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Japa vs. JAMB: Strategies to secure both dreams

“Japa” has become a colloquial term in Nigeria referring to the act of travelling abroad, particularly to Western countries, for work, education, or greener pasture. Many Nigerian students aspire to study abroad due to perceived advantages attached to it.
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“Japa” has become a colloquial term in Nigeria referring to the act of travelling abroad, particularly to Western countries, for work, education, or greener pasture. Many Nigerian students aspire to study abroad due to perceived advantages attached to it. Most Senior Secondary School (SS3) students are usually faced with a pivotal decision regarding their future education: whether to pursue “Japa” (travelling abroad to study) or take the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exams to gain admission into Nigerian universities.

There are strategies for pursuing japa as Nigerian students. It is evident that, in the pursuit of academic excellence travelling out the country is an advantage. Let’s consider these strategies which will be uderlisted.

Financial Preparation: travelling out of the country requires a large sum of money. One should put financial expenses such as travel costs, living expenses,
tuition fees, and other miscellaneous expenses associated with studying abroad. Students can explore scholarship opportunities, financial aid programmes, and part-time work options to partially offset the costs partially.

Research and Planning: Before embarking on your “japa” plan, conduct thorough research into universities, courses, and countries that align with your academic goals, career aspirations, and financial constraints. Consider factors such as tuition fees, scholarships, living costs, visa requirements, and job prospects post-graduation. Having adequate information will help you make an informed decision.

Language Proficiency: If studying in a non-English-speaking country, improve your language proficiency in the host country’s language (e.g., French, German, Mandarin) to facilitate communication, integration, and academic success.

Academic Preparation: If you intend to further your education online, take time to prepare for the necessary examinations. Prepare for standardised tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, or TOEFL/IELTS, depending on the requirements of the universities you are applying to. Dedicate time to study and practice for these exams to achieve competitive scores.

Application Process: Start the application process early and pay close attention to deadlines for admissions, scholarships, and visa applications. Prepare all required documents, including academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and financial statements.

Tellingly, the advantages of japa are unlimited, as international students who are making waves after their studies are testament to the assertion.

Global Exposure: Living and studying in a foreign country exposes students to diverse cultures, perspectives, and experiences, broadening their horizons and enhancing their global competence. Access to High-Quality Education: Studying abroad often provides access to world-renowned universities with cutting-edge facilities and resources. Career Opportunities: Graduates of foreign universities may have better prospects for employment in international markets and may command higher salaries due to their educational credentials.

However, the disadvantages of “Japa”can not be ignored within the discussion from visa restrictions to racism challenges,cultural challenges, cost and what not. One may even be tempted to say that it a scheme for the rich.

Visa Restrictions: Obtaining a student visa for certain countries can be a complex and lengthy process, with no guarantee of approval, leading to uncertainties and delays in pursuing higher education abroad. Visa might not be approved after lots of time and resources have gone into it.

Cultural Adjustment: Adapting to a new culture, language, and academic system can be challenging and may lead to feelings of homesickness, isolation, or culture shock. This can even cause distraction in your academic pursuit. Cost: Studying abroad can be prohibitively expensive, with tuition fees, living expenses, and other associated costs adding up to a significant financial burden.

Strategies for JAMB Preparation

Practice Exams: Take regular practice exams and past questions to familiarise yourself with the format, structure, and timing of JAMB exams. Identify areas of strength and weakness to prioritise your study efforts effectively. Focus on mastering the Nigerian educational curriculum and syllabus for your chosen subjects, as JAMB exams are based on topics covered in SS1 through SS3.

Time Management: Develop effective time management skills to allocate sufficient time for studying, revision, and relaxation. Create a study schedule or timetable to organise your study sessions and ensure coverage of all subjects. You can also time yourself while taking study questions. This will help you prepare for the real exam.

Study Groups: Form study groups with classmates, friends, or tutors to review course materials, discuss key concepts, and quiz each other on exam topics. You can also attend tutorial centers and engage in collaborative learning, which can enhance comprehension and retention of information. Seek guidance from teachers, mentors, or academic advisors for advice on exam preparation strategies, study tips, and subject-specific guidance. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or request clarification on challenging topics.

Pros of Jamb

Familiarity: Studying in Nigeria allows students to remain within familiar surroundings, cultural contexts, and support networks, reducing the challenges associated with cultural adjustment and homesickness.

Affordability: Compared to studying abroad, attending a Nigerian university through JAMB may be more affordable, especially for students from low-income families or those unable to secure scholarships or financial aid.

Cons of Jamb

Admissions Competition: Admission into popular courses and prestigious universities through JAMB can be highly competitive, with limited slots available and high cutoff marks required for acceptance.

Limited Resources: Nigerian universities may face challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, outdated facilities, and limited access to academic resources, impacting the quality of education. Students might also have to spend extra year in the university due to strike actions.

Job Market Dynamics: Nigerian graduates may face challenges in the job market due to factors such as high unemployment rates, limited job opportunities, and disparities between educational qualifications and industry demands.

“Japa” (travelling abroad to study) or taking the JAMB exams for admission into Nigerian universities is a significant one for SS3 students in Nigeria. Each option has its own set of advantages, challenges, and considerations, and it’s essential for students to carefully weigh their options based on their individual goals, circumstances, and preferences.

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