Home>News>International Cardiff Met student pursues dream to study in the UK

International Cardiff Met student pursues dream to study in the UK and use education to change lives back home in Nigeria

News | 22 May 2024

“Start with what you have and grow to get to where you want to be,” is the advice from Chisimdi Okoh, an international student studying for a Master’s in Data Science at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Having always dreamt of coming to the UK to study, Chisimdi now plans to use what he has learnt to change lives at home in Nigeria.

“My father taught me to start with what you have, and to grow to get to where you want to be. To me, that growth is education and learning,” said Chisimdi. Having started a finance club for young people in his local community, he went on to turn this into a business. “I want to continue improving financial education, especially for those who need it the most,” Chisimdi continued.

Inspired by the positive difference he was making in Nigeria, Chisimdi came to the UK to enhance his data skills to help others manage their finances. The friendly reception he received in the UK has led him to volunteer with Cardiff Met’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and new international students to help them settle in to life in the UK.

“The biggest challenge for me was adapting to a new culture... and the weather!” Chisimdi said. But he is grateful for the warm welcome he received when he arrived. “I’d read a lot about how diverse the UK is. So, I knew to expect it. It blows my mind how the UK welcomes all these people and makes them feel so at home.”

Chisimdi is part of Universities UK International’s #WeAreInternational: Transforming Lives campaign, working with students from around the world, based in UK universities in towns and cities across the country. The campaign is dedicated to highlighting the contributions international students are making to the UK and their communities, during their studies.


Anna Dukes, Director of Global Engagement at Cardiff Metropolitan University, said: “It’s important that we recognise both the economic and cultural benefits international students bring not only to our universities, but also to local communities. Our international students enrich the learning and teaching experience on campus, helping all our students understand other cultures and the value of working across cultures.

“In turn, our international students gain a quality educational experience that they take back to their respective countries around the world, contributing to the development of global links for the UK in both business and research. Both our international and UK students graduate with global networks that will benefit their future careers.”

International students make a huge contribution in their local communities and beyond, bringing in a £41 billion to the UK each year, meaning on average, each of the 650 parliamentary constituencies in the UK is £58 million better off – equivalent to approximately £560 per citizen. In Wales alone, international students contribute £1.43 billion to the regional economy.

Jamie Arrowsmith, Director of UUKi said: “It’s never felt more important to acknowledge the important contributions that international students make to their university and local communities, and to the UK more broadly. It’s not just about the economic side of it – international students give back through cultural exchange, volunteering, and so much more. We’re proud to be sharing their stories through the latest phase of the #WeAreInternational campaign.”

More information on the #WeAreInternational: Transforming Lives campaign can be found on the Universities UK webpage.