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6 Culture Shock Experiences Nigerians Studying Abroad Would Understand

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When Nigerians who studied abroad or are currently studying abroad share their culture shock experiences, they often describe certain differences in the educational system abroad and in the educational system in Nigeria. Oftentimes, they also share certain funny culture shock experiences that counter the usual way of doing things that they are accustomed to in Nigeria.

Here are six of these culture shock experiences that you might experience as a Nigerian student studying abroad:


1.)  No spice in their food.

Culture shock experiences

Imagine that you are served a bowl of bland-looking rice; no spice, no stew.  The experience of being served spiceless food is among the most common culture shock experiences common among many Nigerian students. But then with time, you learn to always travel with your own sachet or container of pepper and salt.


2.) Every man to his own

Nigerian students culture shock experiences

Many Nigerians have described the shock of finding the people in the country they travelled to study uninterested in making friends. Many people in this society like their personal space and they are rarely enthusiastic about making friends with you.

If you go abroad to study, you’d be shocked at the mind-your-business kind of setting there. A way of life that, as a Nigerian, you are unaccustomed to.

In any case, as time goes by you would learn to enjoy your own company.


3.) School administrators treating you like their customer

Culture shock experiences

Nigerian students abroad have described how university administrators do not think that they are doing you a favour, but really consider you a customer that they should please.

Your lecturers and professors also treat you like their equal. You paid for knowledge and they are dedicated to the task of helping you acquire it in the most convenient way.

Lecturers do not feel like they are gods who can determine a student’s life’s success and future outcomes.

You would find Professors inviting you to their family dinner or to join them for a social event. And students often describe instances where they have had to email or phone their professors on certain stuff that aren’t clear in the course, and how the lecturers respond promptly and warmly.


4.) A long answer not earning you the full mark

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Most times, in Nigeria, when you find ‘Explain’ in your exam question, you already know you must write about two and a half-page on the subject you are explaining. But in most cases abroad,  what they expect from you during examination is an apt, straight-to-the-point answer.

And also, many Nigerian students abroad have explained that at universities abroad, you studied to understand concepts and not to cram and pour back in your exam sheet.


5.) Addressing Lecturers without their academic titles

Culture shock experiences

Just imagine calling your Nigerian professor without his title. You can’t even imagine it.  Many Nigerian students studying abroad have often described the initial shock of finding students calling their lecturers without their academic titles and even by their first name.


6.) No crazy workload and first-class is absolutely achievable

Culture shock experiences common among Nigerian students

You have control over the number of your coursework per semester and you get your grades according to the work you put into your study.

Also, course modules are tailored to your course of interest. If you are an Economics student, you won’t be forced to take Biology in year one.

Many Nigerian students who have gone through the rigour of university education in Nigeria often achieve a GPA of 4.0/4.0


You should also read 5 funny memories that Nigerian students studying abroad remember from their time in Nigerian Universities.

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