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Erica Safari-Omoigui

Erica, 39, came to Plymouth from Nigeria to join her husband. She now has a young family and was working as a healthcare assistant in a residential home before she applied to the College.

Erica said: “When I first came to the UK, I did a preparing to teach course at the College, so when I thought it was time for a career change and to look for opportunities to pursue a career in the healthcare sector, I knew my first stop had to be City College Plymouth.”

Erica attended the College’s open day for more information and found that the staff were invaluable in guiding her to the right course.

She explained. “I originally thought about doing the NVQ, but after speaking to the course lecturer, I realised that the course I really wanted to do was the Access to Nursing course because it would give me the best route to continue my studies at University. I’m so grateful that, even though it was busy, she took the time to speak to me and really understand what I needed. I will never forget that.”

Returning to College as a mature student, Erica was expecting it to be easy and familiar, however she was glad to find the course still challenged her.

She said: “I wouldn’t have had it any other way because now I know that there’s nothing I will face at university that I won’t be prepared for. At school, they just teach you to pass exams, but this course has taught me how to do proper research, write essays and learn beyond the subject. I feel it has also really helped me to integrate, as I now know so much more about the UK and its history, peoples and culture.”

Erica has secured a place at the University of Plymouth to study mental health nursing starting in September 2015.

She said: “I want to know more about the human mind and behaviour and develop new skills to make a difference in people’s lives, so I would like a career in mental health, working in different settings like the communities in Plymouth or the NHS. I’m so grateful to the staff at the College for helping me with my UCAS application. They are with you every step of the way”

I can honestly say that it has been a very good experience. Even if I wasn’t going on to university, I’d recommend it as I have taken so much from this course. I don’t think people realise the kind of support you can get at the College. I’m able to say that there has never been a time when I felt on my own. They help you with your applications, guide you through your course and assignments and support you in every way, what more can one wish for?”