Moving to a new school is scary. Moving to a new country can also be scary. Moving to a new school in a new country? Well, you get the picture.
If you’re in this exciting but nerve-wracking position, don’t worry—easier said than done, we know. IPFW international senior accounting student Eseosa Igbinijesu made the move from Nigeria three years ago and we sat down with her to find out about her experience.
So, as an international student from Nigeria, why did you pick IPFW? How did you even hear about IPFW in the first place?
“My sister actually had a friend who went here,” Igbinijesu says. “There were so many schools to apply to, so I didn’t really know how to start the whole application process. She helped me out with that. The biggest factor was that we were looking for somewhere that was affordable, somewhere that would be really convenient, because my parents are paying for my university. I actually got the Chancellor’s Merit scholarship for international students, which enabled me to pay the in-state tuition instead of what I would have paid if I was just paying as an international student.”
Had you ever been to the United States before?
“I had never been to the U.S. before,” Igbinijesu admits. “I came to IPFW and I really loved it here because of the sense of community… Everyone wants to make sure everyone’s succeeding. I see the effort and extra step that every department, every office takes to make sure the students are staying on track. Basically, if you need help with something, you’re always able to find that. That was great for me. I also like the fact that this is not a very huge campus because I felt like I wasn’t getting lost.”
Can you elaborate on this “sense of community”?
“Absolutely. Like I said, if it was a much bigger campus, if everyone was just going off on their own, it would have been really hard for me to adapt,” Igbinijesu says. “I felt like there were so many students and faculty trying to make sure you found a place where you belonged and you could find people who share the same interests with you. Everyone wanted to make sure you felt at home, especially when they knew I was international. That I didn’t know anyone was a big thing for me—everyone I met just wanted to make sure I was comfortable, that I felt okay, and that I wasn’t homesick all the time, and it was a really nice feeling.”
How did you make friends once you moved here?
“Coming in, I was a very shy person, I would say,” Igbinijesu says. “I wasn’t very outgoing, but different things have happened. Different friends that I have on campus have made me grow more as a person and—I don’t know how to explain it—but I came out of my shell more. The first thing I did was join a student organization and then the friends that I made there wanted to make sure that I wasn’t stranded if I needed anything. I think that was the biggest thing that happened for me—it’s still happening for me. The first friends I made were local, but I met and made international friends, too.”
What are you majoring in? Did you know before you started looking at schools that you wanted to study this?
“The way it works in my country is you’re either a science student or a social science student—I was a social science student and one of my classes that we had to take was accounting and I was really good at it,” Igbinijesu explains. “I really enjoyed it. My mom made me see that this was something I really liked, so coming here—from the beginning—I knew I wanted to be an accounting major. Through the business program before your junior year, you’re able to see and sample the different business majors and accounting kind of just stuck with me. I liked it better.”
Igbinijesu also noted that she felt she’ll be well prepared to get a job in accounting back home in Nigeria once she graduates.
Do you have any advice for other international students?
Igbinijesu emphasized the benefits of joining a student organization during our talk—everyone is very welcoming and it’s a great way to get involved on campus, make new friends, and be a part of a supportive community.