7 Things You Need to Know Before You Japa 

September 24, 2022

It’s japa season, so every other day, one more person is planning to leave the country. And with the amount of information flying around, it’s hard to tell which is true or false. 

So we asked Nigerians abroad to share the biggest japa lesson they’ve learnt. 

Don’t spend your money on clothes in Nigeria 

— Lanre, relocated three months ago

I understand wanting to buy new clothes before travelling but don’t do it. Clothes are even more affordable here. Use that money to buy foodstuffs — get enough to last at least your first month. 

Getting there is just the first step

— Ifeanyi*, relocated a year ago

Don’t think getting here will be the end of all your struggles because it’s not. When you see plenty “foreign” things you want to try, you need to exercise financial constraints. Manage your money because even if you don’t get the job you were hoping for, you’d still have a ton of bills to pay. 

Google map is your friend

— Joan, relocated two months ago 

It’s hard enough trying to navigate a new country alone. I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten lost while struggling to read the map.

Make sure you have your accommodation sorted

— Gbenga, relocated three years ago

Whether you’re staying with family, student accommodation or getting your own place, make sure you have all the details of your accommodation sorted properly before you even leave Nigeria. You’d think this was common knowledge, but a friend of mine had already gotten to Canada when the family friend he wanted to stay with stopped taking his calls. 

Student routes are the easiest 

— Josh, relocated three years ago

Having a bachelor’s degree in Nigeria makes it easy to apply for your Master’s degree. And in the United States, when you do a STEM course, you become eligible for a 3-year work visa. 

So it’s easier for you to transition from a blue to a white-collar job capable of sponsoring your green card after graduation. 

Be ready to put in the work 

— Osas, relocated four years ago

They’re a lot of opportunities, but you need to be hardworking. If you want more money, be ready to work more hours and take on more jobs. It won’t be convenient, but you’ll see your money. 

Never forget where you came from 

— Adam*, relocated seven years ago 

You’re going to feel alienated — sometimes, it’ll feel like you don’t have friends. In those times, remembering where you came from and where you’re headed will be your anchor. 

*Some names have been changed for anonymity.


READ NEXT: Even My Siblings Didn’t Know About My Japa Plans

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