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Sula Powell: End of semester
June 05, 2015
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It pains me to say that this will be my final column before returning back to Scotland for my summer “vacation.” I sarcastically emphasise the word vacation, as it will quite clearly be no vacation. Freezing cold, numbing, arctic-like weather mixed with endless rain showers, does not scream holiday!

However, on the plus side, I will not have to encounter anymore sand storms, exhaustion, humidity nor highs of 50 degrees Celsius. Alongside this, I will also be spending an estimated 99 per cent of my time working to try and ensure the student bank balance stays in positive figures so I can have a fairly sufficient social life, both at home and for my remaining year here in Dubai.

Before my first year final exams were to begin, I had time to cram some last minute activities in before home time. I most definitely had to visit JBR beach again and brave the sweltering heat and soup like water just one last time. I also wanted to say goodbye to my favourite, darling camels who I treated with some bananas.

I am camel obsessed and visit these JBR camels once a week, every week. Each time the camel herder, as I call him, tells me they have different names but I am adamant they are the same ones as they must recognise or know me by now.

All I can say is they definitely smell the same each time, unfortunately no change there. They still devoured the bananas regardless, with skin and stalks fully attached. To add to the day’s excitement, a jellyfish deemed it convenient to sting me, thus resulting in a mad panic or piercing screaming fit, as some would describe it.

I am thoroughly positive the spectators must have thought I was involved in some sort of shark attack and not a small-scale jellyfish sting. I am just glad I was able to pass the red, embarrassed cheeks off as sunburn.

I also managed to schedule in one last concert — Robbie Williams. It was nice to visit Abu Dhabi again as I haven’t been recently, as the majority of concerts have been Dubai based, which actually serves as a big benefit, travel and cost wise.

The concert was incredible; despite not being a huge Robbie Williams enthusiast I am so glad I was part of it. He, quite literally, is an entertainer. Luckily, another gold circle ticket, which I feel always makes the experience just that bit better.

I have now officially finished my first year of university. The exams most certainly did not go in my favour; I’m not sure if that is just every girl’s response or just simply my luck that the things I revise seem to banish from all exam papers. I remember in one exam, just hoping with all my might that time would rapidly go by because all I wanted was my salmon ragout from kcal- not sure if that is bad, weird or obsessive but the thought was the only thing encouraging me.

I am now with my mother who came to visit me so we could both travel back together. I personally like to think she just could not bear to wait any longer to see me since it’s been incredibly long since I last saw her in the flesh. Skype calling just is not the same!

Despite deeming myself independent, I am so thankful she did come to help me pack — I can now firmly declare myself a hoarder, of anything and everything. Now I just need to brace myself for the extra baggage charge at the airport, also bearing in mind I have some lovely friends already keeping some (a lot) of my things in storage!

However, all in all, I can sum up my first year of university in the UAE as a foreign student as somewhat successful, challenging and extremely testing at times. I am admittedly, fairly proud that I have taken this big step in moving across the world in order to pursue one of my dreams, and now I am just excited to see what the future holds. I plan to see you again in September Dubai, it has been a pleasure.
Sula Powell is a Scottish/Jamaican business student at
Heriot Watt University in Dubai. Sula is a keen horse rider
and a part time model holding a number of prestigious titles
including Europe’s Perfect Junior Teen. For the remainder
of her journey in the UAE, Sula will be sharing her experiences
on the ups and downs of student life.

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