Rachel Diyaolu’s family and friends welcomed her long-awaited arrival with hugs, tears, and a massive “Welcome Home Rachel” white banner. 

When Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Diyaolu was studying at Sumy in eastern Ukraine as an international student and was forced to flee the city on Monday.

According to the BBC, Before her escape, she found safety in her university’s bunker when air raid alarms rang.

On Wednesday evening, Diyaolu sent her family video footage of herself at the Romanian border queue.

Flying in from Frankfurt, the Diyaolu family reunion took place at Dublin Airport late Thursday night.

In an interview with RTÉ, Diyaolu, 19, feels “really overwhelmed but really happy” to be back with her loved ones.

“I’ve been away for so long, in the circumstances, it’s been very scary. I didn’t know when I’d get to be home, so I’m really happy to be back”, Diyaolu said.

“It was a very anxious journey. We had a lot of really bad roads, things went wrong along the way, but we stayed positive and knew that once we were out of Sumy, it was [on the] home strait. We knew we just had to go a little bit further, and we’d be back home soon”, she said.