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Johanna Spitzer

Home country


Internship city and country

Lagos, Nigeria

Internship employer

Covenant University

University study field


Year of internship


Internship length

8 weeks


I worked at the petroleum engineering department at Covenant University. My supervisor and I discussed during the first days what my work will be about, and he also gave me the chance to tell him in what topics I’m interested in. Together we found a project I can work on, which was about reservoir modelling and laboratory work with drilling mud. Because I’m studying geology and not petroleum engineering, he taught me the basics about reservoir engineering in the beginning. Later a PhD student taught me how to use Eclipse for reservoir modelling and the last weeks I was working in the laboratory. The work was interesting, although I was there during the summer break and most of the people working at the department were on leave. Often it is a bit unorganized and one also must get used to the African time, as people are often late. But the equipment I was working with was good and I was learning a lot during my time there. My supervisor also took me to a conference in Lagos with him. That was super interesting, and I met a lot of other students. During the whole time there he was very caring and always asking if I’m good.

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The Nigerian people were very interested and caring. When I was walking on the streets there was almost always someone asking where I am from and what I am doing there. Often, I got asked if I need something. They want to snap, be your friend and it happened that they asked if I could take them home with me or if I want to marry them. Some kindly invited me to their home and always tried to offer something to drink or to eat. Also, the religion is very important, and a lot of people want to talk about it and invited me to come to church with them. Covenant University is a private university only open for students and people who work there. It’s very different to the „normal“ life in Nigeria, because it’s kind of a calm place to live. As soon as one gets out of the campus it’s more hectic and noisier. Also, I didn’t have any issues with electricity or running water, which is a problem everywhere in Nigeria. I think it’s a comfortable place to stay, but it may not be the real Nigerian experience. But anyway, I could experience that during my trips to Lagos and Benin. During my time there Covenant University organized a day trip to Lagos, where we visited an art gallery and the Lekki Conservation Center. I also went to Benin for a few days to visit the other interns and IAESTE Nigeria organized some day trips during that time to Idanre hill and a riversite. The Nigerian landscape is amazing, and I enjoyed these trips a lot. I loved to try the food, as the taste is very different to what I was used to. Most of the time I ate Jollof Rice and beans. But I also enjoyed eating Moi Moi, and Swallow like Eba, Amala or Fufu with different soups like Egusi. For the soups I honestly needed some time to get used to the taste, but after some time I really started to enjoy it. In general, I think the food is very heavy and I sometimes missed to eat more vegetables. But I enjoyed trying the food and my tolerance for spices definitely got to a higher level.


Nigeria is a nice country and definitely worth a visit! Especially, going to an unknown country with IAESTE is a possibility you may never get again. I was learning a lot about the culture and Nigeria in general but was also learning a lot about myself. I had an amazing time and love how it changes my thoughts and view about the world.