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CLEARING 2016: Alieu realises EU dream after taking the chance on DMU

An African student who wanted to learn about world politics flew nearly 4,000 miles to study at De Montfort University because he admired its "welcoming, diverse culture".

Alieu Ceesay grew up in The Gambia, working in law and journalism before deciding, in his 30s, to get involved in international relations.

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The 35-year-old looked at a range of university options but was drawn straight to DMU because of its international opportunities and diverse culture in the heart of Leicester.

Taking a chance, he applied through Clearing and won a place on the International Relations BA course, saying he was surprised how easy the process was.

He said: "I was relieved as I initially thought that it would be very stressful. Whenever you really want something, your nerves play up."

But he won his place and made the move to the UK to start his course.

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From the moment he came to the university, Alieu said he felt comfortable and happy.

He said: "From the very start, the DMU staff and the people were supportive; I felt welcome and the diverse culture made everything exciting.

"The experiences of poverty I have experienced back home in Gambia, have honestly made me appreciate everything I have today."

Alieu said it was the seminars he enjoyed most about the course, enjoying sharing his experiences with other students, giving him an insight into different cultures.

He said: "This increased my confidence in speaking English and gave me the motivation to strive higher."

One of Alieu's long-time dreams had been to visit Brussels for himself and find out more about EU governance. Seizing the opportunity offered by the award-winning #DMUglobal programme, Alieu made the trip to the European capital, visiting EU institutions, operations and offices along with going to the EU Committee and the European Commission.

Alieu said: "Working together, I think it was a wonderful experience, as learning the importance of the role as well as the union place, in the life of over 500 million citizens.

"In five years, I can see myself walking through organisations like Amnesty International and European organisations."

Back in Leicester, Alieu participated in DMU's 100 Ideas For Europe Campaign, playing a key part in the pop-up shop held in Highcross which asked people across the city their views on subjects like economic integration, trade, security and defence, environment, agriculture, foreign policy and immigration.  

Having finished his second year, Alieu said DMU was the right choice for him. He said: "For me, coming to DMU was literally a dream come true and a very important part of my life as I am given the opportunity to study here and get so much experience which I can go onto progress a blessed career."

Posted on Tuesday 12th July 2016

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