Joseph from Nigeria, Master of Laws (LLM)
Joseph Oluwasesan Bulugbe, from Nigeria, studied criminal justice and human rights law at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Joseph, who is blind, shares his advice for other students with disabilities and special educational needs.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
'I am Joseph Bulugbe from Nigeria. I became blind at a young age. I have a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Lagos in Nigeria, and a Master of Laws (LLM) Degree from Aberdeen University in Scotland, UK.'
Why did you choose to study in the UK?
'I chose to study in the UK, specifically at Aberdeen University, because a couple of my blind colleagues had studied in the same university and they encouraged me to apply.
'I studied Criminal Justice and Human Rights Law. My passion for human rights meant I enjoyed every bit of my course.
'I visited few places while I was studying, but personally, the UK’s Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB – a charity that offers support and resources for blind and partially sighted people) is the best place I have ever been to in the UK.'
Joseph on graduation day at the University of Aberdeen (Photo ©Joseph Oluwasesan Bulugbe)
What challenges did you face?
'Firstly, I had not been out of Nigeria before I had the opportunity to travel to the UK to study – so on my arrival in Aberdeen during the winter, I was not comfortable with the cold weather and it took me plenty of time to get used to it! Secondly, I felt lonely and sad for a few weeks after my arrival in Aberdeen because I had no friends and I was homesick, but I eventually overcame my anxiety.
'I did not really take part in extracurricular activities on campus, but I was able to make friends with some of my classmates and flatmates.'
What is the support like on campus, and in the UK in general, for people with disabilities and special educational needs?
'The UK is a welcoming place for people with disabilities to study. As a blind person, I enjoyed a supportive learning environment with special resources made available by the school. The support on campus was great.'
What is the best thing about studying in the UK?
'The best thing about studying in the UK is that the environment is highly conducive for learning. Special needs are adequately provided for, and tutors make academic activities interesting for people with disabilities.'
How have you changed since studying in the UK?
'I was not computer literate prior to studying in the UK. Upon completion of my one-year course at Aberdeen University, I had gained a considerable knowledge of computers and this has positively changed my life.'
How would you sum up your UK student experience?
'Interesting and informative.'
What advice would you offer to other international students who are thinking about studying in the UK...
...when they are planning their studies?
'They should be ready to face the challenges that might arise – such as integrating socially, cold weather, and cultural differences.'
...when they arrive in the UK?
'They should work hard and get the most out of the highly productive learning environment.'
The essential guide for international students with special educational needs: