A Zimbabwe newspaper, the Daily News, is reporting that Zimbabwean students who chose the north of Cyprus to study do not find the paradise they saw in advertising brochures.
Instead, as many parents are reporting, their children suffer attacks and abuse from the locals, language barrier in lectures, while high expenses make their college years a living nightmare.
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In an incident in 2016, Macmillan Nyamukondiwa, who left his country to study Information Systems at Near East University in the north, was a victim of a hate attack. As reported Nyamukondiwa was attacked by locals and is currently running the risk of losing his eyesight as stitches from previous corneal transplant came off.
Doctors in Cyprus stitched up his eye and put him on antibiotics but unfortunately this was in vain. The diagnosing doctors have recommended a corneal transplant in a highly-specialised eye centre as it is not a straightforward case. At present, Macmillan only has five percent of his vision.
Meanwhile parents of students are also fuming over the cost of living and the treatment they receive from members of the local community.
A parent of Cyprus International University told the Daily News that if she had a choice she would withdraw her son from the university. “I am always forking out money, to make sure my son lives comfortably because the landlords are rough and they are always getting them harassed by the Turkish police”.
“You know agents here paint Cyprus as this paradise but it’s not, our children are suffering on that island”.
Parents are also complaining that their children have fallen victim to various agencies. Reportedly there are about 4,800 Zimbabwean students studying in the north of the island with many also being promised scholarships to find out, upon arrival, that they had been conned.
“They say lectures are in English but not all of them are its a few lecturers that can speak English. They also say that you can use United States dollars but that’s not the case, they use euros so everything becomes expensive,” said another parent
Meanwhile the Zimbabwean parliament has heard that students are turning to crime as they try to earn a living.
Recently a Zimbabwean student was sentenced by courts in the north to spend the next seven years of his life in prison after being convicted of drug dealing in the country as he sought to earn a living illegally.
Reportedly, Zimbabwean students studying in the north have turned to prostitution and trafficking of drugs in a desperate bid to survive as they are living on the fringes of poverty.