Yes, it is true that it is never rosy no matter where you go in Europe or America but the case of North Cyprus is much more difficult and pathetic. Here are reasons why it would be wiser to go to somewhere way better, than going to North Cyprus to work and study. I just completed my studies in North Cyprus, after spending four years of undergraduate studies, I know exactly what I am talking about here.
- North Cyprus is not a country; it is not recognized as a country by the rest of the world; not by the United Nations or the European Union. Rather, it is a Turkish occupied territory. This is evident by the two flags used in the country; the Turkish flag and the North Cyprus flag. Both flags always stand side by side. North Cyprus relies on Turkey for everything even for soldiers to protect them.
The language spoken in North Cyprus is not English but Turkish. So students from Nigeria find it very difficult to adapt and settle down.
There are no good jobs. One of the ways through which travel agents deceive young Nigerians to go to North Cyprus, is to lie to them that there are very good jobs waiting for them in North Cyprus, but in truth there are no good jobs for students, not even in the universities (where they would be studying). The Universities offer students jobs in the library and information center with a pay that is less than N20,000 per month. Aside this, the jobs outside the universities are quite pitiful; because they are menial and very difficult jobs like construction, furniture making, bricklaying, painting and for ladies only cleaning jobs. These obviously are not jobs for students who hope to earn some money while studying. Like other students in North Cyprus, I had no other option but to do these jobs and trust me when I say, it was not easy to do them and at the same time go to school. Most times your academic suffer; you come from work, weak as a ‘fried plantain’ and you can not even open a page of your text book to study because you fall asleep almost immediately. By the way, these jobs are very difficult to find and the language barrier does not help.
You can never get a job with your certificate or diploma even after completion of your studies. In my four years here in North Cyprus, I have never seen a black man working in a good or reputable company. They never give foreigners or blacks jobs with their certificates.
Even you are able to get a job (a menial job), you get paid peanuts. The money would never be able to pay your school fees. Maybe it could be able to take care of your house rent and other bills but in the end you would be left with next to nothing to save.
You are openly cheated or exploited. After getting a job, you get paid in Turkish Lira (the official currency used in North Cyprus). But the irony is that you pay your house rent in pounds or euro. Even your school fees is paid in pounds, euro or dollars and not in the local currency which is much lower than the foreign currencies; thus you are losing money faster than water been poured in a basket. Hence you hardly save any money at the end of the month.
There is a high level of racism. This is not only obvious from how you are stared at when you walk on the streets or how you are treated when you go looking for jobs but actually what happens when you start working. Like I said earlier, the only available jobs are very difficult and there is an unwritten law that foreigners never get paid the same amount as citizens (turkish or cypriot), no matter how long you have been living in the country. Thus you and a citizen could be doing the same job but you get paid less than him. On the average, you get paid 50 turkish lira ($22/3,500 naira) per day while a citizen gets paid 100 tl ($45/N7,500) which is double what you earn. Sometimes you may be forced, by the owner or management of the company you work for, to do extra hours but the citizens never do extra hours.
Lastly another clear example of racism here in North Cyprus is the fact that a student of Cyprus International University, Gabriel Soriwei, was knocked down by a by a drunken female driver (a citizen). He fell into a coma; his dad came from Nigeria to see him while he was in the hospital. He recovered and was able to speak. But two weeks after his dad left for Nigeria, Gabriel died from a heart attack which was a direct result of the injuries he suffered from the accident. However, it took the efforts a relative of the Soriwei family, who stormed into a conference organized by agents from Cyprus International University who came to Nigeria to get students, before an a condolence message was sent to the family of Gabriel by the authorities of Cyprus International University. More disturbing and annoying, is the fact that the Soriwei family, till date, do not know the lady who knocked and killed their son; they don’t even know what she looks like because the North Cyprus government and police refused to reveal the identity of the lady even after several messages from the boy’s family that they just want to see her; that they have no intention of pressing charges. How sad…
*Note: If you have hopes of coming to North Cyprus to find a white girl or woman that would open doors of opportunity for you, you are mistaken and you better have a rethink. The turkish or cypriot ladies have no interest in black, more even they are racists, sometimes they even run away from you when you try to talk to them. Also the language barrier does not even encourage you to go out to search for a white girl who could possibly become your girlfriend or wife.
Lastly, if you are still in Nigeria and you intend to go abroad to study and possible work to get a better life for yourself, remove Cyprus from your list of possible countries to go. You would be better served going to a ‘European’ country like Germany, Spain or Italy where you could find better jobs and get better pay. If you are thinking of going to South Cyprus, also have a rethink because things are even worse there.