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Attracting, recruiting and retaining international students should be balanced with the need to provide support for the smooth transition of these students into their host countries and institutions. One way to achieve this transition is by bridging the gap between international students’ expectations and actual realities. Hence, this article examines the impact that the expectations and the realities of studying abroad have on the overall transition experiences of international students in Nigeria. The study adopted a mixed method and employed Schlossberg’s theory of transition to further understand the phenomenon of transition with regard to international students. Paper questionnaires were collected from 64 international students at two universities in Nigeria, while a subset of 20 (10 from each university) was further interviewed. The findings indicate that unmet expectations contributed largely to difficult transition experiences for the international students in Nigeria.