Friday, August 22, 2014

Going to America

A few years ago Moses Onyeabor’s goal in life was to finish secondary school.  He thought the best that he could ever be was to become a petty trader like his elder brother, but he did not stop dreaming of a university education and a better future.  Thanks to the U.S. Embassy’s Education USA Advising Center’s United States Achievers Program (USAP), Moses is now the proud recipient of a $41,000 scholarship from the Arizona State University, to study Biochemistry.  His scholarship includes the award of a laptop computer, living stipends and air tickets.  Through USAP, the U.S. Embassy’s Education USA Advising Center identifies highly talented, economically disadvantaged straight ‘A’ students and mentors them through the application process to U.S. colleges and universities that offer them admission with full scholarship.

Moses shared his story at the 2014 pre departure orientation for 80 Nigerian students who have secured admission to study at various U.S. universities.  The orientation helps prepare the students for study and life in the U.S.  To this end, Nigerians currently studying in the U.S. are invited to share their experiences and offer advice to the students on how to adjust to life in America.  One such returning student is David Ajoku, an aeronautical engineering major at Western Michigan University.  He told the students to deconstruct the meaning of failure, set standards and ask questions.  “If you don’t ask questions they can come back to haunt you,” he advised.  Another returning student Nathan Shaiyan, studying software engineering at Michigan Technological University said, “although academics comes first there’s always time for fun.”  He advised the new students to plan their schedule at the beginning of the semester and “be careful about how you spend your money.”  He also reechoed the need to always ask questions, noting that most times, what you think is a stupid question could actually be what everyone else wanted to ask anyway.

Offering more tips on life in America, the Embassy’s Cultural Affairs officer Bill Strassberger said Americans tend to be more informal, which explains the use of first names.  He further said Americans are more individualistic, believe in self-help and are more direct and blunt.  Mr. Strassberger emphasized the need to be punctual “as there’s no African time in America.”

The departing students are undergraduate and graduate students accepted at various institutions in America, including the University of California Berkeley, Drexel University, Bryn Mawr and Howard.  They will be studying a variety of majors including Engineering, Public Health, Computer Science, Business, Economics, and Creative Writing.  Six members of the Education USA received full Master Card Foundation scholarships totaling $311, 410 (three hundred and eleven thousand and four hundred and ten dollars) to study at the University of California Berkeley, Arizona State University and Michigan State University.


  1. Really interesting. Would like to get information on how to get a scholarship for a Masters and P.hd in Education if possible.

  2. how can i apply for a scholarship to study law

  3. How can i apply for phd in special and inclusive education.