live with them instead.


U: And are these friends that you knew previously?


N: I knew them through my cousin and they had room for me to move in, so I decided to move in.


U: Then you already had a network of people.


N: Yes it was very helpful.


U: Have you found that you have been able to make friends outside of that group of friends or has there been any challenges making friends?


N: I have been able to make lots of friends in my Faculty and outside of that I have made friends through the UAlberta gym and student clubs.


U: What sort of clubs are you in?


N: Mental Health Awareness Club, African International Club Association and Badminton.


U: What’s your favourite?


N: Badminton. I also really like the Mental Health Awareness Club (a club devoted to improving student life and raising awareness for mental health on campus) because it is related to my studies.


U: What were some cool, but surprising things about UAlberta?


N: Accessibility and transportation. I like the way the transit system is connected here. Even if you drive you can park near a transit station and then take the subway to campus. I like how UAlberta has the subway and a bus station right on campus, which connects almost everywhere. It makes it easy to get around. I was also worried about the winters here, but then I found they are not as bad as I thought. I also like the way the buildings are connected, so you can walk across campus through the pedways, when it is really cold. It makes it much easier.


U: Have you lived in a winter climate before moving here? What was your first experiences of winter like?


N: No I hadn’t. It was curious. I expected it to be really hard, but it really wasn’t as cold as I expected. There are information kiosks around campus, so you can ask them questions and they will give you directions. They told me how to get from building to building using the pedways (above ground, indoor walkways). I found that it made life much easier.


 

U: How did you find getting around campus when you first moved here?


N: It was a little tricky, but there are a lot of places you can find your way around without even having to ask anyone because of the layout and directional signs.


U: What are some of your favourite things about your program?


N: I like how accessible the professors are. They are approachable and they encourage you to come to them. Some of them are really friendly, because when we are doing clinicals - sometimes the clinicals or the course are not hard, but you still need that extra help. They are really nice and encouraging.

 

When it comes to the classes, I really like the way they are set up. At most, in a lab, you will have around 16 students and for a clinicals you will have around 8 students. It’s a big program of about 300 people, but they make sure to break down the class sizes.


U: So you can really have one-on-one time with your professors?


N: Exactly.


 
Facilities at ECHA.

U: So what advice would you give to first year students?


N: Go to orientation. It really helps. Especially if you don’t know anyone here and you have just moved on your own. Also if you don’t know where to go, ask someone  - most people are really friendly.


U: How did you find getting around campus when you first moved here?


N: It was a little tricky, but there are a lot of places you can find your way around without even having to ask anyone because of the layout and directional signs.

 

U: What are some things you’ve learned about yourself since coming to UAlberta?

 

N: I’ve learned to challenge myself more and I’ve learned if you really look into something and you really have the will you can do it. You might need a little help, but you can really do it. Also, time management, which is really key in my program. I’ve learned that you can really be organized and make things work for you.

 

And I’ve learned that University can be fun. I mean it can be stressful at times, but overall it is fun.

 

U: Do you find that there are resources in your program or people in your program that have really helped you to minimize stress and help you manage your time well?

 

N: Yes. Professors are really encouraging and tell you to come to them when you need help. Some of them really go out of their way to help you - some have even come up with learning projects that aren’t even part of the course-work, just to help me get better and understand more.


They are really personable and give you a support system. Some of them really go out of their way to help their students.


U: What are some of your favourite places or things to do in Edmonton?


N: I love Whyte Ave and the Old Strathcona area (located a few minutes from North Campus). Especially in summer. Even if I have nothing to do I can just walk there and just watch a lot of people walking around and take in music. I also like West Edmonton Mall, it’s really good way to kill some time.


On campus, I like the libraries and I like the gym - we have a new gym now (PAW Centre), which is really cool. It’s bigger and lots of new equipment.

 

 

 

 


 

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Images of computer labs and clinical training facilities courtesy of Edmonton Clinic Health Academy.
 
Interview by Alyssa Ott

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