REF: EB/SH/03/18                                                           



December 2017 was a defining moment for Nairobi Jaffery Education Board when it had the privilege of welcoming The Chairman of Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaats of Africa; Alhaj Shabirbhai Najafi for a tour of Nairobi Jaffery Academy.

Leaning heavily on Shabirbhai's experience and exposure in serving the Community at the Federation, the visit yielded the desired result of gaining from the wealth of experience that Shabirbhai holds through his business acumen and exceptional leadership qualities.

Flanked by the Hon. Trustee of Africa Federation Alhaj Ebrahimbhai Jaffer on one hand and Nairobi Jamaat Chairman Alhaj Shakirbhai Merali on the other, Shabirbhai was in his element to share his knowledge and advice on how Education plays a vital role in propelling the Community towards a programmed and well-managed progress. His friendly approach and matter of fact guidance were well received by the Chairman of NJEB Alhaj Murtazabhai Somji and the NJA Principal Alhaj Minhasbhai Tejani.

The entourage was most impressed with the flagship project of initiating four SMART learning Centers at the Academy and the interactive technology used to impart lessons to the students. Equally captivating was the Strategy Plan 2017 – 2023, a benchmark initiative undertaken by the NJEB as the roadmap to future development program.  Shabirbhai had words of praise and encouragement for the Board and was quite optimistic that the envisaged Vision of the Board will be achieved in good time.

Murtazabhai while presenting a memento to Shabirbhai appreciated the visit by the Chairman and the entourage for apportioning time to visit the Academy amidst the heavy schedule during their visit to Nairobi. He assured them that the Board is dynamic and will scale greater heights in the next couple of years to come.

Overcoming Cultural Shock

Moving to a different area for your studies can be very difficult, especially if it’s a location that you have never been to before. Many questions may go through your mind regarding your studies, your social life or even how you will begin to get around. Immediately after you come into contact with a new environment, chances are you will be hit with culture shock.

A third year student shares his past experiences of culture shock and offers some suggestions on how to overcome it and adjust to life as a new university student:

Suggestion #1 – Be open-minded

When I first arrived at university, I came in a few weeks late due to some flight issues. I was extremely scared; everything seemed different. Culture shock was inevitable as I found it difficult to adjust to different aspects of the society. Language, accents, mannerisms and even the food caught me off guard to start with.

One of the most effective ways to overcome culture shock is to try and be open-minded. Treat everything new as a chance to gain knowledge about the culture. Not only does this make it easier to deal with, but you may also find certain things that you may like. Turn the shock into a learning experience or even treat it like an adventure, because to be honest, that’s what it is!

Suggestion #2 – Ask questions  

Since I was a new international student, my biggest fear was standing out amongst a completely different culture. Unfortunately, this led to me keeping to myself and not really coming to terms with my new surroundings. If there is one thing I wish I did more of, it would be asking questions. University life can be difficult from the beginning and majority of the people around you know this. You’d be surprised how much people will be willing to help you. If you don’t ask any questions, you’re not going to get any answers.

Suggestion #3 – Make friends and establish connections

Culture shock has less of an effect if you are with people around you. This is particularly better if you are alongside other students also in the same boat, as you can go through the process together. Making friends in university is very important; especially at the beginning as those friendships play a big part of your university experience. It is a huge relief to know that you are not the only one going through culture shock. Making friends not only makes it easier to deal with but also goes a long way in improving your social skills that will benefit your university experience as a whole.

Suggestion #4 – Embrace your own culture

The University is filled with students of different cultures and backgrounds. In some cases, some cultures may have certain similarities with others. Do not shy away from your own culture as people may find an interest in things such as your hobbies, the foods you eat, the languages you speak and much more. Adjusting to university life is a big step in your future career plans and dreams; the best way to do it is to just be yourself!

It is definitely not easy dealing with culture shock, but it is important to know that there are people always available to help you. Your university will have student advisors and support on campus. You can always go to them for advice.
EB Secretariat

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