10 Things to know before you Japa

“Japa” is a buzzword amongst many Nigerians today. It simply means relocating to another country, especially to overseas countries, for greener pastures. 

If you are planning to travel abroad either in search of a high-paying job, for a fresh start, or to study, you must prepare very well to have a nice adventure. 

Traveling abroad is a joyous experience for most Nigerians. The thought of finally leaving the country – where almost everyone seems to struggle to make a living and there isn’t strong security and guaranteed health care – is similar to being in a paradise. 

Have you begun your relocation process and it’s about time for you to Japa? There are things you have to know before you go, to make you enjoy your relocation hitch-free. Here’s a list.

Things to know before you Japa

Here are 10 things that you should know before you Japa:

1. Your health may be affected

As you are preparing to travel abroad, you must know that your health may be affected as a result of the change in weather.

For instance, if you relocate to very cold regions and you have certain underlying health conditions, exposure to cold can trigger them.

So, the first thing to do before you japa is to know the state of your health. That is, go for a medical checkup and find out about the weather of the country you want to relocate to. Your doctor will be able to tell you if you can cope with the weather and also tell you how to protect yourself.

Also, if you have underlying health issues, ensure you go for a medical checkup regularly when you get there and ensure to take your medications as and when due. Remember that health is wealth.

2. Getting a visa is a difficult task

You need to apply for a visa if you are traveling abroad. And getting a visa to most countries abroad is pretty difficult and takes a long time too. The level of difficulty differs from country to country. 

The reason for the difficulty in getting a visa in Nigeria is that there are too many people trying to travel abroad. If you are persistent and smart enough, it is achievable.

So, you must know that the process is stressful, and be ready to go along with it. Sometimes you will have to spend money without any results, these are some of the sacrifices you will have to bear.

3. Communication with friends and family will be affected

You are going to a place where you most likely won’t have your friends and family around you. So, It’s entirely a new phase of your life. It’s important to know that your communication with friends and family in Nigeria might be affected. 

However, with modern technology, like the use of Skype, WhatsApp, etc you can still be communicating. 

It might not be the same as when you are in Nigeria, but you will continue to be in touch. Also, it’s important to know how to cope with new people in your new environment.

4. Be ready to master a new language

If you are relocating to a country where you don’t know anything about their language, then it is necessary to learn a  few of their basic words and this can be stressful. 

For instance, imagine being in a situation where you need to see a doctor, it will be difficult to communicate how you’re feeling. 

To learn the country’s language, you don’t need to hire a teacher for this. Some apps can help you greatly in learning foreign languages, however, if you can afford to hire a teacher, it’s not a bad idea.

5. Adapting to making new friends

Making new friends is not easy when you relocate abroad, but you need it to cope with your new environment. Making new friends in Nigeria is still a bit easier because you already have a very similar cultural and family background. 

One of the challenges you may have to face in most white countries is racism. Some white folks don’t like interacting with black people either because they see Africans as inferior or probably have a notion that Africans are scammers based on the information from the news.

So, if you want to japa to those countries where there are lots of racists, you must be ready to cope with that and be patient enough to prove yourself different.

6. Lively and serene environment for taking pictures

If you are the type that is photogenic and loves taking pictures in a serene environment, overseas countries will give you the perfect opportunity. So you can bring along your camera to capture all the beautiful memories. Your phone can also do some magic.

You will be able to take beautiful pictures in artistic places, waterfalls, and other mind-blowing areas which you can even use for souvenirs. So having fun is guaranteed.

7. Local food issues

As you are preparing to relocate abroad, you should understand that most of the local food you prefer eating will not be available. If you are the type that can’t easily adapt, it can be a problem.

Though it’s not impossible to get your usual food over there, however, they’ll more likely be expensive to buy because they are exported from here.

So, if you don’t want to spend all your money on eating your local food in your new location, you need to learn to adapt to their delicacies. Just begin by trying out as many as possible. In a couple of months, you’ll get used to some of them and even have a new favorite food.

8. Working harder

Unlike what a lot of people think, workers in most foreign developed countries work harder than most workers in Nigeria. If you want to earn a good living in your new location, you must be ready to work your ass off if need be.

Working hard shouldn’t be an issue anyways – at least, you have decided to japa so you can have a better life. So, be ready to wake up early, sleep late, and spend more hours at work.

9. You need to know how to plan your finances

Before you Japa to the US or Europe for instance, you should know that you need to understand basic things about finance – like savings, budgeting, etc.  These places are unlike Nigeria, where you can just live as you earn without bothering about these financial terms.

If you don’t learn those financial terms while living in most foreign countries, you’ll have a frustrating financial life. There are lots of apps that can help you plan your finances. Just download one with good reviews and start using it.

10. You must be law-abiding

This point cannot be overemphasized. Most developed countries have stricter laws and they see to it that everyone abides by them. From traffic laws to tax laws to general laws. If you disobey any, you may pay a huge sum of money to be freed or go to jail, or be deported back to Nigeria. And unlike in Nigeria, it’s hard to buy the law enforcement officials over.

So, to save yourself, don’t be ignorant about any law and as much as possible, abide by them.


If you have been thinking of relocating to foreign countries or you have only limited time to travel, you shouldn’t joke with this guide. You will make your relocation a joyous and remarkable one.

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Anthony Adewuyi

Anthony Adewuyi

Anthony is a Content Writer with MakeMoney.ng. He is passionate about Finance, Business, and Tech related topics. He is a Digital Entrepreneur with vast experience in Data Analytics and Advanced Google Analytics

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