As a foreign-trained graduate, finding information on NYSC orientation camp requirements and preparing for it in August 2019 was both a nightmare and a thrilling experience. Luckily, one of my aunts who had gone through the process happily shared over 50 must-pack items and documents for the NYSC orientation camp with me, which I shared in detail as you read further.
Before registering for NYSC, I felt it would be an easy online task to upload my documents online, and boom, I get my NYSC camp location details, but that wasn’t the case. Before I registered as a foreign-trained graduate, my first destination was the Ministry of Education in Abuja, where I had to verify my certificates.
Shockingly for me, the number of foreign-trained graduates I met on the first day was appalling! But, I think I came back the second day and got ahead of everyone else because of high connections. And, what would typically take two weeks at least, took me a few days. Once the ministry verified my certificate, I had to attend a 2-day meeting strictly for foreign-trained students in another part of Abuja (I can’t remember now). Once I did that, I started my NYSC registration, put up the four different states (Ondo, Cross-River, Kaduna & Kwara) I could serve in, completed my registration, and waited for my approved state.
P.S.: As a foreign-trained, you have the edge to serve in Abuja, but I didn’t know until later. I enjoyed my NYSC in Okitipupa, Ondo state, though.
Finally, the day came to get my mobilization letter (I can’t remember how long it took)! It was Ondo-state, woohoo! A few hours’ drive to my state of origin, Ekiti state. I was torn between excitement and sadness as I genuinely wanted Cross-River or Abuja. I tried severally to change the location, but to no avail, so I began preparing for the NYSC orientation camp in Ikare Akoko, Ondo State.
Preparing for NYSC camp
While preparing for the NYSC orientation camp, I encourage you to ask questions from family, friends, and colleagues who have gone ahead. Not only does doing so save you time, but you get the first-hand experience from people close to you. Not to worry, you are going to get great information here too!
In preparing for the NYSC orientation camp, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Once you’ve registered and have your mobilization letter, different WhatsApp groups about your mobilized state will start to fly around. I strongly advise you to join these WhatsApp groups because they share great information, and you can find people from your state to travel together to save money.
- You will most likely be unhappy with your mobilized state. So, beware of scammers who promise to get you to your desired state! I wasted lots of money trying to change my state before camp.
- Withdraw some cash and split it into separate slots of your travel bag. You will be among strangers for three (3) weeks, where you will meet the good, bad, and ugly. By withdrawing cash, you avoid vultures who are after your money. And by splitting, you avoid all your money being stolen at once. Prep your mind, and prepare ahead!!!
Things to take to camp
The list below isn’t encompassing, but you should be fine if you only take all or some of these items.
- NYSC medical certificate
- NYSC Call-up letter
- Statement of result or transcript
- Passport photographs
- NYSC green card (a slip you print out after registering for NYSC online)
- COVID-19 test slip
N.B.: Make at least five (5) photocopies of each document
- Bathing soap and sponge
- Detergent/bar soap
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizers
- Sanitary pads/tampons
- Shower cap
- Bleach (to prevent infection)
- A bucket & bailer
- Body lotion
- Two white t-shirts
- Two white shorts
- One white tennis shoe
- Three white pair of socks
- Face masks
- Perfumes/body spray (hide this well, it’s usually not allowed)
- Rubber slippers/flip flops
- Hair keeping needs
- Casual wear like nightwear, Sunday wear, campfire night attire, black/jean shorts/skirt.
N.B.: You will be given a white t-shirt, shorts, socks, and a pair of jungle boots in camp, but it’s good to have extra pairs.
- Torch lights
- Mosquito nets & repellants
- Food flask, cup, cutlery, water bottle, etc.
- Cloth hanger
- Padlocks & keys
- Waist pouch
- Face towel/Kleenex
- Abenaki/mentholated cream
- Pain meds, anti-malaria meds, and antacids for digestion problems
- Cereal with milk
- Portable pen
- Raincoat (depending on the season)
- A small Nokia phone
- Hair cream
My NYSC camp experience
Contrary to popular opinion, I had a memorable NYSC camp experience, a positive memory. Before entering the camp gate in Ikare Akoko, I made up my mind to have the best time of my life through the difficulties and unfriendly environment.
On my first day in camp, I experienced a miracle that solidified my decision to have fun. During the routine of bag search at the main gate, the female soldier searching my bag spotted my big bottle of perfume, but she was so lovely and advised I hid it, which I quickly did. While registering my presence in the camp, I got lost and confused with the disorderliness as well, but a fellow campmate helped me navigate the registration process.
Good times, yea!
As an American-trained graduate, you would expect that I would shrink when it came to sharing a bathroom with lots of people, sleeping among strangers, the dirty environment, and so on, but NO! I was prepared for it all and adapted just fine; maybe not. Haha!
In my first 2-3 days, mosquito bite marks covered my whole body, and it was then I realized how much I missed home. Regardless, I woke up early, trained hard, and was selected with five other ladies to join the band that welcomed the governor on the passing out day. So, that was my reward for all the sleep deprivation, mosquito bites, bad food, horrible smell, etc.
As a learner, I enjoyed the lectures and signed up for the hairdressing Skill Acquisition Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) class. And through one of the lectures, I developed an interest in digital marketing, which is the beginning of my success story as a blogging coach.
Oh, I met two lovely human beings that made my camp life more bearable.
Overall, NYSC camp built my adaptability, taught me vital life lessons, and opened ways to online and offline opportunities.
NYSC orientation camp requirements for foreign-trained
- Original WAEC/NECO results
- Bachelor’s degree certificate
- Undergraduate admission letter
- International passport
- Evaluation Letter from the Federal Ministry of Education
For a comprehensive list of requirements for foreign-trained students, read this.
Tips for a memorable camp life
Going for NYSC as a Nigerian trained can be sad because you’ve gone through an unfriendly school system, and you already think that NYSC is a total waste of time. But, if you can re-align your mindset to focus on the good, you will also find out that NYSC is not a scam. But a scheme to; help you stand alone as a young adult, create wealth for yourself without waiting for the government, and understand the power of service and relationship-building.
- Have an open mind towards new friendship
- Do not forget your values because it is easy to get lost in the excitement
- Be ready for an environment shock! NYSC orientation camp isn’t your home
- Be yourself
- You will be sleep-deprived, brace up and have fun still
- Don’t be invisible; engage and participate in as many camp activities as you can
In short, the NYSC orientation camp can change your life positively if you align your mindset for such possibilities and keep your values in view. Congratulations on your mobilization, and I wish you the very best both in and out of the NYSC camp.