HERD AROUND THE WORLD: Queeneth Enweren, Nigeria


Joelle Gates

Queeneth Enweren


Through INTO, a program that brings international students to American universities, Queeneth Enweren was able to begin a new life in America. 

Enweren, a first-year graduate student from Western Nigeria, came to Marshall University to pursue her master’s in social work and said she is looking forward to using her education to inspire change in her home country. 

Once she had decided to begin a new life at Marshall, Enweren boarded a plane and left her country and family for the first time. She said adjusting to life in America without her family has not been very easy.

“Being the foreign person in this country is very eye opening,” Enweren said. “Where I’m from, everyone is like me; everyone looks like me. Distance is the biggest challenge. I haven’t met a lot of friendly faces, and this is a very small town. Life can be boring with only a few friends but I’m pushing through.”

Although the struggles of adjusting to life in America may occasionally hamper her spirits, Enweren said she uses her family as motivation.

“I’m very in touch with my family and friends and have always been big on family,” Enweren said. “Despite the distance, I always find time to talk to my people, so I can still stay connected with them.”

Even though joining the program has presented her with obstacles, Enweren said the thing she enjoys most about Huntington is observing the freedom Americans have. 

“It’s nice to walk around and see two boys or two girls holding hands,” Enweren said. “Nobody looks at them funny but people in my country would be in prison (for that).”

In addition to pursuing a degree in social work, Enweren said experiencing the freedoms Americans share has allowed for her to dream about changes in her own country. 

“I’ve always been very interested in social work,” Enweren said. “In my country you see a lot of things that can make you very sad and think that things could be better. I want to do something to help.” 

Specifically in Nigeria, Enweren said she wants to obtain her degree to change the lives of people in her local community. 

“Social work isn’t just about having a conversation surrounding change, it’s about actually doing something to help,” Enweren said.

As her classes begin to take up much of her time, Enweren said she would like to make more friends by sharing her story and raising awareness about her home country. 

“People should know that Africa isn’t a country, it’s a continent,” Enweren said. “We don’t live in mud houses and wear leaves. We’re developing, but my country is poor because we have bad leaders, not because we have a lack of resources.”

As her life in America is beginning to unfold, Enweren said she is excited for the future and hopes she will be able to share some of her culture with other students.  

“I just wish people were a little more educated,” Enweren said. “More people should go to Africa, it’s a beautiful place, and it will make you appreciate your privilege.”

Joelle Gates can be contacted at [email protected]