On Moving to Buckingham – When & Why?
I moved (back) to England in 2017 to study for my Ph.D. I chose Buckingham because of my past connection with the University of Buckingham. My very first time in Buckingham was in 2012. I had completed my Master’s degree there). In most universities, the duration of their Ph.D programs is about 5 or 7years. At Buckingham University, you complete your Ph.D in 3 years. This was essentially why I chose to come to Buckingham and, of course, because of the tranquility of the city too.
Buckingham is perfect for people who do not mind staying in a slow ambiance with a countryside vibe. Honestly, I was surprised to find a University tucked in a small quiet town. The university has always had a huge representation of diversity with Nigerians taking a huge chunk of the diversity quota. However, this has been reducing over the years – blame Brexit and the new vista of opportunities opened to young people in Canada.
Life in Buckingham
There are a lot of old buildings which are beautiful to look at. Shakespeare’s hometown is also very close to Buckingham. Most things within Buckingham are a walking distance from each other (might be a long work for some though). It was also a bit strange to find such diversity within the University surrounding while the larger town was very conservative.
The advantage that comes with Buckingham being a small town can also be an argument against it. It is pretty secluded with little to no traction. The saving grace is that the town is about an hour from Central London. I actually do not stay in Buckingham. I stay in London right now.
My life in Buckingham is simple. Honestly, my time is shared between me going to work, researching, going to church, chilling with friends and travelling. I go to the gym with a friend every evening and once a while, I go bowling or to the movies with friends. So you see, my life is really #introvertliving.
Experiences you wouldn’t have had if you were home/Erroneous Assumption English folks make about Nigeria/Africa
For me, I really didn’t have any jarring experience per se when I moved to England; maybe because it wasn’t my first time of visiting the UK. For me, living in Buckingham gave me a chance to appreciate the diverse cultures and backgrounds and little nuisances here and there. I remember the first time I saw a man and a man kissing on the bus in Buckingham, this was around 2012. It was such a huge shock for me. A stranger was quick to warn me that homophobia is real and that I had to be careful not to get arrested with my looks of disdain.lol
A lot of people think Africa is one big country. You tend to get tired of correcting them at some point. Also, the have a constant misconception that Nigerians are usually the loudest in the room or the most probable to be fraudulent. The experiences of different people, cultures, and views of the world have been invaluable. It gives you a jolt of reality and a sense of belief that more is achievable.
Favourite food place in Buckingham and what meals do you enjoy eating in Buckingham
There is a very Panini shop in Buckingham. Panini is like a Mediterranean sandwich.
What you miss most about home?
Just the warmth of being with people you can boldly consider as your kinsmen.