Being an International student in Kenya: How to Survive

Agathon Angembe is not only the national youth representative of the Congolese diaspora in Kenya. He is also one among many international students studying at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He’s been studying Public Relations for the past one year. One Friday morning, I caught up with Agathon and asked him to share tips on what International students should expect when they come to study in Kenya.

Agathon Angembe Congolese Youth Leader

Agathon Angembe studies Public Relations at the University of Nairobi.

The lifestyle

Kenya is a beautiful country with great people and culture.Though full of bustle and hustle, The capital city Nairobi is amazing with cool and sunny climate throughout the year. The Kenyans are so friendly and there are plenty of holiday destination sites that you can tour if you find time after classes.

You can go on Safari at the Nairobi National just a few kilometers from the Central Business District.

Living Expenses

You can comfortably survive on your student budget in Nairobi. Food is relatively cheap of course depending on where you go to eat. You can also significantly cut your budget if you opted to cook your own meals. In local markets like Marikiti and Muthurwa, you can buy a lot of groceries and food at throw away prices.


There are plenty of scholarships that you can take advantage of while studying in Kenya. The University of Nairobi for instance has Rattansi Education Fund,The Rockefeller Foundation scholarships and DAAD Scholarships among many others.


Making Friends with Kenyan Students

Kenyans are sociable, open and friendly. If you make an effort to join sport clubs and associations you can have as many friends as you want.



The language of instruction in Kenya is English. You also need to learn Swahili because it is the national language. It will be better if you had a Kenyan friend teach you a few basic words in Swahili to begin with. You may also want to take swahili lessons on part time basis even as you pursue your full time program.


The most common form of accommodation are student hostels. They are particularly good because you get to meet and stay with students from different backgrounds. You can opt to stay in campus hostels or privately owned hostels outside campus. You can also decide to rent your own apartment in a secure neighborhood.


Once you encounter Kenya, you are not only going to study, you will need to travel within cities and towns so you can experience what magical Kenya has to offer. Matatu-minibuses are the most popular forms of transportation. They are not always safe but you can consider other means of transport such as Trains,Uber, Taxify, Tuks Tuks and regular taxis.


If you want to study in Kenya, you need to apply to your prefered program at your university or college of choice. Once you get your admission letter, then you can use it to apply for a student visa at the Department of Immigration. If you get stuck, you can get help from your university in securing your student visa.




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