The University milieu is a ground of different happenings and trend setting. It is a home for fashion, style and latest technological gadgets to mention but a few. Recently, owning cars have become prevalent among foreign nationals in Turkish Republic of North Cyprus. This is obviously a trend that wasn’t present a decade ago. Our societies today have achieved an advanced stage of development and organization and it does affect every sector including the universities. The use of cars either owing or renting is becoming a cultural practice among international students in Eastern Mediterranean University. This understanding poses the question “Owning a car as an international student of EMU; a luxury or a necessity?” Gundem’s Hope Ohiomoren spoke with some international students at EMU and they gave their interesting opinions.
Miss Kouther is a first year student from Syria but lives in Qatar. She is presently studying English Teaching Language at the Eastern Mediterranean University. She believes that driving a car in EMU is mainly living a luxurious life and not necessary. She made it known that she does not have her personal car here in Cyprus and she is not even thinking of owning one because she believes that it is not important. She explained further that “everything here is accessible so you don’t need to have a car. I think it is stupid to rent a car, driving a car in a place like this for me is just merely show off’’. She lamented that, “Cyprus is small compare to Qatar and back home, my family possesses just two cars and that is acceptable and understanding because it is not a remote place compared it to Cyprus”.
One Mr. Chijoke, a Nigerian student of Communication and Media Studies Faculty who own his personal car; a black Mercedes Benz accedes that, to him he believes that driving a car as an international student is both a necessity and a luxury. It is a necessity to him because of mobility. Owing a car to him has helped him meet a lot of deadlines. On the flip-side for him, it is a luxury because it does boost ones self-esteem and self-satisfaction. In his words, he said; “I am very proud to have a car because I easily meet a lot of people and I can talk to whoever I want to talk with”.
Miss Ann Chukwura; a student of Public Relations and Advertising who is in her 3rd year of study, believes that it is two sided. Her idea was that it depends on ones upbringing. She said; “for people who are from a wealthy background and have always been driving cars back home, it a necessity I think. But for those who are not wealthy and have never driven a car back home. It is simply luxury and show off for them”.
Mohammed Hussein is an Iranian 1st year student of Pharmacy Faculty. He submits that for him, owning a car and driving it in the university is not a luxury at all. In his one month stay in Cyprus, he noticed that transportation in Cyprus is bad and expensive. Although he admits that the school transportation around campus is of good service but nothing more outside school. In his words, he said “I bought a car because of the expensive and bad transportation in the host community”. He further buttressed his argument by saying; it might be a luxury if you use a very expensive car but i live far away from the university so it is only important to have a car.
In another sense, having the finances to foot the bills of an automobile as an international student is definitely tasking but the comfort is what a lot of people long for. Some people have said it is a necessity and some have said it is a luxury. For some others, it is more than owning a car; it is about the model, worth and class of car you drive. In the real sense, the big assertion is really not what you drive but what drives you.
By Hope Ohiomoren