Advice for Nigerian students moving to the US to study

Moving to the US for many Nigerians is a dream come true. This is also true for students who get visas for study. However, many students have run into different sorts of trouble because of ignorance or lack of knowledge and survival skills needed to live and excel academically.

The 40 Ultimate Guide for Surviving in the US as a Nigeria Student

Uncle Charles @AkwariCharlses on Twitter listed out

  1. If you’re moving to the US soon, do away with those too many clothes you’re about to load in your luggage (except you’re selling them). Bring food items, spices, and any of your favorite foodstuff. You have nowhere to wear all those clothes aside from church.
  2. If you’re traveling on F-1, connect with African Organization in your school. ISSO of your school can furnish you with details of their contact information. They will help you settle in. Get someone to order Lycamobile line which is a bit cheaper $23 per month I guess.
  3. If your classmates or friends that are not Nigerians invite you out for food or date, you are paying for your own food. Desist from eating like a thief thinking it’s awoof. You will pay for your own bill. There are a lot of resources at the library with assignments and papers.
  4. If you’re a guy, be careful with your speech and gesture toward females. Stop those patronizing specialized languages you use. Avoid looking lust over a female student. They might report you if they feel uncomfortable. Don’t go about asking every girl you see on campus out.
  5. Network and start looking for internship opportunities for the summer. Use LinkedIn and check for organizations or go to the library and seek resources. Don’t plagiarize! Don’t plagiarize!! It is criminal and you can be expelled from it. I know someone who was expelled for it.
  6. Read every lease agreement. In fact, before you sign any document, read that damn document and be sure you’re not signing your life away. There is no ignorance of the law here. Abide by the law of the land and don’t constitute a nuisance. Do not pee in public places! Do not!
  7. Don’t be limited to the state where you school. Seek opportunities anywhere in the US. You can always move. Be humble but don’t be an idiot. Use the internet resourcefully. Don’t go about being a pile of shit on the internet. Racism exist!
  8. Ask questions! When you’re in doubt, ask questions. Network with other Nigerians who are working and see how they can fix you in to make passive income. If you’re a female, try and make money with hair making, make-up, or wig styling and sales.
  9. Us has food banks and food pantries scattered around. A simple Google will show you different food pantries. Food is free there. It helps you save a few $$
  10. If you are going for the graduate program and don’t have a graduate assistantship. When you arrive at school. Go to every department and ask if they have available GA positions. If you can’t find any. Try on campus at the dining, library, and Student Help Desk/ ID services. Find a job.
  11. Schools have on their websites links you can use to search for available open Graduate Assistantships, Tuition Scholarships, and Research Assistantships as well. Explore every possible way to get one. Email graduate coordinators of departments and ask if they have openings.
  12. Avoid moving around with people who carry weed in their car if it’s not legal. Stay away from trouble and be a law-abiding citizen. There are people at home conjuring for you to be deported. Be a decent human being and treat people with dignity and respect.
  13. Don’t open your sharp mouth and moral compass calling people ashawo because they are wearing super revealing clothes. During the summer, me sef no dey wear boxers. I’m not about to have my balls on fire. Yes, I run shirtless too. Not for the girls, it’s to enjoy the breeze.
  14. Don’t go and be falling in love with someone that don’t have papers. You better find a pathway with some who has the pathway. Don’t be like the Ghanaians that would be dating themselves until graduation, then they run from one school to another until they go bald.
  15. Avoid families with kids if you are trying to get summer hustle. They are mostly looking for free Nannies. They’ll be luring you with food and free shelter. Find friends inn big cities like NY, NJ, Chicago, Houston etc where you can hustle to raise money during summer.
  16. Don’t come here and get pregnant with no husband and meaningful partner. You will suffer well well! Use protection or get a birth control. Your insurance should cover it. Go to Hospitals/ community health center and request for condoms. Bring condoms from Nigeria it’s cheaper.
  17. As a US student, you can get Canadian/ UK visa easily. You can travel to Mexico with a valid US visa. Have fun and travel when you can. Make friends and enjoy road trips. America is boring and lonely. It’s only sex and trips we use to handle boredom.
  18. Microsoft 365 is free for students. Once you setup your school email. Google Microsoft Education and verify your student status. You can get used stuff on Craigslist or Facebook market (thread with caution). Identify with community groups on campus and make meaningful friends.
  19. Before you buy books, check if your library had the book if they don’t, try inter library loan via school website. They will look for the food from other affiliate libraries and mail it to you. It’s free. Bookfi.en free pdf books. sells cheap used books.
  20. During winter, schools and churches do coat drive where they give out free coats. Google those resource. Buy your winter coats this summer, it’s cheaper. Check Marshalls, TJmaxx, Ross Store, Savers or Salvation Army. If you have extra bucks, check
  21. Be creative and bring some simple Ankara fabric here. Ankara tote bags and simple Ankra vest sells well. You can make sales when your school organize open sales. You can sell via Facebook market too. Americans love those stuff and can spare some dollars buying it.
  22. It is very easy to add weight here. I went from 70 KG to 80KG in less than 2 months. I was eating like a thief. The rest of mind and the ease of things will make you add some weight. Exercise! Exercise! Schools have gyms and swimming pool. Learn how to swim if you can.
  23. Avoid scam! Stay away from people asking you to cash PayPal for them, open bank account or credit cards for them. Don’t open email for anyone with your details. Don’t cash check or receive payments for people. Protect yourself from scam. They will track down and arrest you.
  24. There is nothing out of this world about being intimate with a white woman. Don’t be too obsessed over nothing. Work on developing yourself first and leave out your fantasy at home. My brother, focus! Focus! Sex is cheaper than cookies here. However, be very careful.
  25. Don’t be in a hurry to send money home. I know demands from Nigeria will be high when you move here. Avoid sharing your numbers with everyone. Restrict your cell number with your immediate family. Settle yourself first before thinking of anyone. Don’t pressure yourself!
  26. Departments have conference travel funds for graduate students. It comes in form of reimbursement. You pay for the trip and hotel and they would reimburse you for your expense. Leverage on that funds to gather travel experience and network. Ask around. Information is key.
  27. If you love football and you know about officiating a match. It’s easy to get a referee license within your city. It doesn’t cost more than $30 to get one. Try and go for the license and you can referee for local high school or kids matches and get a minimum of $100 per match.
  28. Most of the companies like Apple, Samsung, Dell, Spotify, etc usually have student discount of up to 10%. Use it. Always look for student discounts. Ask them if they have student discount tap on it. Always check return policy on any item you purchase.
  29. If you ever find yourself homeless or don’t have a place to stay or can’t afford a hotel. States/ Cities usually have homeless/ temporary shelter. You don’t need to be a citizen or have social security to have access to the shelter. You can stay as long as you want.
  30. Stay away from traffic offenses like DUI. Don’t ever drink and drive. This might affect your Green Card/ Citizenship application. Your public trust would reduce with crime of that nature. Take Uber/ Lyft if you know you would drink. Protect your future and use your head.
  31. If you ever find yourself or miss your way back home at any point, don’t be scared to call 911. Police would come and take you home in as much as you have your address. This should only be done in times of distress and there are no available option.
  32. Brace up! It can get really boring and lonely here with no families around. It can be depressing truly. Your sleep pattern might change. Look for activities within the community you can do to keep yourself active. Focus on your studies, strive to be the best.
  33. If you are a lazy writer, you might have issues with grad program. Learn how to write/ paraphrase. Follow approved writing styles. Either APA/MLA/ Chicago. Copying without crediting sources appropriately will get you kicked out of school.
  34. The library have a lot of resources that are free. Student tutor that can help you proof read your work and writing deficiencies. If you’re struggling with any class. Go to the library and ask for tutor in those subjects. Don’t be silent. Reach out to your professors.
  35. Respect peoples choices and sexual preference. Don’t be out there telling people how to live their life or their choice is bad/wrong. If you see Tokunbo dey kiss man, look away, it’s not your business. Nobody ask you anything.
  36. Once you enter US, you’re here for good. Just buckle your seat belt and stay out trouble. Life might be hard in the beginning, but be rest assured there is halogen lamp at the end of the tunnel. Follow the process and don’t engage in illegal activities. Beg if needed.
  37. If you’re a woman, bring plenty wigs. As much as you can lay your hands on. If possible bring attachments. Even if it’s Darling Yaki you can afford bring it. You’ll only look like those old African CNA nurses, but you’ll be fine. It’s expensive to make hair here.
  38. Open a local bank account. I know you want to use Bank of America/ Welsfsrgo. As a student I don’t think banks would charge you maintenance fee. Even if they do, they might require a monthly direct deposit that goes into the account so they can waive the fee.
  39. Stay away from credit cards as a student if you can, try as much as possible. If you can’t, I would advice you get a discover card. It’s good and has easy approval for student without credit history. They have good cash back bonuses too. Don’t be swiping the card like hushpuppi.
  40. Once you settle fully. There is a referral program organized by banks, tap into it. I made more than $500 every session from it. I refer international students from Nigeria to the bank and we both get $50 Visa card each. Sometimes I refer like 15 students every semester. If you’re buying tickets to travel, return tickets are sometimes cheaper than one way tickets. Buy your tickets ahead of time if you can. Crayfish is expensive here, brown beans is expensive here,

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