Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I decided to study in the United States because of my willingness to embrace diversity and grow personally and academically. The US educational system is flexible and has afforded me the opportunity to explore many opportunities.
Why did you choose Minnesota State University Mankato?
I chose the Minnesota State University Mankato because it provides quality and direct services to students and hosts enriching educational programs, cultural activities and insightful conferences.
What do you like best about your program?
I enjoy my program (Urban Planning) because it has exposed me to practical work experience, particularly in the area of sustainable development. I currently intern with the City of Saint Peter as GreenStep Project Coordinator where I have been asked to spearhead the city’s effort in joining the GreenStep program and be recognized as a GreenStep city.
What do you miss most about home?
I miss the food at home.
What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?
To me, it is fun and surprising at the same time. Education in the US is arguably one of the best in the world. You feel equipped and skilled in what you do. You will also be prepared for the job market.
... your biggest disappointment?
I honestly don’t have any. Every setback or disappointment has been a learning experience for me.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
It’s being managed well. Make the other communicator feel comfortable around you, and you will understand each other better.
In spite of the quality of education in Minnesota State University Mankato, the cost of attendance is still affordable. Most of our international undergraduate students are awarded a cultural contribution scholarship, which allows them a savings of more US$7000 per academic year in tuition. For Graduate students, a good number of them, like me, has a Graduate Assistantship job, which provides a tuition waiver and a biweekly stipend.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
It is culturally shocking at first, but I have been able adjust to the style and methods used by instructors.
What are your activities?
I am pretty much a homebody, but am always up for it whenever there are activities going on.
How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?
Making friends is easy and people here are nice and polite.
What are your career goals? How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
Ultimately, my goal is to help create an enabling environment where living and non-living things can co-habit without depleting the resources needed for the future. When I go back to Nigeria, I want to preach the gospel of sustainable development in urban and sub-urban planning.
What is your advice to other students from Nigeria who are considering a U.S. education?
My advice for them is to be genuine in their desire to come to the US to study, and when they finally get here, make good use of their time to acquire all the knowledge needed for them to be useful to society and become better people.