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Life In The Usa As A Student. - Travel - Nairaland

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General U.s.a (student) Visa Enquiries-part 8 / General U.s.a (student) Visa Enquiries-part 7 / General U.s.a (student) Visa Enquiries-part 6 (2) (3) (4)

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Life In The Usa As A Student. by uberino(m): 5:55pm On Feb 05, 2012
This is a sub division of the Usa visa enquires page directed to students already in the US.

The Saudi's, Indians, Chinese that are here in the states help out their fellow brothers and sisters from the same country that is why they continually grow.
In unity we STAND, Divided we FALL! Do what you can to help!

Please share your experiences on how you survive as a student here in the states:

-From buying groceries
-Paying rent
-Doing assignments/Research and thesis
-Reading plans
-Getting a phone line and cheaper plan
-Getting scholarships
-Graduate/resident assistantships
-Owing a used car (if necessary), Getting a bus pass
-Getting a licence
-Getting a State ID
-Making the right friends.
-Getting a job on campus/off campus
or anything you think might be of help to a newbie in the states.


Please allow others to give their opinions because costs vary in different states.

6 Likes

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by Nobody: 6:14pm On Feb 05, 2012
Will contribute to this thread in a bit.

2 Likes

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by uberino(m): 6:34pm On Feb 05, 2012
Thanks, i am curious to know how you feed with 40bucks for 2weeks though.

1 Like

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by imperiouxx(m): 6:34pm On Feb 05, 2012
uberino:

This is a sub division of the Usa visa enquires page directed to students already in the US.

The Saudi's, Indians, Chinese that are here in the states help out their fellow brothers and sisters from the same country that is why they continually grow.
In unity we STAND, Divided we FALL! Do what you can to help!

Please share your experiences on how you survive as a student here in the states:

-From buying groceries
-Paying rent
-Doing assignments/Research and thesis
-Reading plans
-Getting a phone line and cheaper plan
-Getting scholarships
-Graduate/resident assistantships
-Owing a used car (if necessary), Getting a bus pass
-Getting a licence
-Getting a State ID
-Making the right friends.
-Getting a job on campus/off campus
or anything you think might be of help to a newbie in the states.

Please allow others to give their opinions because costs vary in different states.


That's the main point.
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by Nobody: 6:43pm On Feb 05, 2012
uberino:

Thanks, i am curious to know how you feed with 40bucks for 2weeks though.

Very easy.
Depends on your taste and how frugal you are with money.
Lets say rice (5lb bag about $7), bread - no more than $3, eggs - patapata $3, tin tomatoes (5 tins max at about 70cents/tin), chicken (you should be able to get a big pack of wings for less than $10), vegetables, ground pepper . . .
If you are lucky have someone send you beans and garri from nigeria or at worst buy powdered potatoes (very cheap).

What else do you eat? You be naija boy, what makes feeding expensive is when you start going out to eat at restaurants or buying fast foods. Those things add up real fast.

16 Likes

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by uberino(m): 6:54pm On Feb 05, 2012
Correct man! i'll try your list and see if it works. By the way is there any grocery store in particular i should go to. I think theres a Market Basket, Hannfords and Walmart close to my place.

1 Like

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by Nobody: 7:01pm On Feb 05, 2012
-Paying rent - I believe its better to get an apt outside campus. Especially for those who dont have family here, it means you have a place to live when school is out of session. You can either get a cheap studio or get a room mate to lower the burden of the cost. Always and i say ALWAYS get an apt with all utilities included in the rent for your first year until you know how water, gas, electric bills work. Especially in winter, your gas bill could be very high if you dont know how to be judicious with heating your apt.

-Doing assignments/Research and thesis - frankly this is on you. No one can tell you how to read.

-Reading plans - again if you need someone to tell you how to read then you should not be in school.

-Getting a phone line and cheaper plan - For your first year, get a prepaid phone. When you are sure you know how much you typically have in finances a month then you can go for a contract phone. Tmobile was cheaper for me when i first came. Verizon and AT&T are too expensive for students unless your papa hold pepper! If you have family here, ask them what provider they use and see if you can use the same - that way your frequent calls are free.
You do not need a smart phone as a student! Save your money! NEVER use your phone to call international - its very expensive so use phone cards (penny talk is a good one).

-Getting scholarships - You should arrange that BEFORE you start school so you are not left hanging with bills you did not anticipate
-Graduate/resident assistantships - As a grad student in the biological sciences, this is a given. I suggest you try PhD programs, its free for the bio sciences. your mentor's grant pays for this. Arranging assistantships with your dept should be easy.

-Owing a used car (if necessary), Getting a bus pass - Dont buy a car for your first yr or 2. the fees add up very quickly. Since you have never driven in the US before, your insurance will be high too, you also need time to get used to the traffic rules. you dont want to rack up traffic tickets so fast.  grin
If you must own a car, it will depend on how much money you have. If you know you can depend on a constant stream of financial support from your parents then buy a new car (keep your car note payments below $200/month if you can) - that way you can start building credit. If you dont have much then go for a used car - best bet is to get one from an auction direct if you can get a dealer to help you with that.

With regard to bus passes, i usually skip those as i cant guarantee i will use most of it anyway. Most schools should have free buses for students. find out.

-Getting a licence - bring your naija license with you to the DMV when you apply. That way you can avoid having to go through the annoying road testing to get a license in most states. NEVER EVER drive without a valid US license, at worst have your naija license with you and show this to the cop if you are stopped. find out if your state honors foreign licenses though.

-Getting a State ID - this should be the first thing you do! Just go to the DMV and give them the requested documents. U should be able to get a temporary one in a few hours.

-Making the right friends. - depends on you.

-Getting a job on campus/off campus - its not a good idea to depend on this for the bulk of your finances. to get a job you will need a valid SSN and can only work after your first yr for no more than 20hrs/week

25 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by uberino(m): 7:03pm On Feb 05, 2012
imperiouxx:

That's the main point.

Yes ohh imperiouxx lets do what we can to help each other out.
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by imperiouxx(m): 7:05pm On Feb 05, 2012
Guys, address the issue of telephony. I have been having tough time with t-mobile and their SIM stuff, my order hang in ''pending transaction'' since last week, I know it's issue with my bank here. Thanks

1 Like

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by uberino(m): 7:24pm On Feb 05, 2012
davidylan:

-Paying rent - I believe its better to get an apt outside campus. Especially for those who dont have family here, it means you have a place to live when school is out of session. You can either get a cheap studio or get a room mate to lower the burden of the cost. Always and i say ALWAYS get an apt with all utilities included in the rent for your first year until you know how water, gas, electric bills work. Especially in winter, your gas bill could be very high if you dont know how to be judicious with heating your apt.

-Doing assignments/Research and thesis - frankly this is on you. No one can tell you how to read.

-Reading plans - again if you need someone to tell you how to read then you should not be in school.

-Getting a phone line and cheaper plan - For your first year, get a prepaid phone. When you are sure you know how much you typically have in finances a month then you can go for a contract phone. Tmobile was cheaper for me when i first came. Verizon and AT&T are too expensive for students unless your papa hold pepper! If you have family here, ask them what provider they use and see if you can use the same - that way your frequent calls are free.
You do not need a smart phone as a student! Save your money! NEVER use your phone to call international - its very expensive so use phone cards (penny talk is a good one).

-Getting scholarships - You should arrange that BEFORE you start school so you are not left hanging with bills you did not anticipate
-Graduate/resident assistantships - As a grad student in the biological sciences, this is a given. I suggest you try PhD programs, its free for the bio sciences. your mentor's grant pays for this. Arranging assistantships with your dept should be easy.

-Owing a used car (if necessary), Getting a bus pass - Dont buy a car for your first yr or 2. the fees add up very quickly. Since you have never driven in the US before, your insurance will be high too, you also need time to get used to the traffic rules. you dont want to rack up traffic tickets so fast.  grin
If you must own a car, it will depend on how much money you have. If you know you can depend on a constant stream of financial support from your parents then buy a new car (keep your car note payments below $200/month if you can) - that way you can start building credit. If you dont have much then go for a used car - best bet is to get one from an auction direct if you can get a dealer to help you with that.

With regard to bus passes, i usually skip those as i cant guarantee i will use most of it anyway. Most schools should have free buses for students. find out.

-Getting a licence - bring your naija license with you to the DMV when you apply. That way you can avoid having to go through the annoying road testing to get a license in most states. NEVER EVER drive without a valid US license, at worst have your naija license with you and show this to the cop if you are stopped. find out if your state honors foreign licenses though.

-Getting a State ID - this should be the first thing you do! Just go to the DMV and give them the requested documents. U should be able to get a temporary one in a few hours.

-Making the right friends. - depends on you.

-Getting a job on campus/off campus - its not a good idea to depend on this for the bulk of your finances. to get a job you will need a valid SSN and can only work after your first yr for no more than 20hrs/week



impeccable davidylan! Nice one thank you. More responses please,


@imperiouxx call t-mobile on 877.822.7768 or use their live chat. I got mine from the t-mobile stall in a mall and they gave me my sim immediately.
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by deevick246(m): 8:45pm On Feb 05, 2012
@ Davidylan,

Your posts here are very insightful, as they are eye opener to many of the questions running through the heart of a lot of Prospective students. I can only but advice or plead with others to follow suit.


@ Uberino,

Nice initiative you demonstrated by creating this new thread. I hope it serve its purpose though.
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by imperiouxx(m): 9:22pm On Feb 05, 2012
uberino:



impeccable davidylan! Nice one thank you. More responses please,


@imperiouxx  call t-mobile on 877.822.7768 or use their live chat. I got mine from the t-mobile stall in a mall and they gave me my sim immediately.


Yeah, I checked Walmart but I couldn't get it there only to be referred to t-mobile store or i finish with the online transaction.
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by myforumid3: 10:29pm On Feb 05, 2012
This is truly a great thread. Nice one OP.
Davidylan, you too much.
Will contribute mine soon.

1 Like

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by uberino(m): 11:37pm On Feb 05, 2012
deevick246:


@ Uberino,

Nice initiative you demonstrated by creating this new thread. I hope it serve its purpose though.

Thanks, i hope so too.

1 Like

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by cophild: 12:05am On Feb 06, 2012
wow, this is a nice thread indeed, My people,my school has refused giving Us SSN o and dis makes life difficult cos there re alot of tins U cant do without it, I m seriously thinking of transfering abi hw una c am, As per d driving thing,re u guys saying dat i can use my naija licence, thanks
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by Nobody: 3:02pm On Feb 06, 2012
imperiouxx:


Yeah, I checked Walmart but I couldn't get it there only to be referred to t-mobile store or i finish with the online transaction.

when getting a phone for the first time, go to the store directly.
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by Nobody: 3:05pm On Feb 06, 2012
cophild:

wow, this is a nice thread indeed, My people,my school has refused giving Us SSN o and dis makes life difficult cos there re alot of tins U cant do without it, I m seriously thinking of transfering abi hw una c am, As per d driving thing,re u guys saying dat i can use my naija licence, thanks

the rules changed a few yrs ago. You can only obtain an SSN from the social security office if you have a job, other than that you would be given an ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number) just in case you have a grant or scholarship from your school that you must report on your taxes. Try and get on-campus jobs (the 20hrs/week thingy) after your first year then apply for the SSN again. You will have to manage without it for your first yr.

Man without an SSN you may as well live in Nigeria. You cant do jack.

1 Like

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by kemmeye: 4:05pm On Feb 06, 2012
davidylan:

the rules changed a few yrs ago. You can only obtain an SSN from the social security office if you have a job, other than that you would be given an ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number) just in case you have a grant or scholarship from your school that you must report on your taxes. Try and get on-campus jobs (the 20hrs/week thingy) after your first year then apply for the SSN again. You will have to manage without it for your first yr.

Man without an SSN you may as well live in Nigeria. You cant do jack.


true but even with a social security number you still cant work outside of school thats if you are on an f-1 visa so, its still the 20hr a week thingy
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by gongoaso1: 4:12pm On Feb 06, 2012
Excellent Thread!

Will be back in a bit.

Davidylan has said it all already.
cool
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by deevick246(m): 4:14pm On Feb 06, 2012
@ Davidylan,

I must really commend you for the great work you are doing here. I can say with confident that you are well grounded in matters regarding studentship and other related aspect in yankee.

I would like to ask you this few questions: what state in the US did u study and what state do u reside?
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by deevick246(m): 4:19pm On Feb 06, 2012
gongo aso:

Excellent Thread!

Will be back in a bit.

Davidylan has said it all already.
cool



Chairman, where have you been? People like you shouldn't be far from this thread naaaa. Haba!!! At least you should be showing your presence here once in a while.
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by Wallie(m): 4:20pm On Feb 06, 2012
uberino:

This is a sub division of the Usa visa enquires page directed to students already in the US.

The Saudi's, Indians, Chinese that are here in the states help out their fellow brothers and sisters from the same country that is why they continually grow.
In unity we STAND, Divided we FALL! Do what you can to help!

Please share your experiences on how you survive as a student here in the states:

-From buying groceries
-Paying rent
-Doing assignments/Research and thesis
-Reading plans
-Getting a phone line and cheaper plan
-Getting scholarships
-Graduate/resident assistantships
-Owing a used car (if necessary), Getting a bus pass
-Getting a licence
-Getting a State ID
-Making the right friends.
-Getting a job on campus/off campus
or anything you think might be of help to a newbie in the states.


Please allow others to give their opinions because costs vary in different states.


The easiest route to surviving financially while in school is by getting free money (scholarships and grants). How much money can you get? I have family members that pocket about $20k every semester in addition to whatever they get per hour for tutoring other students at school.

Go to your school’s Financial Aid Office and inquire about scholarships/grants available to students.
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by comechop(m): 4:26pm On Feb 06, 2012
finally a great thread worthy of FP. Will add my contributions in a bit.

1 Like

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by Nobody: 4:37pm On Feb 06, 2012
deevick246:

@ Davidylan,

I must really commend you for the great work you are doing here. I can say with confident that you are well grounded in matters regarding studentship and other related aspect in yankee.

I would like to ask you this few questions: what state in the US did u study and what state do u reside?


thanks bro. Wish i had this help while i was starting out like you all.
Studied in NY (upstate) and live in Michigan state.
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by dayokanu(m): 4:42pm On Feb 06, 2012
kemmeye:


true but even with a social security number you still cant work outside of school thats if you are on an f-1 visa so, its still the 20hr a week thingy

Yes cos your SS card would have Not authorised for work without DHS approval.

I know some Naija try to clean it but it doesnt work again. Employers now use e-verify and they just need the number to know your are not eligible to work.

The only choice you would have if you want to work outside campus is to get those menial jobs or if in a big city African stores that would pay you low and under the counter.

My advice is this try to get a SSN while in school and the way you can get it is if you get an on-campus job Dont mind the kind of job even if its Kitchen or dining job as long as you have a letter of employment, take it to Social Security office and they would give you a SSN immediately cos you need it to file your taxes.

Without an SSN you are almost useless cos theres no way to identify you in the system

7 Likes

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by mcqt21: 4:56pm On Feb 06, 2012
mr davidlan giv me yur pin/contact o $ further info
Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by Nobody: 5:07pm On Feb 06, 2012
mcqt21:

mr davidlan giv me yur pin/contact o $ further info

bros i no get blackberry. email me - davidylan@yahoo.com

2 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by sandysprax(m): 5:09pm On Feb 06, 2012
Abeg how can a Masters degree graduate from London migrate to USA or Canada successfully? They have reversed the Post Study Work rule here in the UK.It means that once u finish ur studies, u are expected to "vacate the premises".Can anyone gimme me useful advice on how i can successfully migrate from here(UK) to either Canada or USA as i will soon round up my studies here.Thanks guyz!

1 Like 1 Share

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by Nobody: 5:12pm On Feb 06, 2012
davidylan:

-Paying rent - I believe its better to get an apt outside campus. Especially for those who dont have family here, it means you have a place to live when school is out of session. You can either get a cheap studio or get a room mate to lower the burden of the cost. Always and i say ALWAYS get an apt with all utilities included in the rent for your first year until you know how water, gas, electric bills work. Especially in winter, your gas bill could be very high if you dont know how to be judicious with heating your apt.

-Doing assignments/Research and thesis - frankly this is on you. No one can tell you how to read.

-Reading plans - again if you need someone to tell you how to read then you should not be in school.

-Getting a phone line and cheaper plan - For your first year, get a prepaid phone. When you are sure you know how much you typically have in finances a month then you can go for a contract phone. Tmobile was cheaper for me when i first came. Verizon and AT&T are too expensive for students unless your papa hold pepper! If you have family here, ask them what provider they use and see if you can use the same - that way your frequent calls are free.
You do not need a smart phone as a student! Save your money! NEVER use your phone to call international - its very expensive so use phone cards (penny talk is a good one).

-Getting scholarships - You should arrange that BEFORE you start school so you are not left hanging with bills you did not anticipate
-Graduate/resident assistantships - As a grad student in the biological sciences, this is a given. I suggest you try PhD programs, its free for the bio sciences. your mentor's grant pays for this. Arranging assistantships with your dept should be easy.

-Owing a used car (if necessary), Getting a bus pass - Dont buy a car for your first yr or 2. the fees add up very quickly. Since you have never driven in the US before, your insurance will be high too, you also need time to get used to the traffic rules. you dont want to rack up traffic tickets so fast.  grin
If you must own a car, it will depend on how much money you have. If you know you can depend on a constant stream of financial support from your parents then buy a new car (keep your car note payments below $200/month if you can) - that way you can start building credit. If you dont have much then go for a used car - best bet is to get one from an auction direct if you can get a dealer to help you with that.

With regard to bus passes, i usually skip those as i cant guarantee i will use most of it anyway. Most schools should have free buses for students. find out.

-Getting a licence - bring your naija license with you to the DMV when you apply. That way you can avoid having to go through the annoying road testing to get a license in most states. NEVER EVER drive without a valid US license, at worst have your naija license with you and show this to the cop if you are stopped. find out if your state honors foreign licenses though.

-Getting a State ID - this should be the first thing you do! Just go to the DMV and give them the requested documents. U should be able to get a temporary one in a few hours.

-Making the right friends. - depends on you.

-Getting a job on campus/off campus - its not a good idea to depend on this for the bulk of your finances. to get a job you will need a valid SSN and can only work after your first yr for no more than 20hrs/week

You've said pretty much everything. I school in Ohio and there is nothing like a temporary state ID unless you mean a temporary drivers license. I do not have an Ohio state ID but I have a license. Bear it in mind that when you apply for a license in a state, you'll be asked for proof of residency in that state. In Ohio, I know you can drive with your Nigerian license for at most one year and you must have an Insurance. Depending on where you're from, you might still have to take the written and road tests. I had to even though I had a Nigerian license. T-Mobile is a cheap carrier. There is also Sprint and Cricket

1 Like

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by armyofone(f): 5:12pm On Feb 06, 2012
ummmm, David your 23 dollars for food not working for me at all. wheat bread alone  lipsrsealed and i eat one with flax seed too  wink.

OP, work hard and keep your 3.8 or 4.0 gpa . . . you will get some scholarships maybe more than 1 sef each could get you some addition 300 (note that they spread it out for the semester).

just go to your ISO (International student office) of your school. they got much info for you about SSN and jobs.
you can't work outside school, unless intern/coop. Campus job not bad. look for tutoring job. it pays better.
my first job on campus was working at the college cafeteria making sandwich then another dept making pizza. the pizza one funny. imagine working from 7-10am then running to class at 10am  grin grin with pizza flour all over, looking back i laugh  grin and the pay sucks cheesy
my next job was tutoring. not bad pay  cheesy

10 Likes 1 Share

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by armyofone(f): 5:16pm On Feb 06, 2012
without good gpa, no oyinbo scholarship or grant for you. if i were to tell someone fresh from obodo something special, it would be focus on getting good gpa and forget working for now at least for the first and second semester or more.
it is hard combining working and getting that ''good gpa''. so focus on school. the good gpa will give you upper hand with internship too.

1 Like

Re: Life In The Usa As A Student. by Haribo: 5:29pm On Feb 06, 2012
Some of these may have been mentioned already, but I'll reiterate just in case.

- Apply for a research assistantship position if you're looking for a job, instead of your regular resident assistant or other forms of campus employment. This will help you get to know your faculty better (recommendation letters will be a breeze). If you're good enough, you might get published (good for resume & future opportunites). The pay is usually WAAAYYY better than the minimum wage you'll earn on other jobs (at least in my experience), and if you're good you may get a free ride for your masters/PhD.

- Participate in extracurricular activities. Volunteer, participate in your international student group, pick up a sport, DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN STUDY. The memories and connections you'll gain from these activities will last you way past graduation. Also, try to be a leader in an organization. The exposure you'll get from this will be awesome for your resume & future opportunities.

- Participate in a study abroad or exchange program. This is my one and only 'regret' in my whole college experience. It can only do you good, plus it's your opportunity to meet people and study in a different area smiley

- Don't forget to date!! Guys & gals, college will be the one time in your life where you are exposed to a huge pool of potential partners. I'm not saying you must find a husband/wife or something, but don't be too focused on studies to ignore your romantic education wink You may not get married to someone you meet in college, but at least you'll have some knowledge of what you want/don't want in a relationship. This is very important. I know some folks that were too 'serious' for dating back in college, and  to tell you that they regret it now would be an understatement.

- Get at least ONE summer internship. This is very important. Don't waste your summer doing nothing, or going home to sit in your parents house and eat eba all summer long. Get a JOB! When you graduate and start your job search, this experience will set you apart from your peers.

- Live off campus after your 1st semester. It's cheaper and your home cooked food will always taste better than the crap they feed you on campus. If you don't know how to cook then I don't know what to say, it must suck to be you though wink

- Take one or both of these classes (in whatever form your school offers them): (1) Religions of the World and (2) Human S*xuality. Trust me ignorance is NOT bliss. You need to educate yourself on the reality of life, acting like certain things don't exist won't make them go away.  Free your mind and the rest will follow! Shebi they sent you to school to learn,

- Live within your means. I know some Naija people like to spend $$ like there's no tomorrow, so they can post their nice pics on fb and make everyone see how they're living it up in the US. Don't get caught up with trying to impress people. No. one. cares. And if you need to spend money you don't have in order to make friends, then maybe you should just be by yourself. Commonsense I know, but I've seen to many people mess up big time trying to impress others. Its not worth it.

- Oh and one very important thing, make sure you stay on the good side of the staff of the international office. Don't mess with them. They are the ones that will tell you how to go about getting your SSN, OPT, CPT, and whatever other acronymns the govt. decides to throw your way. They are also good for tips on scholarships if needed.

I could say a lot more, but I think this is a good addition to what's already been said. Good luck!

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