My Experience Schooling in Sudan – Nigerian Medical Graduate


Story by Mariam Egbeyemi

It is no longer news that people graduate from different institutions at a much young age, but it is news when such feat is perpetuated far away from home; in a very tough discipline like medicine; in far away war torn country; among supposed peers who, in reality are light years ahead in age and experience.

But that is not all, it is the best of news if the feat comes with maturity in the mind like a role model, Mubaraka Adebisi, did in far away International University of Africa (IUA), Khartoum, Sudan; a country divided by strife.

However, being in a school, like parents primarily desire, is for children to acquire knowledge, be successful and become useful to their immediate family and the society at large.

This quest comes with daily hustles, culminating in burning of midnight oil and moderate lifestyle which involves shunning most social activities as well as thorough screening of friends one moves with, and in addition, studying with concentration, knowing that bombs and bullets are flying about indiscriminately.


On September 2, 2016, Mubaraka Adebisi, rounded off her studies as the youngest graduating medical student of the International University of Africa (IUA), Sudan with a second class upper degree. She is 21 years old, and hails from Offa, Kwara State, making people wonder how old she was when she gained admission into the institution.

She spoke to the Boss from her base in Khartoum, Sudan, on her experience in Sudan over a period of five years, summing up that her parents, who incidentally are doctors, happen to be the greatest inspiration she ever heard.

“Well, my biggest motivations are my parents. They are both doctors. My dad is a medical doctor while my mum is a doctor of Psychology. I actually went to the Arab country to study because my parent felt they wanted an Islamic environment for my education. They wanted me to learn Arabic and learn the virtues of Islam in a typical Islamic environment. Again, I studied Medicine because I want to contribute my quota to the society in that particular area. I want to make a difference; I want to leave a mark in the world. More so, I have always had a passion for Medicine.”

Miss Adebisi left the shores of Nigeria as a green horn in the use of Arabic, and so it was envisaged that there will be difficulties learning communicating in the Arab environment, but she surmounted the challenge within a short period. She explained:

“Living in an Arab country hasn’t always been easy. I faced challenges with language when I first got there. I had to study Arabic Language for a year, and even at that, the authentic Arabic which I learnt is different from the street Arabic they speak. So I will say my biggest challenge was the language. Every other thing was fun; I got to learn the Arabian way of life. We were taught in both English and Arabic. All our lectures and textbooks were in English. But the doctors explain in both languages.”

One would wonder how a girl of how stature, far away from home managed to survive, knowing that Sudan as a country, is enmeshed in crisis. She explained that Sudan is even more peaceful than what people think or even some so called peaceful countries.

“There was nothing of such here. I had a very peaceful stay here. It is even more peaceful than most countries. Everyone fears God to a certain degree, and behave themselves.”

The 21 year old explain that in as much as Medicine is a very elaborate and sometimes very complicated as a course of study, the fact that she was able to throw everything into it, made her excel at the end of the day. She added that as a medical student, first practicals are monumental experiences, involving situations like coming in contact with dead bodies which are compulsorily dissected for further explanation, the irritation notwithstanding. She said:

“The first day of class was very thrilling. I was so eager to learn and then go back home to read. I would say my first year of school was a very good year for me. I passed most of my courses with an A and B+. I was very passionate in the first year. But the first time I saw a Cadava (that’s the dead bodies we use in the Anatomy laboratory for dissection), I was terrified. I couldn’t sleep or eat anything for a while. All I could imagine was the Cadava at one corner. Some of my classmates even puked and some cried when they saw it. But after a while, I got used to it; I would even spend long time in the dissection room studying them.

But what kept the young achiever going all the while even as some of her mates both within the school she was in and some schools in other climes, remains her passion for the course and of course her desire to make her parents proud and return home with the proverbial golden fleece. To her, she made a few petty things very important to her, and the remained the energizing factors for her continue strength and survival.

“The practicals we always had and the passion to attend to patients was fun, and I looked forward to them. We started clinicals in year four.

But then, at what period did the soon to be doctor started actually feeling like a life saver.

“I felt like a real doctor when I would take the history of a patient, and give a diagnosis. This was right from the first year. The second year and other years were easy too, though different from the first year. The subsequent years came with more difficult task and challenges. And I remember a doctor walking into the class and telling us that the class looked so full and he is sure that by the end of the year, half of the class will be gone.”

Today, Mubaraka Adebisi is at the verge of becoming a full-fledged medical doctor, having given so much to be where she is presently. Apart from the honours to the Almighty God and her parents, she paid tribute to her ability to “adapt to the system of another man’s country, which was very strenuous and difficult, eating their delicacies and respecting their culture, tradition and general way of life.


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