CROSS-BORDER SURVIVAL- Studying as a Foreigner.

By Dr Chinwe Osuji.

February 10, 2013.

We live to learn as we learn to live. Education is a salient key that opens the mind to a whole new range of opportunities. Identifying possibilities and opportunities only come to those who possess the capability of deciphering and understanding the hidden mysteries of life. So, we learn when to strike a chord and when to beat the iron. All these are privileged to the one who possesses the requisite knowledge and skill. He is a workman that plays not with his tools, but rightly knowing his right from his left. He surely, knows his ways around town! A survivor must know as he lives in a foreign land, that knowledge is power. Yes, we know because we have learned and are ready to use the knowledge for survival. Either as a vocational training, degree or diploma, certification or licensing, a survivor excels based on the level of techniques that he is able to apply and use as an advantage to garner his success!

One of the core benefits of living and travelling abroad is to get the advantage of learning new things. Travel is a good part of education and those who use the benefit stand the chance of increased knowledge and understanding of issues when presented. To prepare for learning, it becomes imperative that we must decide and organize the thought pattern on what areas of interests to pursue. We must determine the nature of the education systems and seek which favor the situation best. With an already acquired home training or education, it could be wise to align the former with a new orientation and interest at hand. This will depend on the available opportunities and capabilities. Be sure to do a research of the interest areas before embarking on a cross border study adventure. This way, you are able to know what lies ahead and be prepared to take the necessary precautions when the need arises. Being open to receive and learn are critical to the cross border survival process.

Studying abroad entails the weighing of possible areas of interest.  Improving on home country training and acquiring new skills are some of the reasons for studying abroad. Getting an advanced degree and developing new talents especially, are some common reasons people travel abroad to study. Bear in mind that opportunities might require aligning the core areas with other allied or supporting interest.  Be prepared therefore to be flexible and allow yourself the opportunity to gain ancillary knowledge in related fields. Seek adequate career counseling when available and be prompt in addressing issues that might conflict the set interests. Obtain adequate facts on schools and colleges with what areas of education opportunities and compare. Go for the schools which are able to give diverse opportunities and other related training opportunities like job placement assistance, training and recruitment services. This advantage will help to sustain the hard periods of the study process. Time and cost of studies are salient points to find out and compare. This will enable the foreign learner to have a varied choice and the option to choose before embarking on the journey to study abroad.

Understand the dynamics of global and cross border travels through research as an essential component of the travel package. Engage in extensive inquiry to know which places will offer the most benefiting study and academic atmosphere. The use of study related consultancy and businesses are beneficial as they usually assist with the processing of the travel documents. Social networking media as Facebook,, and others are good avenues to contact people and students that are knowledgeable about the dynamics of global studies. Schools with foreign campuses and affiliates equally provide the opportunity to seek assistance with academic enrollments and offer open house sessions for interested students. Online brochures and training pamphlets are common resources that will help in preparing for study abroad. Some websites now have directions for contacts and links to some colleges and Universities that are open to foreign students. Fellowship and oversea internship programs are rife as these serve as a connecting point to more advanced learning in the areas of interest.

Obtain the necessary documentations and status requirements that are critical components of the cross border study process. The commonly known F-1 visa for Students is the best bet to pursue. H-1B visas will serve employment purposes. Home country embassies and consulates usually offer sessions to enlighten prospective students on the benefits inherent in cross-border studies. Use the offered sessions to find out more on what possible education benefits exist and allow for options where necessary. Narrow the search to areas of interest and also viable fields that will not only yield a degree or certification, but will be a good avenue to finding jobs as a foreigner, where the need be. Be sure to provide enough documents as schools’ official transcripts, birth certificates, and letters of recommendations, passports, and other such papers that will facilitate the travel process. This way, a good preparation is made towards successful travel and study arrangements.

Use available opportunities if already in a foreign land and engage in the necessary training that will yield better returns. The best way to go will be to do on- the- job trainings. Work along studies if the necessary support trajectory does not work. Foreign aid is always available to those who qualify. Private lenders are also ready to assist and give installment repayment arrangements.  A good choice of study field will no doubt result in good job opportunities. Acquire good training and work ethics and consider the nature of the corporate environment you are in. There is always a good chance that internship opportunities will exist during the course of the program. Use these internship opportunities to acquire job experience and skills that will pave the way to your job search. Most employers are affiliated with the training institutions and require that applicants be trained and skilled in the fields that they pursue. In all, study to show yourself approved, a good workman will never play with his tools, but will rightly perform to the best of his abilities.

Finally, seek to commit to career growth and give back to the community. Visualize the next years as you prepare and study abroad. What use and of what benefits are the study fields to the career path that you are building. Coming to America with a Law background, landing my first job a year later with a business field, and sustaining my extended stay with a healthcare field, I have come to appreciate the beauty of career diversity as a means of survival. Putting them all together for a career path is a means to an end.  Making choices between presented opportunities will require that you consider matters of family, financial, status, and other conditions that will follow. With the new age of technology, foreign students should maintain good and open contact with their home -country support, as they become acclimated to the foreign study environments. In any case, it is all about survival, and of the fittest, definitely!




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·         CROSS – BORDER SURVIVAL : Finding Jobs as a Foreigner

By Dr Chinwe Osuji

January 18, 2013.


No pain, no gain, they say. But what comes so easy in life save that which withers away at the earliest mid-day sun. The true test of knowledge lies in not only knowing, but in doing with that which is known. This is the epistemic value of knowledge inherent in the foundations of education. Passing through the schools of learning and acquiring the values of learning are only complete when that which has been learned is applied and used for human benefits, and the everyday use of man. Such is the value inherent in the use of knowledge and the ability to become effective and productive in life.  We therefore, use the things that are learned to achieve the life that we desire.

As a foreigner in another Land, I have come to the plain realization that a Masquerade dance is truly not watched at a spot. Diversity is the key.  The ability to become flexible and be oriented to the most gainful possibilities and opportunities is the pathway to global and local job success. The intuitive reason that every human has the best to offer if given the right and respectful opportunity goes a long way in bringing out the best in everyone. Be it in the area of health, education, science, or manufacturing, every task must be undertaken with the very end of meeting success. From the lower cadre of workers to the highest executives, the common faith action is the ability to be resourceful and have the right sense of value and accomplishment to oneself. It connotes the application of reason to realize the diversity and difference of every person’s situation in life. The good news is that an honest job will always yield an honest pay in the short and long run. Once the family is fed, and bills are paid, he is the good man who brings home the bacon!

Finding jobs as a foreigner will entail the attainment of a sense of shift or change. One picture to capture is to ask oneself if one is moving from a region of what concentration to the other. In plain terms, coming from a developing state or region to a developed state or region will require the change of mentality when it comes to finding jobs as a foreigner. The ability to capture what works best in any situation is critical to the planning process in cross border survival.  The level of education is typically not what counts, but it could be an impetus to finding a better job. The best way to go is to find the right training in the field you are interested in and start from a point. That way, you are able to climb up the career ladder and stay focused on the goals that are set. Allied or support services in the field are most of the means to attaining the career goal. Again, one will have to weigh the other implications as status, finance, and support to determine where and how to start in designing the cross border survival strategy.

The nature of the present state or region economy will be a matter of great thought. Once in a foreign land, the pressing or present need fields are mostly the areas for attraction in finding jobs. Find out through all available means and the internet which industries are booming. Irrespective of the nature of education obtained in the home country, the best survival strategy is to be able to find a job that will feed the family and pay the bills. Man got to eat!  It has become common stories of Princes from Africa and Europe coming to America to wash dishes and wait tables. The idea is not to dehumanize a human, but to instill the industrial sense of resourcefulness and self value. The capitalist nature of the American system thrives on the hard work and constructive sense of her people and the people who come to her. That is the American spirit, and that is what makes America great!

Cross border survival strives on the ability to make plans that will edify the person and instill the sense of accomplishment. Think about the long term goals and other career matters that are involved when choosing a field or industry to work in. As a foreign trained lawyer, I have come to understand that my career goals are sustained on the principles and practices of diversity. Meeting the goals of training and other related indices to my career path will require that other survival instincts be plugged to the career trajectory. Depending on the nature of the situation and circumstances at hand, the ability to become flexible will override the hinged road condition at any time. Related fields are explorable when the set industry or choice appears diminished or the road appears narrow!

The right sense of family and self fulfillment is paramount to maintaining a good physical and healthy attitude. A cross border survivor with family has a hard task to accomplish. There is no harm in seeking government and other social services providers to help alleviate the burden. The collected and concerned goal is to enable survival. It does not connote laziness and unproductiveness as in the African belief system. The objective is simply to help out and allow for more and increased survival in finding the means of livelihood. Use available resources therefore, and improve on the ability to establish some level of independence possible. Collective actions and household benefits are rife in the developed countries as bills are better settled when shared and the sense of boredom will become reduced in a collective living. This will save for more job search opportunities and better and coordinated job networking! Matters regarding the family are better settled and other matters arising.  Saving for the rainy day is a standpoint to cross border success.

The core and main solution to any cross border issue is finding jobs.  Talk jobs, dream jobs, see jobs, do jobs, hear jobs! Once jobs are on the line, every other thing is taken care of. An industrious survivor is sure to handle any problem once there are jobs to rely on and live on. Jobs are the household words on the lips of every cross border adventurer. Jobs will determine the success of every cross border survivor and will direct the trajectories of the cross border success.  Should there be a limit to the level and nature of the job, irrespective of the levels of diplomas and degrees in the bag, be sure to close one eye and wink, Man got to eat!

 And let the heavens send down the rain and manna, as the hands are soiled and the lips are greased!

Happy Survival!


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Cross Border Survival -  Bags and Baggage for the Journey Abroad.

By Dr Chinwe Osuji.

December 8, 2012.


One important thing to remember when making decisions is to think about what matters the most.  Out of the multitudes, a decision is made. To determine what takes precedence over the other, we ask ourselves, what use and of what benefit is derivable from this venture. Most times, we have to take the chance and endure the risk. By the way, what is life without risks? He who fears errors achieves nothing. The things we fear most are most likely to come upon us. The most remedy that comes to mind will be to be prepared.


Yes, we prepare for eventualities by making choices. Choosing from a whole collection of goodies and not so goodies.  The list is endless when Ladies pack their baggage for long distance trips. The measure of needs and valuables will no doubt fill a box, with other carry-ons on the side. For professionals, another bag is to contain an array of documents. Notable packages include collectibles and ornaments handed down from great grandparents. These could never be left behind. They are irreplaceable and are mostly success charms. These items are of immense sentimental value. The bags will have to fit, anyway!


Packing ones bags and baggage for cross border trips and to ensure cross border survival will require that we carry along, the kind of items that are both relevant and related to the nature of the trip at hand. Going for the extended stay kind of trip, as joining one’s spouse abroad or such long term relocation will require items of immense importance as pictures and such facets of common concerns. If you are going to have to apply for other papers while you are abroad, be sure to bring along all the relevant documents that will prove that you and your relationship exist and that you are human. Pictures and papers of common interactions are needful in such circumstances.


 The best way to go will be to self-educate, self investigative and self master every situation. Never let anyone define your destiny. Be ready to write your own history. Be loyal to all authorities and laws of Man. Include good friends and families and solidify your support trajectory. Leave plenty of space for self review and self authorship. Allow for trusted mentorships. Take charge and take control of your life contents and packages. Make good footprints in the sands of life. Leave lasting legacies. Just include a nice package with the inscription – I’m in charge of me! I will survive!


 Bear in mind that the basic tool for cross border survival is to be able to stand one’s ground in the case of unforeseen circumstances. Self preparation and the building of contingency blocks are paramount tools for cross border survival. Be self- oriented and research all you could about the country you are crossing to. No legal help will be greater that the help you are able to offer to yourself by being proactive and being informed about the road trip ahead. Therefore, pack your intellectual and self-informed map along with the whole load of bags and baggage for that happy and safe trip abroad.


Monitor the travel situations as they occur. Be attentive and careful and be alert as time and temperature change. The variances and the nature of the weather conditions will determine the nature of the garments to use. The seasonal changes will necessitate a change of conditions and the typical garments that go along with them. Be sure to research and ask questions as not to be left in the cold abroad. Determine what time of year is best for your trip and summon enough courage to request for a summer trip. That way, you are acclimated to the most conducive weather condition. And that makes the cross border survivor to be a good client requiring a good service. Allow plenty of time for becoming acquainted with the various conditions in the various zones that you are travelling to and make sure that your support networks will be ready and able to provide you with room and board. Make the necessary arrangements before hand on the places to be at any time and take the necessary things along.


 Cross border survival will require that all the necessary documents be at least in their respective compartments in the box. Students especially will require their school transcripts and other pertinent papers. Family related travels will require that all birth and marriage papers will be taken along. Originals and copies alike are some requisite components of your cross border survival packages. Do not forget to self-investigate and self- represent for preparation purposes. Documentation is therefore a critical aspect of the cross border survival process. 


What typically makes sense in trans-national travels is that there is enough time to plan. Engage your oversea contacts and research before hand on the necessary items that are useful while traveling abroad. Apart from the commonly transported local condiments and other food related items, it is best to save enough space for such personal items that keep you comfortable until you get acclimated to the items that are commonly used abroad. For instance, local cosmetics may appeal to a typical indigenous person for a while until the transformation and change to new things begin to set in. Allow that time for a change to a new world and become flexed to the new experience.


Packing for oversea trips therefore, includes things of the mind and of personal effects. Variety is the spice of your trip planning and again, do a good research of the places to visit abroad.

Many places will require that a person of a certain age be accompanied by adults. Children under the care of older persons will require full and adequate guidance. Therefore, be ready to self- master so that the younger one could look up to the strength and courage that you exude, and learn.


 Cross border survivors will readily adapt and face any situation that they meet abroad. This will invariably determine the nature and scope of their survival. There is no limit to the nature of the preparation to be carried out. The traveler surely knows his way around town, as there is room for more at the top, as the plane ascends the plains and soars into a whole new world. The ready and able survivor is prepared for eventualities, as the bags are filled with knowledge, and of course the power to excel, as the journey of the cross border survival begins!


Correspondence to the writer at



By Dr Chinwe Osuji

November 11, 2012

Stepping out of the plane from a long distance flight and confronting a cold weather and chilling front were not only the first impression that I got living abroad, it was the first reality. On a cold winter night almost a decade ago, I had the rare opportunity of transcending lands, oceans and seas to arrive at a Land with lots and loads to offer. Crossing one border to the other is no doubt a complex and a complicated endeavor. Navigating the many waters and overcoming shortfalls and surprises is no less a human action. It is doable as it is comprehensible. Only the knowledge of the right and the wrong of it all could save one from the cold hands of ignorance, indecisions and mistakes that confront a new comer to a foreign land. It’s all about life. It’s all about survival. Of the fittest, maybe!

No one could know it all. I tell you, knowing just a bit of what lays ahead helps to dissipate many eventualities that will surely come to pass. A good friend summed it all in three words; status, support, and money. There is no doubt that at least one of these trajectories of living is a mandatory item for surviving abroad. One must have at least a combination of one or all of the three items, to venture into the shrouded life that lies ahead, once stepping out to a foreign land. If any is lacking, be sure to find some way to compensate for the other. If all is lacking, think about it, seriously! Not that the necessary support will not seem to be there, but strive to ensure that the support is a tested and trusted support. If an iota of doubt exists in the support trajectory, think seriously about it. Life is precious. Be sure to cross the border, alive!

Cross border survival will evaluate and explain most of the critical areas of living a happy life in a foreign land. As safety is a priority, so we take it that living a life safe is the ultimate and most considerate of all available options. And we have to live happy too. In the cross border survival series, we shall be taking every issue and concern one after the other. Together, we shall look at those life's demeaning and uplifting challenges that will either mar or promote our happiness in a foreign land. As an advocate of happy living, I choose the latter and seek to make the most of every moment count. Even when it appears to be impossible to be happy, we create happiness and strictly and stubbornly stick to a happy living. So, what are the things that make us happy living in a foreign land. They are invariably the things that make us happy living at home lands. So when our source and sources of happiness dwindle with the take –off of the flight, we look back one last time and wave good bye to all the people, places and things we have loved and become entwined with as lifestyles. We therefore welcome the unknown and all the challenges ahead as we ascend to the clouds and confront a whole new world. Like Alice in Wonderland, every little facet of life becomes a magnifying glass to behold a new way of life. Not only the shocks of culture and the waves and streams of Cosmo pressure, but the inside renewal of idealism and the inevitable change of attitude to a new life.

Surviving abroad takes guts, wits, and wisdom. It takes the inert attitude, all be it, a positive attitude of a Can Do spirit. Especially when the journey is for an extended stay, compounded by family, and mixed with the desire to experience the pleasures of a new life, in a new country. Count it as bliss when the plane lands, and begin to think and tackle your ways through. The complexities are rife when your are going solo, that is sans status, money, and support. Home is therefore the best place to be at that point. Tending to fight it out intelligently and intellectually, there are many sides to a life abroad, and surviving is a task, a possible task.

Let us look at those issues and concerns that will make us live better abroad. Once we have the status, money and support, we are good to go. No matter what country and what places are involved, Africans seem to be the kind that confronts the worst of life abroad. This is because of the dwindling kindred spirits that are too much at home in Africa, but too little abroad. Survival abroad is therefore hardest for those who find it difficult to garner the necessary support to live abroad! Reason? Let us follow on the various life items as social, psychological, educational, economical, and other issues of the cross border survival series.

Correspondence to the writer @


Cross Border Survival: Thinking of Relocation Abroad!

November 21, 2012

By Dr Chinwe Osuji

One thing is sure, that you have made up your mind that you are relocating abroad. It could be for studies, family, or job. One fundamental factor for consideration is to get organized. Personal organization is the key to mastering the relocation mindset. This will include getting all the status and support pieces together. Understand that eventualities are part of the travel process. So, prepare and be ready should unexpected circumstances crop up. This does not mean ill luck, it simply means that you will need to retrace, recharge and refocus. Take that as stepping stones to a higher feat.

Anyway, let’s see how far you have gone filing your applications and preparing for your status interviews. Honesty is the key and the best policy. Do not forget that new age technology has made every fact of travel to be easily verifiable and that every move is monitored. Avoid last minute disappointments and dot your i's and cross your t's. Ask for clearance and guidance if you are in doubt. These steps will ensure that you have a smooth relocation both in the short and long terms. It is always a best practice to stay connected with your trusted supports abroad. That way, you are able to be apprised of all the necessary facts and circumstances surrounding your journey. Do your homework well and allow plenty of time for reschedules and other changes.

One fundamental thought on relocation will be to try and be as self sufficient as you could be. This is especially with regards to the nature of the place you are traveling to. Most developed countries operate on a hard core capitalist system. African countries are mostly ‘socialistic’ and that defines that nature of life and of lifestyles. Self support is therefore, the synonym for self worth! It is easy to depend on your support for the initial period, but good things will last only for a while. Allow occasion for gathering your home resources as you will definitely need them as part of your foreign resource. Understanding these facts is paramount to survival as anything can happen. Just be ready for anything can happen!

Matters of family –based relocations are sensitive. Especially when children are involved. This is where your support and monetary trajectories are salient. In most developed and capitalist states, social views will tend to bend in the direction of the most stable and most capable. This means that you have left the home state where the family and community values must be adhered to or the person is excommunicated. Oh No! It is a whole new world and family and community concepts are totally and absolutely different. Individuals and communities are only strata of the whole. The whole, including the society, state and country. Order must exist at all levels. Order requires that every person 18 years or older is an adult engaged in the business of creating a family life. If you can’t, it then means that you can’t. It is a whole new world. Individual support systems in most developed states are only discretionary. It could be willing given, and willingly withdrawn. There is no law against it. There is no law to enforce an individual support! Unless other attenuating circumstances exist!

Therefore, plan to succeed in a foreign land and make sure all your survival trajectories are in place. Status and support are critical factors and it is well to do all in your power to keep them intact. Do your best to create optional networks of family, friends and community as such will be wise to ensure collateral support in times of possible adversities. Many Homeland churches are going worldwide these days. Find if your Home land church has a branch in a foreign land. We shall discuss the social interactions later. They are very key to cross border survival. They are like opening the doors and windows in a hot summer day! I bet ya!

Let’s say it’s all settled. Everything is together. The preparations and decisions and meetings and visits and the relocation process is almost achieved. Be sure to pray earnestly about your move. The Maker will guide you through the journey and will make sure you are safe and secure. And that you will survive and succeed. Such is the power for your cross border survival!

Correspondence to the writer at




By Dr Chinwe Osuji

November 5, 2012.

          Every child deserves the opportunity to excel and exceed expectations in all angles and at all times. In some instances, gender parities stand in the way of gender excellence. To excel, every person is required to take steps necessary to ensure that words, thoughts and actions align with recognized and acceptable norms in the society. Every action of Man is weighed on the ability to realize the most individualized expectation. That does not mean we come by all things easy by virtue of our human types, whether male or female. However, we are keen on finding the right path in life once we are able to accept who we are and become what we have become. Bits of philosophy here, but rather think wide and wild than never think at all. One thing is clear any way, becoming a girl child is a virtue that should be acceptable and accepted irrespective of circumstances of time or chance. It’s the time to say Talitha Cumi – Girl Rise Up!

          Every girl child deserves the opportunity to become the perfect being that gives life to the World. The manner of the ecclesiastical exultations provides that she is blessed amongst all. The nature of her biological and natural dispositions makes it hard to provide an occasion of perpetual glory. So what happens when the tide is low and the sun dims on the horizons? What is the occasion of the low sliding that buttresses the moment of glory? What even becomes of the momentary loss of freedom that could never be regained? In any case, a girl child is the mother of a child that becomes the Man. A girl child is the mother of the earth that recreates the world. On occasions of momentary back slash, she finds solace in the hope that a light shall shine at the end of her tunnel. When the chips are down and the moon shines in half, there exist the opportunity to hibernate and rear out a more refined and refreshed face of powder.

          The emancipation of the girl child begins with the realization of the inner self. When the sparks that lighten the sky is felt in the outstretched hands of mother earth. At the moment when there becomes such glamour that no Nile could quench. That is when the strong character is built and the solid ground is conceived. The amount of vigor is unassailable and the reboot of valor becomes overwhelming. The restoration of strength is made manifest when the amount of ill falling is summed by the incidences of bliss. The journey of the girl child is not to be taken for granted as there becomes a moment when the gravitational laws and pulls of nature are decimated and the soul and spirit of the girl rises to the forefront. Such moments are precipitated by the exudation of the inner strength and rigor. Of the in-depth soul-filled power, that conquers the worst of flimsy warlords.

           The spirit of the girl child glows at moments of rebirth. The regeneration of the shortened stumps is felt at the moment of reboot. It is when the events of life become progressively rebuilt and the lights of the tunnels begin to refract, that the girl child exudes a smile of fate that makes ways in the wilderness. The parody of the child that begat the Man is shrouded in such myth that is unfathomable to the mere minds. The hidden virtues of life are exhibited in the paths and portions of the white flowing milk of life, divinely and immaculately delivered to the child Man. And that is the soul, the spirit, the true character, and the solemn emancipation of the girl child, sculptured in purity, molded in divine and natural prowess.

          Women world over are constantly faced with bitter challenges that threaten the generality of their life achievements. It could be in the form of career challenges, family, education, illness, or even the loss of loved ones. The moments of challenges are the most of life’s defining periods of reflection and regeneration. The ability to recoup and retrace the steps is paramount to future and onward success. Sometimes, these circumstances are fronted with either serious or even fatal endings. The realization that the circumstances are rife and dire with little or no help even makes these situations far unreachable and hard to settle. Most stories end up as matters of martyrdom are piled up on the altar of conscience and the lack thereof.

In developing countries as Africa, Asia, and others, women face the most daunting of life’s butting and merciless situations. Matters of natural and human mishaps often accompany the girl child as a victim of societal and cultural demise. The fates of women in child birth and after child birth are untold as their lives become riveting and forgotten shadows of myth and mysteries. And so the world passes by with no heed to the hurt and the horrors, and with no face to regard the very little gifts of mother earth. And untold are the woes and the warriors who defy the odds to replenish eternity. By divine riddance will the tides arise and the waves warm up to the touch of the reaching arm of the girl child. That is when the girl child will emancipate and welcome the hand of the Maker who delves out to every man according to the works of his hands.

A good percentage of women voted for Freedom and Choice in the just concluded US Presidential elections. It is hoped and expected that the trend subsists and gives credence to the words of the ancient Messiah….Talitha Cumi!

Correspondence to the writer at  or