Abass Oduola from Nigeria is a PhD student at the University of Arkansas.
Hi, my name is Abass Oduola. I’m originally from Nigeria. My background was in microbiology, and I had my undergraduate back home, and I moved to U of A in the fall of 2018 to start a PhD program in Cell and Molecular Biology.
What led you to attend the University of Arkansas?
The first one I’ll mention is the research for sure. Because when I was searching for schools after my undergrad, I saw that U of A had a plethora of research areas. So when I went through the catalog and stuff and new people in different departments, I saw there were many students from different nationalities, including Nigeria. Last but not least, I saw Fayetteville was listed as the fifth best place to live in America. So, like, oh, this is an opportunity for me to… it’s going to be like a win-win situation for me to come in here to do what I really want to do.
How would you describe campus life at the U of A?
Coming here in 2018 was the first time I actually left my home country. So, I was living what I’d been used to for over 20 years, and I’m going to a place that I know nothing about. So, I was pretty hopeful and open, and at the same time I was expecting things not to go as planned. But when I got here, I was surprised by the campus community and Fayetteville community as a whole. People were extremely polite and that immediately changed my attitude towards everything. I became warm to others, became warm to my studies, and everyone around.
What makes our university unique?
The staff is really warm towards people from backgrounds or different backgrounds. And I’ve seen myself speaking, and the staff would find it difficult to hear what I’m saying due to my accent. But they still find a way to make me feel and see: “No no no, this is fine.” So I didn’t feel awkward about that and I was super, super happy about it.
What has been one of your favorite memories or experiences at the U of A?
When I got to Holcombe, that was where I met ISS staff. Those guys are really, really fantastic. I could just see that they were waiting for me to come, you know what I mean? I think they said my name and everything. So it just seemed like we’d be friends. And I guess that was what sets everything off up to today. Like me walking into Holcombe was the first building I walked into on campus and meeting ISS staff was the first staff I met on campus. So that set the tone for my stay at the U of A.
What advice would you give to those looking into graduate school?
You have to have an open mind because you’ll be coming here and meeting people from different walks of life, different parts of the world, different beliefs, and different backgrounds. So you have to be open-minded and try as much as possible to unlearn some things you’ve learned over years and learn a new way of doing things. That’s going to be super helpful. I’m looking forward to having you on campus.
Check Out These Schools
Start your U.S. adventure with Study in the USA
Learn About U.S. education financing, housing, and more
Join over 6 million people and businesses who get a better deal when they send money with the real exchange rate.
Ready to make your MBA dreams a reality? Register now for a virtual or in-person event with The MBA Tour! Don’t miss your chance to speak directly with leading business schools, such as Harvard University, Boston University, Columbia University, UC...
campusSIMS helps students get connected with mobile phone service in the US. Get a US phone number while in your home country so you have service that’s ready as soon as you land. Plans start as low as $15/month.
Study in the USA provides me with information about new colleges. My plan is to transfer, so it gives me more options for choosing my next college.
StudyUSA has helped me with orientation for the exams, research for the schools and choosing a place to translate my documents.
At first It helped me find an school then I applied those schools through StudyUSA.com and I get more information from those schools and enrolled in school.
Learn about American culture and education direct from our experts at Study in the USA. Read more