Africa's Education News Source

Study abroad: Nigerian students flock overseas for education explosion

Studying abroad has emerged as a transformative experience for Nigerian students.
Get stories like these delivered straight to your inbox.

Studying abroad has emerged as a transformative experience for Nigerian students. Many believe it to be a pathway to academic excellence, personal growth, and global citizenship. Thousands of Nigerian students are migrating abroad to study with leading destinations in Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. While some are traveling abroad for their undergraduate studies , a large percentage of them are going for their post graduate studies.

According to UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics, the number of Nigerian students abroad increased from less than 15,000 in 1998 to over 71,00O0 in 2015. By 2018, the figure had reached 96,702 students, as per the World Bank. Another report projects the number of Nigerian students studying abroad to exceed 100,000 by 2022. Additionally, the UK’s Higher Education Statistic Agency noted a 64 per cent increase in Nigerian students studying in the country in 2022. This is from 13,020 in the 2019/2020 academic session to 21,305 by the 2020/2021 session.

In 2022, the UK issued visas to 65,929 Nigerian students to study abroad. This is more than 17,973 visas issued in 2019. Canada has about 13,745 students in its universities while the USA has about 14,438 Nigerians enrolled at various institutions for the 2021/2022 academic session. Some other countries Nigerian students study at include Hungary, United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.

While international education (popularly described as “japa”) seems appealing, it is important to carefully consider the reasons driving Nigerian students to study abroad, as well as the advantages and disadvantages they may encounter along the way.

One of the primary reasons why Nigerian students choose to study abroad is the perceived higher quality of education offered by universities and institutions in countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and others. These countries are renowned for their world-class academic programs, research facilities, and experienced lecturers who provide a more comprehensive and practical approach to learning. Studying abroad can increase the career prospects of Nigerian students, both domestically and internationally. Graduates with international educational experiences are often perceived as more competitive candidates in the global job market. Additionally, studying abroad may provide opportunities for internships, networking, and professional development that can give students a competitive edge in their chosen fields.

Many Nigerian students choose to study abroad is because they believe it provides them with access to specialized programs and courses that may not be available in their home country. Whether it’s a niche field of study, a unique research opportunity, or world class laboratories and equipment, studying abroad opens doors to a wider range of educational experiences and opportunities for academic growth. Another compelling reason for Nigerian students to study abroad is the opportunity to immerse themselves in diverse cultures and environments. Living and studying in a foreign country allows students to broaden their perspectives, enhance their intercultural communication skills, and develop a deeper appreciation for cultural diversity. Exposure to different customs, traditions, and ways of thinking can foster personal growth and global citizenship.

Advantages of studying abroad
Studying abroad provides Nigerian students with access to a vast network of peers, professors, professionals, and alumni from around the world. Building connections and forging relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds can open doors to future collaborations, mentorship opportunities, and career advancement. Networking abroad expands students’ horizons and broadens their professional circles, laying the foundation for a global career. Studying abroad exposes Nigerian students to world-class academic standards and innovative teaching methodologies, enhancing their academic performance and critical thinking skills. The rigorous academic environment fosters intellectual curiosity and encourages students to pursue excellence in their chosen fields of study. Living and studying in a foreign country promotes personal growth and independence among Nigerian students. Away from the familiar comforts of home, students learn to adapt to new environments, manage their finances, and navigate cultural differences. This newfound independence fosters self-reliance, resilience, and confidence, preparing students for the challenges of adulthood.

Living and studying abroad catalyze profound personal growth and self-discovery among Nigerian students, as they navigate unfamiliar environments, embrace new challenges, and cultivate resilience in the face of adversity. Away from the familiar comforts of home, students develop essential life skills such as time management, financial literacy, and cross-cultural communication, fostering independence and self-reliance. Studying abroad fosters a spirit of exploration, self-reflection, and adaptability, enabling students to embrace diversity, overcome obstacles, and thrive in diverse cultural contexts.

Disadvantages of studying abroad
Studying abroad can be financially burdensome for many Nigerian students and their families. The cost of tuition, accommodation, transportation, and living expenses in foreign countries can be prohibitively high, making it difficult for students from low-income backgrounds to afford an international education. The depreciating value of the Nigerian currency against foreign currencies exacerbates the financial burden, making it difficult for students from low-income backgrounds to afford an international education. Additionally, unforeseen expenses such as medical emergencies, travel costs, and currency fluctuations further strain students’ finances, necessitating careful financial planning and budget management.

Navigating the visa application process and complying with immigration regulations can be complex and time-consuming for Nigerian students studying abroad. Delays or complications in obtaining visas, residency permits, or work authorization may disrupt students’ academic plans and cause undue stress. Immigration policies and political developments in host countries can also impact students’ ability to study and reside abroad.

Living far away from family and friends can take a toll on the mental health and well-being of Nigerian students studying abroad. Feelings of loneliness, homesickness, and cultural isolation may arise, particularly during holidays and special occasions. Coping with academic pressure, peer competition, and social expectations in a foreign environment can exacerbate stress and anxiety, leading to mental health challenges if left unaddressed.

Share this article

All right reserved. You may not reproduce or republish Edugist content in whole or part without express written permission. Only use the share buttons.

Support Edugist’s goal of giving education a voice

Even a small donation will make a difference.

Related Content

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
???? Hi, how can I help?
Scroll to Top

Fill the form below to download the WASSCE 2024 Timetable

Be the First to Know When we Publish new Contents

“Stay ahead of the educational curve! Subscribe to Edugist’s newsletter for the latest insights, trends, and updates in the world of education. Join our community today and never miss out on valuable content. Sign up now!”